‘Little Shop of Horrors’ plants seed for program’s success


Kim Rooney

‘Little Shop of Horrors’ has two casts, the Ashman cast and the Menken cast, which will each perform on different weekends.

By Kim Rooney, Production Editor

Rock music, Motown and a giant, talking plant don’t often mix, but with the help of a talented cast, they are brought to life in Little Shop of Horrors, CHS’ fall musical.

Little Shop of Horrors was performed Friday, Nov. 14 and Saturday, Nov. 15, and it will be performed Friday, Nov. 21 and Saturday, Nov. 22 in the Gertrude G. Bish Auditorium.

“I’m impressed with the amount of talent at CHS, especially the acting talent,” said freshman Nick Schaap, who plays Seymour in the Ashman cast.

The show will be performed by two casts, which are named after the writers of the musical: the Ashman cast, which performs Nov. 14 and 22, and the Menken cast, which performs Nov. 15 and 23. The choice of dates allows both casts to perform on a Friday and a Saturday evening.

“Everyone thought it would be weird at first, but I actually really like it,” said junior Natalie Hwang, who plays Audrey in the Menken cast. “I have a wonderful counterpart who I can run lines with and practice my songs with.”

The major roles were double casted, and while not playing the lead roles, actors and actresses will be members of the ensemble or pit. Other roles are solely ensemble, and they will perform all four nights. During rehearsals, the two casts practiced together with pairs of leads running scenes and receiving notes together.

“I was overwhelmed by the amount of talent that showed up for the auditions, and seeing as Little Shop of Horrors is performed with such as small cast, I felt that it was more than able to be double casted,” said director and musical producer Matthew Albright.

Both casts match each other in enthusiasm and skill, and each person has a different of interpretation of his or her character that creates two different but equally interesting shows.

“It’s fun in the sense that a lot more talented people get to showcase their talent, but it’s sad knowing that your cast is only performing in its roles two nights instead of four,” said senior Antonia Gaviria Rozo, who plays Ronnette in the Ashman cast.

Many actors and actresses in both casts have powerful stage presence, and the interactions between characters feel genuine and believable. While on stage, they truly embody their characters—the reward of long hours of practice and rehearsals.

“Rehearsals are fun because we’re getting to expand our ranges in acting and singing,” Gaviria Rozo said. “They’re also stressful because we don’t have a lot of time to put the production on. But it’s mostly fun.”

With rock, Motown and a mix of other genres, Little Shop of Horrors has something for everyone. The story is centered around characters who wish to escape the shabby urban area where they live, and it features a talking plant that many characters see as their ticket to success. The unique plot contributed to the choice of Little Shop of Horrors for the musical.

“I chose Little Shop of Horrors for a number of different reasons: cost, familiarity with the script and score, as well as not knowing what student base was going to audition for a fun and upbeat ‘50s rock musical,” said Alright, who has previously been involved in six productions of the show. “I think it will be greatly appreciated at CHS.”

Although the musical has traditionally been CHS’s spring production, this year it starts the year as the fall production, competing with Richard Montgomery’s performance of Beauty and the Beast.

“We felt that moving the musical to the fall and moving Blast to the spring provided students with ample time to do as many productions as possible,” Albright said.

With catchy music, two incredible casts and a talking plant played by an enormous, man-sized puppet, Little Shop of Horrors is worth watching twice.

“It’s a very funny show with great music, and we’ve got lots of fantastic people,” Hwang said. “Everyone should definitely come see it, and, if given the chance, I recommend coming to see both casts!”