Watsonville High School seniors Nikki Gonzales (from left), Jeremy Carter and Andrew Burnett work through a scene of "Little Shop of Horrors" Wednesday at the Mello Center. (Photos by Tarmo Hannula).
WATSONVILLE — A flesh-eating alien plant will soon take over the Mello Center in Watsonville.
Watsonville High School’s drama department will perform its spring musical, “Little Shop of Horrors,” this Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and May 4-5 at 7:30 p.m. Two matinee performances will be offered on Sunday and May 6 at 2 p.m.
“The audience can expect a lot of fun, amazing dancing, amazing music and great choreography,” director Kip Allert said. “The kids are having a blast doing it.”
The one hour and 20-minute play is a dark comedy based on the 1960 film “Little Shop of Horrors.” It centers around Seymour Krelbourn (played by WHS senior Jeremy Carter), who is a poor young man who works at a run-down flower shop, while daydreaming of dating his coworker, Audrey (played by WHS senior Nikki Gonzales).
When Seymour stumbles upon an unusual plant one day, he displays it in the shop window, and the customers start flocking to the store, bringing Seymour fame and fortune, and who he most wants — Audrey.
However, the plant, who is named Audrey II, is actually an alien that feeds on human blood.
“(The play) is really funny with some dark humor in there,” Carter said.
The play will feature a variety of 1950s and 1960s rock scores, from Doo Wop and Motown to a little tango. A live band will be performing during the play.
“I love this play,” Allert said. “I like doing rock musicals, because it’s something the kids can relate to.”
What really makes the play stand out from other productions of “Little Shop of Horrors,” Allert said, is the addition of an eight-member dance ensemble.
The plant, Audrey II, is actually a series of four different puppets, reflecting the plant’s growth over time. The plant is voiced by WHS senior Chris Ramirez, and is puppeteered by junior Deanna Winn.
The entire production team for the play consists of approximately 30 people, Allert said.
This is the first time Gonzales, who plays Audrey, has sung solo in a musical. She’s used to blending in with an ensemble, she said, but now all eyes will be on her.
“I love theater,” she said. “I’ve been doing theater since second grade.”
Another first for the cast will be for WHS senior Alfonso Quintero, who plays shop owner Mr. Mushnik. This will be his first lead role.
“I’m nervous because it’s my first lead role,” he said. “I love being here.”
WHS senior Andrew Burnett plays seven different roles, a challenge that he relishes.
“The only difficult part is the costume changes,” he said. “It’s really hard to change in a snap.”
“Little Shop of Horrors” will be the fourth play for WHS senior Alexis Vargas, who plays one of the divas, Chiffon.
“I like the whole rush and excitement when stepping on the stage,” she said.
The WHS drama department, which has performed plays such as “Zoot Suit,” “Grease” and “Footloose” in previous years, plans to keep up the momentum with “Little Shop of Horrors,” and even surpass it.
“‘Grease’ is a walk in the park compared to this one,” Allert said. “I anticipate the audience to be in awe.
At a glance
WHAT: “Little Shop of Horrors.”
WHEN: Friday and Saturday, and May 4-5 at 7:30 p.m. Two matinee performances will be offered on Sunday and May 6 at 2 p.m.
WHERE: Mello Center, 250 East Beach St., Watsonville.
TICKETS: Advance: $7, at the door: $10. Tickets can be purchased at www.watsonvillehs.net, Celebrations Party and Rentals, 1459 Freedom Blvd., or at Crossroads Books, 1935 Main St.
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