SWEET HOME — A three-girl Greek chorus, a blood-thirsty man-eating plant and a pair of lovesick flower shop co-workers will all greet Sweet Home theatergoers Thursday, Friday and Saturday as Sweet Home High School students stage the dark musical comedy "Little Shop of Horrors."
This is the first musical the school has put on since the late 1990s, according to co-director Alain Brown. Brown said he and music teacher Duncan Tuomi selected the campy musical because they wanted something with “a small cast and high name recognition. Most people are familiar with the movie.”
They knew it would be a challenge, but that challenge was heightened by the fact they have had to work around equipment being used to renovate the auditorium.
Another challenge is that lighting and sound equipment, including individual microphones, have been rented and cast members are becoming familiar with them.
A $2,000 grant from the Linn County Cultural Coalition provided funding to rent scripts, licensing fees and equipment rentals, Tuomi said.
“We asked for $1,000 and they gave us $2,000, which is greatly appreciated,” Tuomi said.
“The kids have picked things up very well,” Brown said. “We’ve had to rehearse in my room and Mr. Tuomi’s room. We tried to rent puppets (to portray the plant as it grows), but they were extremely expensive, so we looked on You Tube to see how other schools have done it and we made our own.”
Senior Colby Montigue, 18, is a veteran cast member among several novices, and plays lead character Seymour, a flower shop worker who pines for co-worker Audrey, played by Sidney Hooley, who dreams of life in the suburbs.
Seymour owns the man-eating plant, which he names Audrey II, played by junior David Briggs.
“It’s my first musical here, but I have been in smaller musical productions,” Montigue said. “It’s going well, of course it’s stressful, but everything is coming together. It’s awesome to see a play with so many rookies coming together.”
Hooley, a junior, said she has participated in several productions, but this is her first musical and she’s finding it requires “much more finesse. Your timing has to be perfect, but I’m loving it, although it is a bit stressful.”
Cast: Seymour: Colby Montigue; Audrey: Sidney Hooley; Mr. Mushnik: Jackson Musgrove; Orin: Nick Reves; Audrey II: David Briggs; Crystal: Jenae Ashton; Ronette: Jandy Drake; Chiffon: Holly Lester; Audrey II puppeteer: Josh Crawford; Ensemble: Breyann Babbitt, Allyssa Hartley-Davis, Rebekah Woody, Kylee Ceccato, Cedar Paris, Melissa Evans, Jessica Sanderson.
Musicians: piano, Braden Green; guitar, Matt Swenson; drums, Dylan Love.
Directors: Alain Brown and Duncan Tuomi. Music/choreography: Duncan Tuomi. Set design: Alain Brown. Art Design: Autumn Almanza; Lights/sound: Kris Ceccato.