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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

An appetite that shows no bounds

Delavan-Darien High School presents "Little Shop of Horrors"

By Charlotte Huntley/Contributor

A cast of 50 talented and enthusiastic Delavan-Darien High School performers will bring the "Little Shop of Horrors" to the stage March 14-16.

Terry Mayer/The Week
Seymour Krelbourn (Michael Fell) is a young man with no future and no prospects.
Seymour Krelbourn (Michael Fell) is a young man with no future and no prospects.

An orphan, he has been raised by Mr. Mushnik (William Larson), who owns Mushnik's Skid Row Florist, where Seymour also works. Seymour's bright spot comes when he meets Audrey (Jordan Boardman), and he falls for her. However, he discovers that Audrey already has a boyfriend, Orin Scrivello, D.D.S. (Kevin Tully), and although Orin abuses her, she won't let Seymour take his place.

Seymour finds an unusual plant, and he names it Audrey II (Jeff Dixon); Mr. Mushnik makes plans to close the shop, but Seymour convinces him that the strange plant will save the shop. When Mr. Mushnik sees the potential for profit from the strange plant, he tries to adopt Seymour.

But the plant has strange tastes, and once Seymour discovers this, he secretly feeds it, and is rewarded with spectacular growth.

What follows is an appetite that knows no bounds, evil people who get their due and plans that go incredibly wrong.

Fell, a junior, says in the performances of Little Shop he has seen, Seymour was cast as a nerd, but Fell wants to present him more insecure than nerdy. "I think most people can relate to feeling alone." Fell has been in every D-DHS play and he has also directed the one-act plays.

He has also played in regional performances and was the liaison for getting the authentic dental chair on loan through staff member Michael Clickner from UW-Parkside Theatre, where Fell worked as an intern. He says. "It's surreal to be the lead. It's better than I could have imagined. I love it.

Boardman, a sophomore, has only one year of performances under her belt, but she fills the bill as Audrey. "She's kind of ditzy but she's really smart," she says of Audrey.

"And sweet," chimes in Sadie Jeninga, who plays one of the lead street urchins. Jeninga, a senior, says she sings "in 75 percent of the songs." She was the Yellow Narrator in "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat" as well as playing in the one-acts.

One of the supporting street urchins is played by Shaina Swann, who is also a senior. She has been performing "all my life," she says. Her first character that she remembers playing is in the Missoula Children's Theater where she was gnome No. 7 in "Rumplestiltskin."

William Larson, who has been in most of the D-DHS plays as well as all the musicals, outlines Mr. Mushnik's character. "He is Jewish. He's very angry. He is a greedy old, angry man."

"Little Shop of Horrors" is produced by Kerry Butitta and directed by a committee: Denise Olsen, from Good Company, Janet Palmer and James Larson. Larson also directs the music, works on the set design, lights and sound.

The set was built by the building construction class at D-DHS with the help of some parents.

The plant props are exactly like the design of the Broadway version of the musical, and the drama department purchased them through a loan from Future Business Leaders of American (FBLA) with plans to rent them out to other schools.

Other students involved in "Little Shop of Horrors" include Brian Kasun, understudy for Seymour; Michelle Hunter and Lydia Boardman as lead urchins; Shaina Swann, Kim Armstrong and Stephanie Stey as supporting urchins; Christine Danovich as understudy for the urchins; Emma Nebgen, Ali Cunningham and Josie Palmer as urchins; Matt Oninski as Bernstein/Radio Personality; Jeremy Littlejohn as Mrs. Luce; Jake Drefs as Skip Snipp; Kat Stemple as Mrs. Martin and Abe Nebgen is Audrey II puppeteer.

Supporting student members are: Heather Hazlett, Matt Trunk, Alexis Stemple, Clayton Irwin, Alicia Mueller, Justin Weber, Berisha Cary, Bryan Kasun, Jenny Hudy, Brandon Jeffrey, Emily Jeske, Merle Hansen, Rachel Lamb, Emily Mansfield, Tawni Boardman, Ashley Polster, Taylore Ransom, Sarah Finley, Libby Lamb, Liz Vegter, Guadalupe De La, Shelbie Atwell, Katie Marse, Megan Thiele, Nicole Ross, Sarah Nieuwenhuis, Greta Christianson, Jenna Williamson, Carolyn Christianson, Brittney Dixon and Maureen Cahill.

"It's one of our most talented casts that I've worked with," James Larson said. "The leads in particular are like they are hand-picked for them. [Fell] is the perfect Seymour."

Performances will be March 14 and 15 at 7 p.m. and March 16 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors, and $7 for adults.

Tickets are limited and there will not be an encore performance.

Tickets can be purchased online at tickets@ddschools.org or by calling the main office at 728-4429.

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