Swallowed up in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’
The talking plant known as Audrey II has taken up residence in Hibriten High School’s theatre, currently known as “Skid Row.” The gigantic flora with razor sharp teeth and a wide mouth is gobbling up Skid Row residents left and right, and all because Seymour, played by Isaac Tuttle, wanted to impress a girl.
“Little Shop of Horrors” is a musical that delves into many high school student-relatable themes with catchy songs and a twisted sense of humor.
Set in the 1950s, Seymour is a misunderstood, clumsy character who can only stand by and watch the love of his life, Audrey, played by Naomi Askew, go out with guy after terrible guy. When Seymour finds an unusual plant, he hopes that not only will his boss’s flower shop see more profits but that he will be able to woo Audrey with his newfound popularity. However, Seymour finds out that the only way the plant will grow is through a strict diet of blood, and soon, the plant needs more blood than Seymour can provide.
Fun show tunes aside, the show leaves the audience with a lot to think about when they leave Skid Row for home. Audrey’s plotline focuses on abusive relationships and how she feels that she’s not worthy enough of a sweet guy like Seymour. Her physically and verbally abusive boyfriend, Orin, played by Bergsvein Toverud, is also addicted to the drugs he uses on his dental patients. Meanwhile, Seymour is willing to sacrifice everything, including hurting himself in order to gain popularity and fortune, which ultimately leads to his downfall. These lessons in morality are the true focus of the story and give this musical incredible depth.
Toverud stole the show with his portrayal as the abusive, motorcycle-riding dentist who enjoys cutting back on the Novocain in order for his patients to feel the pain.
Askew also draws the spotlight during her haunting number “Somewhere That’s Green.”
The musical crew is adjusting to having a live orchestra for the first time. Pay attention during the show, or you may miss some lines or lyrics due to difficulty with the sound. However, the student actors try to overcompensate for this to project their voices to the back rows.
The costumes for the show are bright and loud, perfect for the sounds of the Doo Wop Girls and authentic ‘50s vibe. The sets are extensive, and the giant plant puppets that grow and grow are hilarious and outrageous.
“Little Shop of Horrors” opens tonight at 7 p.m. at Hibriten High School. The show continues on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults. Book and lyrics are by Howard Ashman with music by Alan Menken.