By MIKE CHAIKEN
“Little Shop of Horrors” had a humble beginnings as a cheesy black and white. It later found a renewed life at hip movie theaters who specialized in midnight screenings.
Eventually, this little bit of cheese was transformed into a hip stage musical by composer Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman (who later created Disney’s “Little Mermaid”). And it gained a younger audience when “Little Shop of Horrors” was turned back into a movie directed by Frank Oz (of “Muppets” fame).
This weekend, Bristol Central High School Footlights takes this musical— a tribute to bad horror movies, early rock and roll, and doo wop music— to the high school stage.
Katerina Levasseur, who plays the love interest, “Audrey,” said, “I like that ‘Little Shop…’ isn’t a serious show. It gives us a lot to work with in terms of acting and being comedic with our performances. It’s also the only show that has a talking/singing killer plant in it. Overall, I love how unique the show itself is; the voice of the plant… brings so much life to the character of ‘Audrey 2’ (the man-eating plant from outer space), which makes the show so very amusing.”
Adam Flores, who plays the hero “Seymour,” said, “I love how the story from the show can be sarcastic, satirical, and hilarious, while still being emotionally touching at times. It really provides the audience with a full spectrum of feelings and enough quirky moments to make sure there is never a dull moment. Personally, I think the uniqueness of every character is so amusing and adds up to a great time on stage.”
As noted by Adam, the show has its share of amusing characters.
Katerina loves her character. But in addition to “Audrey”, she said, “I’d have to say my absolute favorite character in the show is Audrey 2 [the plant]. Audrey 2 is so sassy and arrogant and the thing is, she doesn’t care, which is awesome. But the real main attraction are the musical numbers that include Audrey 2… let’s just say you’ll thoroughly enjoy every one of them.”
“Other than my own character,” said Adam, “I think that the combo of Audrey and Audrey II is awesome. Audrey has such a funny and entertaining role and Audrey II adds a jazzy, sassy side to the show.”
Of course, “Little Shop of Horrors” is a stage musical, and Katerina said, “I absolutely love the music in the show because it’s very upbeat and catchy. I find that most of the songs are relatable, which makes it so much easier to get into character while singing them.”
Adam said, “Besides the amazing cast, the music is my favorite part of the show. It gives me a chance to really bring life to the character and adds a whole new dimension.”
Katerina said teens will be drawn to the show because “the basic plot is people wanting to get out of the place that they live, which rings true for most high school kids. We all want to be ‘Somewhere That’s Green’ (a song in the show). But also the plant is extremely funny and amusing as well as the music and humor.”
“I think my peers are going to love the show,” said Adam. “It’s full of so many great moments, along with some timeless music. It’s a story that even though it seems so outlandish, can still be related to.”
And the show will appeal to just about everyone not just their peers, said Katerina. “The show is intended for all ages and does have something for everyone. Adults will love the message and the music— as well as the humor— and the kids will love the plant and the interesting costumes/ set.”
“I think people from the rest of the community will enjoy the show because the music is fantastic,” said Adam. “Footlights has an amazing reputation.”
Additionally, said Adam, “It’s a better than staying home on a Friday night. Not to mention, the hilarious plot and the awesome props involved.”
Bristol Central High School Footlights performs “Little Shop of Horrors” at the high school, 480 Wolcott St., Bristol on Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 29 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 for students and children and $12 for general admission.
By MIKE CHAIKEN