Friday, December 16, 2005
Little Shop Of Horrors concludes CCHS' "Fall of Horror"
News Flash: A man-eating plant ingested at least four people on the auditorium stage at Concord-Carlisle High School last weekend. Fortunately, the victims survived, able to be repeatedly consumed over the three consecutive days of the musical Little Shop of Horrors, presented at CCHS on December 10, 11 and 12.
The musical, directed by CCHS theater and drama teacher George Kendall, was the second half of a CCHS "Fall of Horror," the first part being Dracula, performed in November. "Dracula had the serious side [of this theme], but this is less serious," says Kendall. "I'm a theater educator, and I enjoy teaching theater history as well as the performance side."
Little Shop of Horrors, which played on Broadway as well as being a hit movie, tells the story of Seymour (played by junior Eric Stengrevics from Carlisle), a nerdy young man who works at a flower shop on Skid Row in New York City, and secretly loves his co-worker, a sweet, ditsy blonde named Audrey (junior Annalee Mulhall). Audrey, however, is dating a sadistic dentist named Orin Scrivello (junior Campbell Payne). Presiding over the shop and taking Seymour under his wing is the bombastic Mr. Mushnik (played by senior David Jubinsky). Throughout the show, a quartet of energetic Doo-Wop Girls (performed by seniors Mary Halstrom and Ali McGuirk, and juniors Rebecca Patterson and Jenny Schloss) offer an entertaining, musical commentary on the story as it unfolds.
The action truly begins when Seymour sets out to buy plants for the shop and there is a sudden solar eclipse. After the darkness of the eclipse passes, a strange plant has appeared out of nowhere, resembling a bizarre strain of Venus fly-trap. Eventually, the plant begins to speak, demanding, "Feed me, Seymour!" (Senior Haley Watson provided the singing voice for the plant from behind the stage. There were four different plant puppets in all, of varying sizes, which were rented from a firm in Pennsylvania.)
"There were lots of technical challenges in this show," says Kendall. In addition to phones ringing and radio-show sound effects, speakers had to be strategically located to make the voice of the plant come from the approximate location of the puppets. The puppeteers themselves (primarily senior Jane Bird, who also helped out as a student director) had to make sure the mouth of the plant moved along with the speech and singing.
Eric Stengrevics, whose professional-sounding voice was perfect for the role of Seymour, admitted that it was hard to get used to interacting with the plant puppets at first (he even manipulates one of them while walking across the stage, carrying the plant with one fake arm). "But you get used to it," he says.
Two other Carlisle students also performed in the show: sophomores Owen Callahan and Lisa Yanofsky. Carlisle audiences saw both of them in their seventh-grade production of Guys and Dolls, Jr. where Callahan played Sky Masterson and Yanofsky was Adelaide. In Little Shop of Horrors, Callahan was slick businessman Skip Snip, and pointed out that the hat he wore in the show was the same one he wore in Guys and Dolls, Jr. Yanofsky, who also student-directed Dracula earlier this fall, played the role of "Prancing Customer."
Although there was no "total eclipse of the sun" to hamper the performances of Little Shop of Horrors last weekend, there was the not-so-small matter of the snowstorm on Friday. Although school was cancelled for the day, Kendall and CCHS principal Art Dulong decided the show would go on, as long as parking lots and walkways could be cleared for safety. "Even with the snow, the house was filled," says Kendall. "That says a lot about the support of this community."
The next show in the works for CCHS is the musical Barnum, to be performed between March 3 and 12, 2006.
© 2005 The Carlisle Mosquito