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Originally published Friday, March 7, 2014 at 6:10 AM

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Boy in space at SCT; man-eating plant invades ACT

Something for everyone on Seattle stages, starting this weekend: ACT/5th Avenue’s “Little Shop of Horrors”; “The Boy at the Edge of Everything” for kids; a rock-opera “Othello”; and a spotlight on young playwrights.


Seattle Times theater critic

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Horror with a song and mirth, defiance of gravity with a homemade space capsule, and a new rock-out riff on “Othello” are among the shows coming to local stages, along with a mini-fest celebrating the stage visions of local teen playwrights.

“Little Shop of Horrors”

“Feed me!” is the devouring demand of the hideously expansive and ravenous plant (or, usually, giant puppet) that Seymour, a nebbishy florist’s assistant, cannot ignore in this wacky horror musical soon in previews at ACT Theatre.

The original nonmusical B-movie version of “ Little Shop of Horrors” from 1960 is a grainy camp classic, and was an early footnote in the career of actor Jack Nicholson. (He had a small role that you can find on YouTube.)

The 1980s Off Broadway musical based on the flick helped launch the careers of composer Alan Mencken and writer-lyricist Howard Ashman, whose doo-wop-rock score put some vavoom into the tale.(They went on to create “The Little Mermaid” movie, among other things.) And the 1986 movie version of the “Little Shop” tuner sported a comic A-team cast, led by Rick Moranis as Seymour, backed up by Steve Martin, John Candy and Bill Murray.

The ACT take on the musical, co-produced by 5th Avenue Theatre and staged by Bill Berry, could well feature a breakthrough performance by its own Seymour: Joshua Carter, who was a stitch in 5th Avenue’s recent mounting of “Spamalot” and recently returned from a national tour of Broadway’s “Once.” Also in the cast of this very long run (have to fit both theaters’ subscribers in, plus anyone else who wants to see it) are Jessica Skerritt as Seymour’s squeeze, Audrey, and director-actor Jeff Steitzer as the hapless flower purveyor, Mushnik.

Previews Saturday-Wednesday, runs Thursday-June 15 at ACT Theatre, Seattle (206-292-7676 or www.acttheatre.org).

“The Boy at the Edge of Everything”

A curious, imaginative 12-year-old boy who is fascinated by worlds beyond Earth explores the nature of space and time in Finegan Kruckemeyer’s play, co-produced by Seattle Children’s Theatre and New York’s inventive Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, where it is also playing.

When a mock spaceship sends the boy into the galaxy by accident, he goes on an adventure into the unknown and makes an unexpected friend far, far from home.

Few plays for young people are about the thrill and potential of scientific exploration; this appears to be one of them.

Runs through April 6 at Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Center (206-441-3322 or www.sct.org).

“Black Vengeance”

The Ghost Light Theatricals fringe troupe invites you to re-imagine Shakespeare’s tragedy “Othello” set in a punk band fraught with turmoil — complete with a manager named Iago.

Seattle playwright Nathaniel Porter’s rock opera won Ghost Light’s “Battle of the Bards” competition, and it will premiere in the deep caverns of the Ballard Underground this weekend.

Friday through March 22 at Ballard Underground, Seattle (800-838-3006 or www.brownpapertickets.com).

ACT Young Playwrights’ Festival

Find out what’s on the creative minds of the next generation of playwrights, at this annual presentation of short works by Seattle area student writers, ages 12 to 18.

The eight plays in the 2014 crop have some intriguing titles. Examples: “The Play of Ketchup” by Antonia Sunderland. “T’was The Nightmare Before Halloween” by Chloe D’Hers. “Kitty Noire” by Brett Jenkins.

The ACT Theatre is presenting the eight mini-plays on two separate bills, that run various times on Friday, March 7, and Saturday, March 8.

700 Union St., Seattle (206-292-7676 or www.acttheatre.org ).

Misha Berson: mberson@seattletimes.com



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