BY KATIE MARKERT - PONY EXPRESS
Editor’s note: This piece is provided by Hoof Prints, a partnership between the Stillwater Gazette and The Pony Express, Stillwater Area High School’s student newspaper. For more student news and views, see the Wednesday edition of the Gazette each week.
Blood. More blood. A creature that craves it, needs it to survive. Who could be responsible for the discovery and exposition of such an exotic and mysterious … plant? Stillwater Area High School theater students of course.
Students in drama club at SAHS are putting on the renowned musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors from February 28 through March 2. The show has graced stages as an Off-Broadway production and subsequently as a Broadway production all over the world.
The riveting musical tells the story of a garden shop worker who makes a shocking discovery that changes the course of his and his companions lives.
“Basically, there is a hero named Seymour who works in a little garden shop for a man named Mr. Mushnik. There is also a girl named Audrey who is the heroine, a love interest for Seymour. The business for the garden shop is not going very well, until a strange plant is delivered. Seymour is determined to help this plant grow, but just as he starts making progress, the plant develops some strange qualities that become life-threatening to Seymour and everyone around him,” Stillwater Area High School senior Libby Lambert said.
Seymour, the main character, becomes renowned when his discovery becomes common knowledge amongst community members.
According to mtishows.com, “A down-and-out skid row floral assistant becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. Soon ‘Audrey II’ grows into an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore who offers him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite.”
The plant, however, is not the only musically gifted character.
“My favorite musical number is ‘Suddenly Seymour’ because it shows Audrey and Seymour first having their real connection, and Audrey finally starts to notice how hard Seymour has fallen for her,” Stillwater Area High School sophomore Simon Leppicello said.
Many cast members believe the musical component holds much more weight than a regular play.
“I definitely prefer musicals over plays,” Lambert said. “I love music in general, and when you put together a show with acting, dancing and singing, I feel like I’m a part of something that has so much emotion. The whole show is just so enjoyable. I almost feel like there’s too much talking with regular plays.”
Under the direction of Haeri Tollefson, SAHS theater students receive a great amount of support and advisement while keeping a light and fun environment.
“Haeri has a huge amount of influence on everyone,” Leppicello said. “He is very intimidating, but not the mean way. You just really do not want to mess up when you’re around him. He is so fun to work with though, because he can show you different ways to say a line or act that can make it so much more important than you think the line actually is.”
Although SAHS students have performed many musicals, this one is proving to be different than past performances.
“The Little Shop of Horrors looks to be amazing,” Leppicello said. “I had never seen the musical until about a week before auditions, but my best friend kept talking it up, and it sounded truly incredible. I finally saw it, and I thought it was even better than what she made it out to be. It’s nothing we have ever done before.”
Over the next couple of months the cast will be sculpting and shaping the dark comedy to make it ready for audience viewing this spring.
Students in the drama club at Stillwater Area High School will perform the musical “Little Shop of Horrors” Feb. 28 through March 2. (Pony Express staff photos by Katie Markert)