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Its Suddenly Seymour for Turlock performer
Little Shop
Turlock resident Keaton Williams is taking on the lead role of Seymour in Merced Playhouse’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” which opens Friday. - photo by Photo Contributed
Turlock resident Keaton Williams says he always enjoyed singing, but when he enrolled in a voice class at Modesto Junior College, he says it was more as a lark, than a chosen career path.
“I was just looking for a one-unit class to fill out my schedule and it sounded like something I might enjoy,” Williams said. “It turns outs it was something I just fell in love with.”
That one voice class led to others and opened up a world of musical theater for the 20-year-old. Williams is now stepping into the lead role of Seymour, in Merced Playhouse’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors.”
Williams got his first role in Merced Playhouse’s run of “Little Women” in 2008. Though it was a bit part, Williams said he really took to his experience on the stage and when the Playhouse announced auditions for its next show, he was right there in line.
“I’ve really enjoyed Playhouse Merced,” Williams said. “The quality of shows is very, very good. Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming, that it’s totally worth it to make the drive from Turlock.”
Williams most recently played the role of LeFou in “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” at the Merced Playhouse.
When not busy with rehearsals or making the commute between cities, during which time he says he puts in plenty of practice on his songs, Williams is studying music, theater, and dance at Modesto Junior College. He has appeared in the college’s productions of “Oklahoma!” and “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown.” He plans on transferring to a university in Southern California, where he can continue to pursue a career in theater.
“I hope to be performing for as long as I can,” he said.
Williams will make his debut as Seymour Friday night. “Little Shop of Horrors” is a musical comedy about a young man, Seymour,  who discovers a strange plant that grows into a blood-thirsty, foul-mouthed, R&B singing monster.  With a rock and roll score by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, “Little Shop” was an off-Broadway hit in 1982, a live-action movie in 1986, and a Broadway revival in 2003.
Playhouse Merced’s production features a supporting cast of 15 actors, singers and dancers, with direction by Rob Hypes.
“This is one of our strongest shows yet,” Williams said.
“Little Shop of Horrors” opens Friday and runs through Nov. 1. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are: Children, $8; students, $10; seniors, $17; and adults, $20. To purchase tickets, call  725-8587, or visit the box office at 452 West Main St. in downtown Merced.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.