Riverview Community High School took us back to the 1960s circa New York City on Nov. 15-17 with a whimsically entertaining performance of Little Shop of Horrors, written by Howard Ashman and composed by Alan Menken. The upbeat musical featuring a personified man-eating Venus flytrap delighted audiences for three performances to packed houses.
Little Shop of Horrors is about the meek flower shop assistant Seymour pining for his co-worker Audrey. During a total eclipse, he discovers an unusual plant he names Audrey II, which feeds only on human flesh and blood. The growing plant attracts a great deal of business for previously struggling store. After Seymour feeds Audrey’s horrible boyfriend, Orin, to the plant after Orin’s accidental death, Seymour must come up with more bodies for the increasingly bloodthirsty plant to keep business booming at the flower shop. The mayhem of Seymour keeping Audrey II thriving is musically narrated by a charming group of Doo Wop girls.
Star performances were delivered by senior Donte Bankston as Seymour, junior Sydney Robinson as Audrey, senior Megan Brown as Mushnik, sophomore Jacob Maher as Orin, junior Joshua Prim as Audrey II’s voice and senior Emilia Fraley as Audrey II, the puppet.
With the Doo Wops, ensemble, stage crew, and pit orchestra, the production involved about 75 members of the student body. Audrey II joined the fun from Swazzle Productions, a professional puppet studio in Los Angeles. Rehearsals began in mid-September with music and choreography rehearsals, and in November rehearsals with the puppet and the pit orchestra began.
Little Shop of Horrors was the first musical at Riverview Community High School since 2010’s Bye Bye Birdie and truly was a collaborative effort of the Arts Department at the high school. Contributions came from band director Bill Beson, choir director Glen Hoying, Drama Club co-sponsors Patty Madigan and Katie O’Day, and a special appearance by Seitz band teacher Jessie Walsh. Tina Brow choreographed and Randi Olson costumed the performance. The community turnout was positively overwhelming, showing Riverview truly loves its musical comedy!