Actors bring ‘Horrors’ to high school
Fall musical ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ begins Nov. 8
If the Eudora High School auditorium looks a little junky these days it's because students will be performing "Little Shop of Horrors" for the fall musical.
Taking place in and around a flower shop on Skid Row, tires, trash cans and other junk set the scene for the story of Seymour (Michael Cribbs), a shy, nerdy amateur botanist who finds his 15-minutes of fame with a blood-thirsty plant named Audrey II. The plant is the namesake of Audrey (Brandi Abel), a sweet, flower shop worker who falls for a bad-boy dentist (Curtis Hickman).
The cast is rounded out by the flower shop's owner and Seymour's landlady, the bossy Mrs. Mushnik (Hannah Hamlin), a chorus of doo-whop singers, and of course the voice (Jason Hamlin) and puppeteers (Lear Bowling, Cody Lauber and Derin Stewart) behind Audrey II. As the play progresses, she grows from a cute Venus flytrap-looking plant to a "mean, green mother from outer space," as one song labels her.
The high school purchased the Audrey II puppets from Shawnee Mission North High School.
"The first puppet is a hand puppet," said the play's director, teacher Jeannine Sample. "The second is attached to a coat."
The third and fourth incarnations of Audrey II are a one and two-person puppet.
Beside the versatility of the puppets, the set has flexibility, too.
"It's also cool because we have an interchangeable set," said Hickman. "It opens to show the shop and closes to show the back alley."
The entire set, which also includes Hickman's mobile dentist's office, requires stagehands to transform the scene.
Hickman said he watched the 1986 film version of the production before starting the musical. But Sample said even students who had seen the Rick Moranis-Steve Martin movie didn't know what to expect with the theater staging of the production.
"The end is different to this one, so they were surprised by this," she said.
The fun, silly feel of the movie carries over in the stage production with plenty of "shoop dah doos" in the songs and caricature New York accents.
The first performance, at the high school auditorium, will be a free senior citizen show at 1 p.m.
Thursday, followed by Friday and Saturday shows at 7:30 p.m. Adult price is $3, middle and elementary school students pay $2. High school students get in free.