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A man-eating plant has taken over St. Joseph-Ogden High School.
The SJO drama department is presenting “Little Shop of Horrors” at 7 p.m. on April 1 and 2 p.m. on April 2. Tickets are $9 for adults at the door.
Director Larry Williams will retire in May. He said deciding to make “Little Shop of Horrors” his last musical was an easy decision.
“It is something we did 20 years ago,” he said. “It was the first musical we did when we started doing musicals consistently.”
The musical focuses on Seymour Krelborn, an orphan living in skid row. Krelborn is in love with Audrey, his coworker at the Mushnik’s Skid Row Florists owned by Mr. Mushnik. Krelborn obtains a plant that looks like a large Venus fly trap that he names Audrey II.
The plant requires blood to survive and thrive. It grows larger and larger and becomes an attraction at the flower shop.
“Seymour is a nerdy guy, a nothing, a nobody,” said Tyler Bowlin, who portrays Seymour. “He is just trying to make it through and suddenly there is a plant that has brought all this success and change to this flower shop. His life starts to change and I guess it is about how he deals with this sudden change and success.”
Heidi Novak, who portrays Angel, said the play was different from previous plays she had been apart of.
“The people in this play are really struggling,” she said.
“Little Shop of Horrors is a part of a world we really haven’t seen,” he said.
After Krelborn stops feeding the plant it reveals it can speak and promises him all his dreams will come true if it is fed.
The plant then eats numerous people before the end of the play as Krelborn realizes the plant is from another planet and wants to take over earth.
Williams said that the cast is a perfect fit for the production.
“It just made sense to do this,” Williams said. “This is a show I really like and we have the right group of kids for it.”
More than 50 students are participating in the show. Williams said he hopes the audience appreciates the hard work the cast has put in to the production and doesn’t just focus on Audrey II.
“The problem with the show is there is the potential for the puppet to steal the show,” Williams said. “It’s one of the interesting facets of the show.”
Bowlin said he doesn’t think the audience understands how many hours go into creating the musical.
“What you see on stage was just nothing but a script on a page,” he said. “It takes a lot of work, time and analysis from everyone in the cast and crew to bring the script to life.”
Williams said the students are aware this is his last production.
“Some of them feel like they are being abandoned,” he said.
Bowlin said the fact that it is Williams’ last show has motivated the cast.
“We want the pieces to come together and to put on a fantastic show,” he said.
“This is his favorite,” she said. “If we don’t do a tremendous job I feel he will be disappointed. He wants it to be perfect. This is his goodbye.”