Singing geek, characters & hungry plant attraction in historic venue
By Elsa Maxey
Lightning has been crackling in the skies over Sugar Land, Missouri City, Stafford and all other parts of Fort Bend County lately, but there are no reports of a strike that could have affected plant growth here. This is one of the first thoughts that came to mind as the cult classic Little Shop of Horrors stage production wrapped up this past weekend at the Sugar Land Auditorium on Lakeview Drive.
In the Inspiration Stage’s most recent production, the mundane lives of those working in a flower shop changed after a lightning strike. That’s when a rare plant turned up. For those that know the story, the venus flytrap-esque plant thrives, business booms and the nerdy geeky guy gets the girl. But as the plant grows bigger, so does its demand for nourishment and the complexities begin. A little bit of a dark twist, the energizing, doo wop musical production has a light hearted feel that entertained the sizeable audience this past Saturday.
Zac Haley, who with his wife, Jamie, came to Sugar Land from Dallas to experience the performance, said that for him “community theatre represents resurgence in American entertainment. We spend so much time sitting in front of the television and the movies.” He also said it was “nice to see live people cheering and connecting back and forth with one another.” His brother, Luke, on stage that evening and most importantly the plant’s voice, is married to Roxann Hales, who played Audrey, the main female character.
The locally based Inspiration Stage Performing Arts Studio and Theatre held this performance over the past several weeks in partnership with the Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation. It has also been offering theatre classes to promote creative expression skills.
Mandy Seymore-Sensat, experienced artistic director and choreographer, oversees the Inspiration Stage’s theatre season. She proudly refers to the 1917 built Sugar Land auditorium, where she holds her shows, the performing arts studio’s home. The auditorium is a designated Texas historic landmark that underwent extensive restoration and was completed in 2011.
Representing the last public building of the original Imperial Sugar Company-owned town of Sugar Land, the Sugar Land auditorium is also the only building left from the original Sugar Land ISD #17, which in part served as the origin of Fort Bend ISD.
The Little Shop of Horrors’ classic comedic fantasy in the auditorium will have gone down as a successful theatrical production in a historic gathering place in use today due to the support for its preservation by many caring individuals and organizations further enriching the community’s culture.
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