It's not too many 6-year-olds who decide to go into musical theater because they want to play a down-on-his-luck floral assistant who discovers a plant with a bloody appetite.
But that's exactly the reaction Mark Ivy had when he first saw Little Shop of Horrors. Enraptured by the singing, dancing and premise of the show, he says he leaned over and tapped his mother on the shoulder and told her, "I think I can do that."
This week Ivy, a student at Sam Houston State University, an alumnus of the Humphreys School of Musical Theatre and a more and more frequent addition to the Houston stage, is in final rehearsal for his role of a lifetime. He's playing Seymour in the Theatre Under the Stars presentation of Little Shop of Horrors at the Miller Outdoor Theatre.
"This is my dream role," the Hightower High School graduate told Hair Balls. "I've always wanted to do it. I just never thought it would be this soon."
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He's impressed other directors as well. Roy Hamlin, who saw the 22-year-old Ivy perform some cabaret material in December, offered him the role of Seymour. Hamlin says he's always looking for talent and Ivy seemed perfect for the part when he saw him.
There are some other local standouts in the show. Broadcaster and talk show host Deborah Duncan will perform the voice of Audrey II , the plant. The human Audrey is played by Ivy Castle-Rush, who was in TUTS' most recent presentation of The Sound of Music.
Little Shop of Horrors plays every evening at 8:15 p.m. July 13 through 18. Free tickets for the covered seats are available on the day of the performance between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Miller Theatre Box Office. Or bring a blanket and watch the show from the lawn.