Little Shop of Horrors Staged at Howell Middle School South March 14th-16th
Little Shop of Horrors by composer Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman, is a rock musical about a unlucky florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood. The music, composed by Menken in the style of early 1960s rock and roll, doo-wop and early Motown, includes several show-stoppers including Skid Row (Downtown),Somewhere That's Green, and Suddenly, Seymour, as well as the title song.
“Little Shop of Horrors,” directed by Gillian Bryck, a Howell South teacher will present three evening performances and one matinee in the Howell Middle School South Theater beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14th through Saturday, March 16th; and Saturday matinee at 2:00 pm on March 16th.
The Howell Middle School South Players features a cast and crew of over a 100 talented students along with a production team of volunteer parents. Technical director and choreographer Cindy Lutz, a Howell South teacher promises that the audience will enjoy great ‘60s music reminiscent of the bee-hive hair, do-wop groups of that era.
The musical follows the life of Seymour Krelborn, a floral assistant on Skid Row, played by 8th grader Michael Olsen who purchases an exotic plant. After a day without a single customer, Mushnik played by 7th grader Michael Smith wants to close the store. But the lovely coworker Audrey, played by 7th grader Cassandra DiFabio persuades Mushnik to let Seymour display the “strange and interesting" plant, which he has named "Audrey II,” to attract customers. As Seymour seeks the affection of his lovely coworker, he also battles for control over his increasingly bloodthirsty plant, Audrey II played by 8th grader Daniel Snow. The plant quickly grows beyond what Krelborn imagined and turns into a bad mannered, R&B singing, carnivore. Audrey II gives greedy Krelborn his 15 minutes of fame, but he soon realizes he bit off more than he could chew.
"This rendition is going to be totally different from the typical ’60s style the musical is usually done in,” said Kristen Hayes, one of the Downtown Dancers cast in the show. “Mrs. Bryck and Mrs. Lutz were able to think of lots of creative ways to create big musical numbers that incorporates the huge ensemble of singers and dancers.”
“We love the costumes that Mama Rev created for us!” shared Lauren Maas another Downtown dancer. The costumes by the renowned Jacquie Revier of Playtime Costumes are theatrically fabulous. In addition, the audience will feel that they are in the midst of Skidrow’s New York City with the fantastic set design created by Mr. Derek Hulse and built by Mr. Mike Moorman, Howell South’s technology teacher. Mr. Moorman, a crew of volunteer dads, and art design crew were able to bring Skidrow to life.
“The play and music is just a lot of fun, along with many whacky characters,” said Gillian Bryck. “We are delighted to work with our talented students. The musical is filled with a great cast, which includes 8th grader Joe Valentini (“Orin”); 8th grader Emma Savoy, 6th grader Isabella Bedore, and 7th grader Mikayla Long as the sassy girl trio; along with singing Urchins: Hanna George (6th), Jacqueline Smith (6th), Morgan Maher (8th), Madison Scardaville(6th), and Hailey Boho (6th). The Downtown Dancers are Lauren Maas, (7th) Kristen Hayes, (8th) Jessica Mortillaro, (7th) Emily Seaman, (7th) Isabella Cox,(7th) Joey Schollenberger,(8th) Jessica Klein,(7th) Morgan Pietrangelo (7th) and Kate Terracciano (7th).
Bryck said the musical isn’t racy and that kids will enjoy the show as much as adults. “It’s a bit tongue and cheek at times, but not vulgar. Older folks will definitely enjoy the music.”
For Bryck and Lutz, the true test for how successful “Little Shop of Horrors” is will be the smiles they see on faces of audience members leaving the Howell Middle School South Players’ theater when the final curtain falls after each performance.
“The musical is going to knock their socks off,” they said. “Look for our students to be advertising our show wearing their t-shirts with our mantra “Keep Calm and Don’t Feed the Plant!”
Tickets are $10 dollars and will go on sale in the Middle School South’s Rear Foyer on Mondays February 11th and 18th from 5-7 pm and on Saturdays February 16th and 23rd from 10 am – 3 pm. 1 Kuminski Way. Tickets will also be on sale during lunch periods in March at Howell Middle School South. If you have questions about tickets or have special needs seating, please call732-836-1327 x 6845.