Adam Kurtz, Kyra Bishop Bring to Life LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on June 13, 2014

It’s a miracle. Sometimes it’s the show. Sometimes it’s who’s in the show. And sometimes it’s something else entirely.

Our summer has been made easier. First, Kyra Bishop designed and her father and grandfather, Rick and Ralph, built the set for our Little Shop of Horrors production, saving us time, energy and, most importantly, money.

Moreover, Kyra tracked down the plant, saving us time in searching it out. She found it, by accident, sequestered away in some theatre’s long-forgotten storage area. Kyra was able to acquire it for a song, and her parents delivered it to our door.

The second miracle involves Nunsense, a musical which takes place on the set of a high school’s production of Grease. Austin Peay State University produced the show last fall; so when it closed, we asked the designer if we might use their set, not for Nunsense but for our closing show of the season, Grease. The answer was “yes.” All we were required to do was move it and store it.

Luckily, my braced and bespectacled gentleman with the beautiful and gracious wife has access to Orgain Building Supply’s warehouse, where the set has lived since last fall, waiting to appear onstage for its intended purpose, the set for Grease.

But a man-eating plant puppet is nothing without a man to bring it to life. When a man-eating plant is the center of a show — and in this case that’s exactly where it ends up, dead center stage — brought to life by our production and technical director, Adam Kurtz.

Adam began his career in the theatre as an actor but, as many do, midway through his education began to lean toward the technical side. He made a “brief” appearance some years ago in The Eight: Reindeer Monologues upstairs in theotherspace.

Adam has totally computerized our productions. Nothing is manual; all cues are three computers. It is a world of which I am completely ignorant, but he has mastered it almost to perfection. He has made a world which few dare enter, and it is a world in which he is king.

Adam has turned his skills this time to master puppeteer. Bringing more than life, he brings personality to a huge overgrown flytrap of a plant. It is equal in its impressiveness to a chandelier falling, a helicopter flying and a barricade spinning.

It was sad to see Tarzan close, but it did go out with a bang, a sold-out house, and $150 raised for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I was overjoyed by the number of young parents who brought their three-year-olds to experience live theatre—most of them stayed for nearly an hour of the hour-and-fifteen-minute show. Introduction to the arts at an early age is golden. These children won’t forget the time they first experienced that theatrical magic along with their dad and mom.

Little Shop of Horrors continues on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, through June 28.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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