“Suddenly Seymour” Hit the Stage with Somerset’s Production of Little Shop of Horrors

You should have seen this "Big green mother from Outer space"

Sally Brown, Content Editor

“Tell your mama…” that Somerset’s Little Shop of Horrors (March 5-7 2020) was a SCARY great hit performance of the chilling tale depicting one man’s inner struggle against a mysteriously murderous plant from Outer space, Audrey II. From the painstaking prop and set designs to the viciously vibrant vocals, the Drama Club did its predecessors on Broadway and the silver screen justice.

 

“All you have to have is a little heart” commented Mrs. Feierstein, the director.

 

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“Don’t feed the plants!”

 

Sebastien Venerin, though towering over the rest of the cast, was able to overcome his lack of “shortcomings” to present a nervous and unsure epitome of a tragic hero. Like Seymour, he not only generated sympathy from the audience but developed as an individual; and presumably left the play with a boost of confidence. Ms. Horsley, the vocal director even remarked that “Sebastien is not even the same kid”.

 

When asked “what the audience can learn from Seymour’s tragic fall from grace”, Sebastien answered “…just because your gaining something from it doesn’t mean you should do it… sometimes you just gotta do what’s right.”

 

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Seymour says one last goodbye to his dear Audrey

 

Those who know the musical may have found it odd that in this production Audrey had no singing roles, however, supported by the sumptuous Stoop Girls, she was still able to give a strong and high pitch performance of a downtrodden young woman. She over the top stylish persona did little to overshadow Alexandria Perry’s effective acting that relayed her difficult past and insufficient self-worth when confronting her sadistic dentist boyfriend, the dentist played by Saeed Chamas.

 

Alexandria Perry, like her character Audrey, is a kindred spirit to her “Seymour” and supported her counterpart Sebastien who reported that, “the person who helped me the most mentally was Alex…”.

 

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Audrey overcomes her abusive boyfriend to be eaten by a killer plant

 

They say a character is only as good as their worst villain, though the Dentist did not reach the levels of the villainy of the imperial plant, Saeed Chamas’s performance stole the stage with his enormous personality and wildly sophisticatedly sadistic sung “Dentist!”.

 

As mentioned by Kaci McKean, the chilling performance of the villains, like the Dentist, is the embodiment of the show.

 

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“I’m dating a semi-sadist”-Audrey

Kineret Zaccaria, when asked about Mushnik’s “gender-swap”, had expressed some concern, remarking that “At the beginning [I was concerned] because it was difficult to live up to Mushniks standards and I’m still nervous”. However, with her perfect pronunciation of Yiddish terms and yenta like attitude, she managed to capture the condescending bravado of Mr. Mushnik with a feminine twist.

 

“I kinda relate to Mushnik because I’m an old soul and I like screaming at people who mess up”, said Zaccaria.

 

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“Mushnik & Son!
Sounds great
Three words with the ring of fate!”

 

The stoop girls, taking inspiration from the Choruses of Greek tragedies, were loved by the audience, but successfully kept the audience’s attention directed at Seymour. The Stoop Girls offered an insight into both the main characters and the oblivious citizenry of Skid Row. Their strong, almost sister like chemistry, they represented the true heart and soul of the production’s Family-like atmosphere.

 

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The Stoop Girls preforming “Little Shop of Horrors” at the last Pep Rally

 

The stage manager, Grace Rinier, said, “Over the course of the past few months both cast and crew became a family while working together. It’s what made it so special for everyone…Coming out of the show, I hope to keep some of the relationships I’ve built with both cast and crew. It’s been an incredible experience!”

 

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Audrey saying goodbye to the Director after months of Blood, Sweat, and Tears

 

After a period of uncertainty in the casting of the homicidal plant, Coach Feierstein stepped off the field and onto the stage. Though the catchy song “Mean Green Mother from Outer Space” was to be missed, His performance, partnered with the lifelike puppeteering of Leo Pastro, successfully performed one of the most memorable roles of the show with all the creepy flair of the 1986 movie and the hysterical charm one comes to expect from a Dark Comedy.

 

Kaci McKean, a member of the ensemble, chuckled that she liked “the plant part because it’s kinda funny”.

 

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“It’s Suppertime!”

 

The set design was worth the reportedly long process. All the plant monster variations were built from the ground up and designed by the Production’s director Debbie Feierstein as well as the set. According to the stage manager, the set and props took inspiration from both the movie and the Broadway show. The minimum number of set changes of the original show lent itself well to the school’s production in contrast to last year’s production of Grease where there were constant set changes. Overall, the set managed to convey the 60s era setting of the horrific Skid row and innocent appearance of the little flower shop.

 

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“Down on Skid Row”

“The set and costume designs can heavily influence the attitude of the cast. With a well thought out, cohesive set like we had this year, the atmosphere changed. It got everyone excited for the production” the stage manager also stated.

 

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Just plain scary fun

 

The cast, guided by the knowledge of Mrs. Debbie Feierstein and Mrs. Horsley, was able to come together as one unit. For example, the choreography, directed in part by Debbie, and vocal coaching by Mrs. Horsley came together to create a graceful ballet, dare one say, like a Broadway production.

 

“They have gone from being soloist to being a cast…even though the lead lost her singing voice the week before the show everyone came together to push through…” Mrs. Horsley commented.

 

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The citizenry of “Skid Row” unwinding before their final show

 

Somerset’s production The Little Shop of Horrors possessed all the stylish scare factor of the original show with a whole new take. The Drama Club has come into its own and will continue its growth next year in its production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

 

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This Cast was “Green and Mean” when warning the audience to not feed the plants

 

The stage manager concluded her interview with some insight into her hopes for the future, “In the years to come I can’t wait to see all of the incredible things our theater program pushes out. I know that it’ll be great!”

 

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Sound Crew, manged by Coach Eric DeSousa