A Spooky Spectacular: “Little Shop of Horrors”

Characters Seymour and Audrey singing during the community performance.

By Jojo Beiza, Staff Writer

With its first debut in 1982, the production “Little Shop of Horrors” has been around for some time. As a Broadway show and an actual movie, many around the world have seen the sci-fi comedy musical. Many of which include our Niles West community. This past weekend, the Niles West Theatre department presented the friends and family of Skokie with five shows of “Little Shop of Horrors”.

“Little Shop of Horrors” is a sci-fi comedy musical, in which the majority of the time is spent at Mr. Mushnik’s failing flower shop. Seymour, played by sophomore Jake Pranian, is an employee at the shop, has a major crush on his co-worker, Audrey, who is played by senior Lorelei Wernecke. Both working at a failing business, any ideas of money being brought into the shop are highly welcomed.

One day, Seymour stumbled upon a rather odd plant. Not knowing any better, he names his new moneymaker after his heart breaker, “Audrey II”. After notifying Mr. Mushnik, better known as senior Wei Lin, about the new addition to the shop, word gets around and brings Seymour fame and success.

In return, the plant needs to be fed, but its only request is human blood. Seymour then makes small talk with Audrey’s current abusive boyfriend, Orin. He then proceeds to kill him as he could then feed his flourishing plant, which only blooms to be an aggressive plant that ends up eating Audrey herself.

Beginning from scratch, the theatre department has put in a total of five weeks to prep for the five shows. With this time crunch, it was certainly stressful and not at all frustrating, according to Wernecke.

“Audrey has been a dream role of mine for years, so getting to check this show off my bucket list with such an amazing company beside me was a dream. I felt like I got to put a different spin on Audrey who is often portrayed as a “dumb blonde” who puts herself in the abusive relationship we first see her in. I feel like I gave her a voice,” Wernecke said.

With costumes, lights, and all the fascinating details that bring a show together, the music aspect plays a substantial role in a musical. Senior Sachio Nang was in charge of it all, as he took the role of music director.

“This was my first musical as the music director, also directing the bad. It was an amazing experience being able to conduct and play the piano at the same time. The band consisted of all professional musicians, so our rehearsals went very smooth! It’s such an honor and a privilege to be directing all adults,” Nang said. “Little shop was such a fun show to do, and I’m glad I was able to direct the band”.

Despite actually being apart of the production, Little Shop of Horrors was a hit to all. Senior Maral BatdelgerĀ couldn’t be happier with her choice to go and watch it.

“The actors interacted with the audience and the music was really upbeat and fun. It was the perfect play for this time of year because Halloween is just around the corner. The actors looked like they were having so much fun I wanted to just get up and join them,” Batdelger said.

The Niles West Theatre department did a phenomenal job in staying true to the Broadway version of “Little Shop of Horrors” as well as never stopping to captivate and hold the audience’s attention throughout the entirety of the musical.