Musical cast delivers plantastic performance


Amanda Roth

Suddenly smitten– Senior Jonathan Hammond (Seymour) and senior Emily Williams (Audrey) confess their love for one another during the song “Suddenly Seymour” during the Friday showing of Little Shop of Horrors. The cast and crew did three performance between March 3, 4 and 5.

Amanda Roth , Copy & Design Chief

Little Shop of Horrors, the musical that promises you’ll never look at your potted flowers and ficuses the same way again, made its debut at the high school on March 3 and continued on through the 5.

The musical follows Seymour Krelboyne (portrayed by senior Jonathan Hammond) as he rises to stardom and Attempts to get the girl, Audrey (portrayed by senior Emily Williams) with the help of his potted plant, the Audrey II (voiced by freshman Todd Henry). The only catch is that Audrey II is a carnivorous, man eating, blood thirsty plant. Spoiler… this turns out to be a bit of a problem.

Krelboyne gains the he works some much media outlets and brings interest of Audrey and brings to the small flower shop where needed publicity all in one fell swoop. His discovery and cultivation of the Audrey II attracts local customers from off the street. Everything seems to be going his way; however, something dark and destructive is occurring behind the scenes.

Krelboyne finds that the only way Audrey II will grow is through the consumption of human blood. As the plant does what Krelboyn wants, it’s appetite grows to be insatiable and demands human sacrifices. The final act consists of a message from the dead, warning against “feeding the plants.”

Although Little Shop of Horrors didn’t have the storyline directors would normally gravitate to, drama directors Katie Buckley and Vanessa Clark-Bligh and music directors Thomas Johnston and Leslie Imse considered the interest that several students had in this particular musical in their decision.

“Their interest was always in the back of my mind, and this time I said to Ms. Buckley, ‘we really ought to think about doing it this year.’ It may not have been at the top of our list, but it’s something the kids were really excited about,” Imse said.

The rigorous preparation for the musical began back in December and continued on until just days before opening night, in order to have everything running smoothly for the performances.

“There are so many aspects that go into the production of a musical. We have to request the rights hold acting and music rehearsals, develop a scenic design, construct the set, paint the set, learn choreography, find props, the list goes on and on,” Buckley said.

All the preparation and anticipation came into fruition on March 3, the opening night. Although Buckley is often too busy or nervous to watch each performance and can only catch certain key moments, Hammond assures that the musical was a hit and that all involved in the production were spectacular.

“We were truly blessed this year for the musical. We had a great cast, phenomenal stage directors, an always sharp AV Crew and a dedicated and hardworking construction/art team that made sure the show ran smoothly. For the most part, the production of Little Shop went off without a hitch, save for a few small hiccups,” Hammond said.

In order to accommodate for the scene in which Audrey II devours the flower shop owner, Mr. Mushnik (portrayed by sophomore Matthew Thureson), Minor and the art department faced the challenge of constructing a large, mobile, puppet-like plant that was front and center throughout the final acts.

“Designing the sets is a familiar process where I feel comfortable that between construction students and art students, we can create an impressive set. Creating the puppets, however, was new territory for me, and I was nervous about our ability to make it work. There is a stressful thrill in tackling a project you are not sure you can succeed at, especially in front of an audience,” Minor said.

Despite his worries, the puppets held together and worked perfectly throughout all three performance nights. The largest plant was able to consume both Thureson and Williams,with no technical difficulties.

  “Watching Emily and Matt go into the plant was basically flawless. I knew that she had come out through the back of it so that she could change for the next scene, but you couldn’t see that at all. To me, it just looked like she got swallowed up and was waiting there,” audience member and senior Niki Patel said.

For many performers, including Williams, this would be their last performance of their high school career. Although they may not continue their role in acting or the arts later in life, the experiences they had and lessons they have learned will stick with them forever.

 Hammond said, “If there was one thing that I can honestly say I took away from the theater program, it would have to be the camaraderie and understanding of the human experience. At the end of the day, theater is all about how people from all backgrounds can come together to create something that they are proud of. Seeing that raw passion in action was an extremely informative experience and helped me better understand the human condition and experience in a Variety of settings.”