Willsboro Central School student actors get ready for their fall performance of “Little Shop of Horrors.”
Chiffon - Lizzie Daly
Crystal - Mikaela Salem
Ronnette - Sherika Pulsifer
Chanel - Taressa Lacey
Mr. Mushnik - Connor Sheehan
Audrey - Laura Klein
Seymour - Austin Ferris
Orin, Bernstein, Snip, Luce - Max Longware
Audrey II (Voice) - Mat Longware
Ensemble: Makayla Anson, Kaitlyn Arthur, Margaret Frechette, Ethan Leibeck, Stephen Leibeck, Mackenzie Martin, Erinn Walker, Jenna Ford, Olivia Politi
Director / Choreographer / Puppeteer - Derrick A. Hopkins
Music Director - Jennifer Moore
Stage Manager - Annie-Laurie Lemieux
Skid row, doo wop and a blood thirsty plant from outer space take over the Willsboro Central School (WCS) stage to bring the comedic musical “Little Shop of Horrors (LSH),”to life.
The play is one of the longest-running off-Broadway shows of all time. Senior Austin Ferris stars as Seymour, a down-and out skid row floral assistant who becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. The plant, named Audrey II, is brought to life by the voice of Mat Longware and the puppettering of play director and teacher, Derrick A. Hopkins.
The play follows as Audrey II grows into an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore who offers Seymour fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite for human flesh.
Longware said the puppets are going to be real fun for the audience to see. The four Audrey II puppets are on loan from Character Translations, Inc., based in Norristown, Penn.
“The puppets go from small to huge. There smallest potted plant, the next is a little larger, then there is one I have to sit in to control and the ‘big momma,’ as we call it, I have to stand in to control,” Hopkins said.
Audience will be drawn in from the flashy costumes, exciting musical scores, fantastic performances of the student actors and the orchestra and of course the tongue-in-cheek comedy, Hopkins said.
After the last two dramatic plays of “Sound of Music” and “Oliver,” it was time to change things up and have a little more fun with the dramatic performances.
“It’s a fun, light 50’s to 60’s vibe pop rock musical,” Hopkins said. “It gives the kids a chance to be a little corny, over-the-top. The kids have had so much fun.”
The play is narrated by the vocals of the doo wop girls: Lizzie Daly, Taressa Lacey, Mikaela Salen and Sherika Pulsifer. The girls have extravagent costume changes that set the tone for the scenes and give the backlog of the story.
“There are a lot of quick changes and lots of three-part harmonies,” Daly said.
For Ferris, the LSH movie was one of his favorites as a kid. Performing the classic 1950’s sci-fi movie has been an exciting adventure for him.
“It’s mind blowing I get to play my favorite character,” Ferris said. “It’s an awesome play. We’re doing a lot of new things this year and people are going to love the music.”
Sophomore Laura Klein said the audience will have a lot of fun seeing the performance.
“I’m playing Audrey and it’s fun and challenging, she’s kind of loose and a little flighty so I had to rehearse the voice a lot at home,” Klein said. “Everything about her is just over the top and that’s definitely not like me at all. It has been a lot of fun playing the character.”
This is Klein’s first leading role in a high school performance and her first solo musical number. The comedic nature of the play was one of her favorite parts of rehearsing.
“I think it’s easier to perform in from of an audience than the cast. I’m glad it’s a comedy so I can play it off when a line makes me laugh,” Klein said. “This play is completely different for Willsboro, we have a small and really talented cast so we have a lot of fun for the audience.”
LSH is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.
Little Shop of Horrors will be performed at the school auditorium Nov. 7, 8 and 9 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 10 at 2 p.m.
General admission is $10 and seniors and student tickets are $8. Tickets for children under age 5 are free.
For more information about the play call Hopkins at 963-4456 ext. 252.