By James Manso
Meet Julesy Flavelle, the female lead in Tisch New Theatre’s latest production, ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’
“I think the character is played one way, and has just been played that way,” Sophomore Julesy Flavelle mused over coffee at Le Pain Quotidien. “And to look at her and to say, ‘You don’t have to play her this way, you can do something different with it,’ you can really bring this really tragic woman to life.”
This tragic woman is, of course, Audrey: the star-crossed lover in ‘Little Shop.’ “She’s usually sort of blonde, ditzy, bimbo of a character who is there, and sings these songs, but her lines- everything is a little surface-level, but her character’s totally not,” Flavelle says. And, to her credit, she’s right. Audrey deals with love, death, escapism, and the tribulations of an abusive relationship onstage. “It’s so interesting that she’s got so much that she’s living through and it’s so often undermined in the productions,” Flavelle continued.
Audrey may not be the damsel in distress she appears to be, but Flavelle is a force inside and out. Beginning her sophomore year in Tisch’s Strasberg studio, the actress instantly set out to shake up ‘Little Shop of Horrors,’ Tisch New Theatre‘s first production since Spring of 2016. Don’t let her perfectly-curled eyelashes or glassy eyes fool you.
Her last experiences acting were in High School. “That’s most of what I’ve done,” she said. “They’re mostly sub-par productions, but fun musicals.” After the insanely heavy costumes (and comparatively vapid roles) for her high school production of ‘Hello Dolly!,’ she’s ready to take a role and make it her own.
“I love singing, I love acting,” Flavelle began, “But it’s important to get something that has all the fun of a big musical theatre production and has the serious, poignant storyline of a real, deep character .Audrey’s a beautiful character, and the more we sit down and explore this character, I just really feel for her.”
Bringing the substance to a typically shallow role won’t be all that Flavelle does in the future, but enough for her right now, and certainly enough for Audrey. “She has control in the moment in her mind,” she notes about her character (and perhaps herself). “She also knows exactly where she is at the moment. And she knows exactly what she’s doing.”
Tisch New Theatre‘s production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors is playing at the Soho Playhouse from October 31st to November 5th.