Dominion High School Little Shop of HorrorsBy Cappies • Feb 21st, 2013 • Category: Cappies
Is there any price not worth paying for love, fame, and fortune? The Dominion High School theater department explores that very question in their production of Little Shop of Horrors, a campy comedy and Motown musical written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman that follows a stylized cast of characters living in New York’s Skid Row.
Opening off-Broadway in 1982, Little Shop of Horrors tells the tale of Seymour Krelborn, the young botanist who spends his days sweeping the floors of Mushnik’s Flower Shop, creating hybrid plant species and silently vying for the attention of one high-pitched, blonde beauty queen named Audrey, who also works at the shop. To win over the affection of Audrey and save the floral shop from foreclosure, Seymour creates what he believes to be a botanical masterpiece, a Venus Flytrap-esque shrub named Audrey II, after the beautiful girl with whom Seymour is in love. Before long, Audrey II has drawn in hoards of publicity for the once-dying flower shop, reigning in well-paying customers and interested reporters. Seymour becomes a celebrity, but not without paying a price. Audrey II eats only human flesh and demands that Seymour kills off various characters to feed him. Seymour does as he is told, starting with Orin Scrivello, the sadistic dentist and Audrey’s abusive boyfriend. From there, Audrey II persuades Seymour to feed him more bodies, eventually taking over Mushkin’s Flower Shop and then the world with its grossly carnivorous tendencies.
The Dominion High School production boasted a vocally strong cast, exhibiting undeniable talent through perfectly pitched renditions of well-known numbers. A live student band added an energetic aspect to the show, although at times it overpowered the actors.
James Allen was the delightfully meek Seymour and embodied the gentleness and naiveté of such a neutral, unsuspecting character quite well. Sophomore Cindy Lloyd carefully paired the Barbie-like qualities of Audrey with an endearing realism, expressing Audrey’s materialistic desires of living “Somewhere That’s Green” with a reasonable amount of depth. Lexie Gruber did a stellar job in the traditionally male role of Mushnik, mastering a New York accent and displaying impressive vocal talent. However, while individual actors often shone, the show fell short of energy in larger musical numbers.
Charming the audience with his crazed laughter, animated facial expressions, and dramatic delivery of lines was Joao Versos as the manipulative, maniacal Audrey II. Versos was magnetic to watch and delightful to hear, with his show-stealing energy and powerful voice. Even with his face covered in makeup and body hidden under a cloak of leaves, Versos had the strongest performance in production.
Detailed props added to many scenes, particularly in Orin Scrivello’s dentist office. Signs reading “The Doctor is In(Sane)” and various creatively designed tools made an otherwise ordinary backdrop lively and interesting. Furthermore, the creativity displayed in the creation of Audrey II was spectacular. The demonic plant was decorated with various flowers, leaves, and moving limbs that were separately operated by members of the tech crew.
Although Seymour, Audrey, and others eventually met their demise at the hands of the evil Audrey II, the audience of Dominion High School’s production of Little Shop of Horrors left the theater all the better because of it, having just enjoyed an impressive display of talent and an entertaining evening of musical comedy.
by Mary Long of Langley High School
Photos by Amy Young
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