WHHS drama department to present Howard Ashman’s classic musical

Published:

The Western Hills High School auditorium will be home to Frankfort’s most interesting, and largest, unidentified plant at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday as the drama department performs Howard Ashman’s musical, “Little Shop of Horrors.”

Drama Club sponsor Amy Schwarz directs the play with vocal direction by Tiffany Marsh and musical direction by Stephanie Wallace. The student director is Cheyenne Carter. 

WHAT: “Little Shop of Horrors”

WHERE: Western Hills High School

WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday

TICKETS: $8 and $10 at the door

Down-and-out florist shop employee Seymour Krelborn, played by Simon Holden, stumbles upon a plant he names Audrey II while browsing for new inventory for Mushnik’s Skid Row Florist Shop. Unwittingly, he steps into a whole different existence by taking this weird plant back to the shop.

As the popularity of this strange and still unidentified plant grows, so does the success of Mushnik’s business, much to the happiness of Mushnik (Calvin Andries) and Audrey (Tesah Vanover), Seymour’s fellow employee and secret love interest.

All the while, a group of Skid Row teenage girls (Katie Miller, Annie Davis and Medora Jones) narrate this bizarre tale through a series of funky rock numbers, like Downtown, Da Doo and Suppertime.

With the arrival of Audrey II, business starts looking up, but strange occurrences begin happening. After the mysterious disappearance of Audrey’s abusive dentist boyfriend, Orin (Gabriel Warren), the perilous twists and turns of this musical story all seem to come back on Seymour, who is the only one who knows of the now huge and crazy plant’s true character. 

Fans of the quirky 1980s musical film by Roger Corman, will love the stage adaptation and audience members will be amazed and horrified by the plant’s rapidly changing size and attitude throughout the play. Audrey II is voiced by Carter Cantrell and puppeteered by Matt Daniels and Gabriel Warren.

A lively pit orchestra, comprised of Western Hills Band members and conducted by Wallace, accompanies vocal numbers directed by Marsh.

The orchestra members include: Diana Rudic, Courtnie Carr, Meagan Henry, Ashleigh Johnson, Todd Stetler, Cameron Newton, Drew O’Dell, Chris Hughes, Parker Buckley, Noah Strunk, Dakota Winters, Shawn Pope, Austin Slucher, Jenny Carr, Evan Moore, Abby Weeks and Alex Silvernail. 

The pianists are Carey Durrett and Marsh. Additionally, the ensemble cast (Savannah Blalock, Lucy Buchanan, Noah Fields and Cordelia Jones) contributes an extra layer of song and character to keep the storyline moving.

Staying with the B-movie feel of the play, audience members can watch the carnivorous events of Skid Row unfold on a multi-dimensional set created and adorned by members of the backstage crew including Alex Sandefur, Leah Childs, Jennifer White, Philip Mattingly and Carter Smith. 

Sound and light technicians add their own creative twist to dramatize the show even further. They are Nic Miller, Courtney McDavid, Emily Schwarz, Noah Childers and Cheyenne Carter.

Tickets will be available for purchase at the door, priced at $8 for students and $10 for the general public.

“Little Shop Of Horrors” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

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