This week the Drama Studio of West Ashley High School (WAHS) presents the classic comedic musical Little Shop of Horrors. The cast, featuring more than 70 advanced drama students, plus members of the Travel Cats, a percussion segment of the school band, stages the comic rock musical with full orchestra arrangements of rock ‘n’ roll and early Motown music. The music, created by Mr. Steve Green of Island Sounds and composed by Alan Menken, promises toe-tapping audience participation and entertainment.
A doo-wop spoof, Little Shop of Horrors follows the misadventures of Seymour, a down-and-out floral assistant who longs to get the girl of his dreams and escape life on Skid Row. He 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, R&B-singing carnivore whom offers him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite, finally revealing itself to be an alien creature poised for global domination! The show ran for five years off-Broadway and won The New York Drama Critics award for Best Musical, along with other prestigious awards. “[This production] is not your typical high school show, and is certain to entertain and charm audiences of all ages,” says co-director Nancy Shurlds, who along with her fellow director Ellyn Winkles are also veterans of Broadway musical theater.
The carnivorous Audrey II, operated by puppeteers Brooks Moore and Brett Toth, was created by the Art Sculpture II class at West Ashley, under the supervision of Mr. Dan O’Brien and Mr. Walt Bazylewicz, and with fluorescent lighting and imaginative design, creates a dynamic effect in the production. The voice of the plant, provided by WAHS staff member Donald Newton adds an irresistible, high-spirited impact to the playful musical.
Talented singers and dancers from the Drama Studio enhance the production, which was made into a movie in 1986 and delighted viewers the world over. The West Ashley rendition casts Shane Williamson as Seymour and Kristi Thompson as Audrey, his unexpected love interest. Flower shop owners, Mr. and Mrs. Mushnik, played by Cullen Baldwin and Crista Moreland, add comedic aspects to the merriment of the show. Cast members, depicting the Drop-Outs, the Extremes, the Doo-Wops, the Shing-a-Lings, and other exuberant groups of singers and dancer, round out this high energy performance.
The WAHS Drama Studio presents Little Shop of Horrors May 22, 23, and 24 at 7 p.m. at the WAHS auditorium at 4060 W Wildcat Blvd. Tickets for the show may be purchased at the door for $10. “Will-call” tickets may be arranged by calling 573-1201, ext. 5213.

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