DOWNEY - Under the direction of Lars Hansen, Downey High School's drama department successfully performed rock musical "Little Shop of Horrors," the first of its kind in many years.The musical revolves around a run-down flower shop known as Skid Row Florists, owned by the grouchy Mushnik (Nick Mezeraani). At first, there is not much to do for Mushnik and his two workers Seymour (Carlos Gamboa) and Audrey (Selena Dolmuz), because hardly anyone visits the shop. But everything changes when Seymour finds a carnivorous plant, which he names Audrey II in honor of his co-worker. Suddenly, the flower shop is up and running again as the plant attracts curious visitors. Unlike the roses in the flower shop, Audrey II does not thrive on water. Seymour discovers that the only way to feed Audrey II is to give up his own blood. Blinded by the prospects of becoming famous and winning Audrey's love, Seymour willingly pricks his finger to feed this unusual plant that cries, "Feed me, Seymour!" This method only works for a while, however, as Audrey II exponentially increases in size and demands for more blood. Eventually, the characters are fed to Audrey II one by one. They come back from the dead and declare that these carnivorous plants must not be fed no matter what, or else they will multiply and take over the planet. Despite the limited size of the school theater, Hansen and his crew managed to overcome technical problems by the opening night of the musical. Through the collaboration of many departments on campus, "Little Shop of Horrors" came to life. "We have a lot of talented drafters and crafters on campus and they were willing to use their talents in creating the innovative puppets that 'Little Shop' demands," said Hansen. "I love terrible sci-fi movies and the ones that are truly entertaining are the ones where the actors don't know they're in a bad movie. They are acting like the cheesy special effects are the real thing. 'Little Shop' is exactly like that." The musical attracted large audiences of all age groups, and nearly all of the school administrators were in attendance. Glowing reviews over the loudspeaker during morning announcements encouraged the cast and crew to perform to the best of their abilities. "I'm blown away by the response this play received," said Hansen. "All the cast and crew knew going into the production that they were going to be a part of something very special. We never deviated from our goal and the audience size and response every night was evidence enough that we had done our jobs. I'm very pleased with how everything came together as a whole." Downey High's production of "Little Shop of Horrors" exceeded all expectations with its lively music and creative special effects. The talented cast and crew have proven that they are capable of taking on any challenge, whether it be memorizing their parts or escaping the depths of Audrey II's stomach.
********** Published: May 19, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 5