When a plant is thirsty for blood.
A murderous black comedy unfolds when Wakatipu High pupils perform rock-shock musical Little Shop of Horrors at Memorial Hall next week.
The show, about a miserable florist worker who rears a plant that thrives on blood, follows on the heels of Fame last year and 2007’s For Today.
The 80 Year 7-13 students – cast, band, singers and backstage helpers – excel in the odd-ball choice of show, director and school head of drama Becs McArthur says.
“It seemed to suit the kids and it’s something a little different – you don’t get too many [musicals] with a giant plant that likes to eat humans” she says.
“And it’s just a really nice group of kids, they’re all working together.”
Little Shop of Horrors was adapted from cult director Roger Corman’s adventurous 1960 film of the same name.
The original musical premiered off Broadway in 1982 to critical acclaim and was adapted for the big screen in 1986. Little Shop of Horrors made its debut on the Broadway stage in 2003.
It tells of poor florist employee Seymour Krelborn and a mysterious plant he buys and names after his co-worker and secret crush Audrey.
But Krelborn, who works for financially strapped Mr Mushnik, finds out Audrey the plant lives on human blood – which has consequences when he starts to feed it.
The story unfolds to 1960s rock ‘n’ roll, doo-wop and early Motown tunes, including the title song, Skid Row (Downtown), Somewhere That’s Green and Suddenly Seymour.
If you’ve seen the 1960 film, be prepared for a shock – the musical has a completely different ending.
Little Shop of Horrors plays nightly at 7pm from Tuesday, June 16, to Friday, June 19.
Tickets at $15 for adults and $10 for pupils and children are available from the school office or at the door from 6.30pm.
Star cast: the main characters
Rick’s been dying to play a lead character after being an extra in Fame. The Year 12 student’s is “excited” to take centre stage, giving up after-school footy training to concentrate on playing Mushnik – “an angry man who’s going horribly with his business and hates his life”.
Female lead Alana says the musical “finishes off [my] year”. The Year 13 pupil, who started
at Wakatipu High this year after moving from Gore, says Audrey
is everything she’s not: “She’s an ex-prostitute, ditzy and doesn’t have a clue what’s going on.”
Caleb returns to the stage after performing in Showbiz Queenstown’s Les Miserables last month. He plays “a shy, well-meaning little guy who ends up getting into a whole heap of trouble when he kills people”. A fair effort for a pupil who says he “thought musicals were gay” before making his debut as Sonny in Showbiz Queenstown’s production of Grease last year.
Year 12 student Bruno played a teacher in both For Today and Fame, so he’s shrugging off the conservative tag with this role – “an Italian-American gangster-type guy who’s also a sadistic dentist”.
His favourite part of the show?
“At some point I end up with
a dancer on my lap.”