Little Shop of Horrors devours LHS
by Martha Sparks
What shall a man profit, if he gains the entire world (or at least his attractive fellow flower shop assistant Audrey), and lose his own soul feeding an ill-tempered, singing carnivore plant that reveals itself to be an alien creature poised for global domination?
Those are words to ponder in the madcap musical comedy “Little Shop of Horrors,” which will be performed by Logan High School at 7 p.m. Thursday-Friday, April 18-19 and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, April 20. The show will also be presented Thursday-Friday, April 25-26 at 7p.m. and Saturday, April 27, at 2 p.m. at the Phyllis Adkins Little Theater at Logan High School.
This show first debuted Off-Broadway in 1982 and was turned into a major motion picture several years later.
Audrey II is the name of the problematic plant, which first appears in a flower pot but by the conclusion of the musical, has grown to monstrous man-eating proportions with roots bursting out its huge pot.
“At the end it’s ginormous — it actually takes a crew of us to get it on and off the set,” said Hunter Napier, LHS Sophomore.
Napier has an insider’s view of what he speaks of, in that he is the person manipulating the movements of one of the stages of Audrey II from inside the plant.
Bringing Audrey II to life is actually a team effort involving three cast members. While Napier operates two versions of the plant, Alex Crum, a junior, handles the largest one, while junior, Dylan Vidovich provides the plant’s words and singing voice from off stage.
The plot of “Little Shop of Horrors” revolves around poor, accident-prone Seymour (played by sophomore, Calvin Tomblin), an employee of Mr. Mushnik’s Skid Row Florist. Seymour is tyrannized by Mushnik (played by senior Jason McCloud) and can do nothing right until he stumbles across the unusual plant, Audrey II. Once Seymour realizes that the plant promises fame and fortune in return for human blood, he provides the blood himself. But as the plant grows it becomes obvious that a more substantial diet is going to be required. So how about feeding the plant the loutish boyfriend (played by sophomore, Richard Ojeda) of co-worker Audrey (freshman, Sarah Browning)? Well, there’s plenty of blood there, as well as bone and tissue. Besides, Seymour, as we noted earlier, has a secret crush on Audrey. But still the plant remains hungry. …
“I’m having a great time with it,” said Shana Nelson, a sophomore, about the show. Nelson makes up one of the three Doo-Wop girls that serve as the story’s narrators. Kaitlyn Williamson and Staci Hall fill the other Doo-Wop dresses and wigs by show’s end.
The “comedy horror rock musical” by composer Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman is loosely based on a 1960 movie by Roger Corman that had Jack Nicholson in a small role and developed a cult following. There was also a film made in 1986, but the stage version has stood the test of time.
A testing question for any stage production is how do you get an Audrey II? Director Bill France says hold lots of fundraisers and kick off the year with a sure fire hit like “Grease”. The plant that LHS is using will be making a 10 hour drive from northern Pennsylvania to appear on the Little Theater stage. “We have practiced the show without the plant for a couple months. I would imagine this is a lot like acting with monsters on a green screen in motion pictures.”
In addition to teaching Theatre at LHS, France also teaches Language Arts and heads up the broadcasting program and WLHS TV.
Tickets for Little Shop of Horrors will be sold at the door for $6 each.
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