Little Shop Of Horrors

On Saturday night, the whole family went to see Little Shop Of Horrors at Hamilton High School in Sussex. And I would have to say that it was the best high school production that we have seen in a number of years.

Over the last couple of years, we have attended a handful of musicals and plays presented by the Hamilton Drama Dept. and, for the most part, they have been about what you would expect from a bunch of high school students; not spectacular but not terribly awful either. Many times, the issues have been more with the facility than anything else. The Hamilton Fine Arts Center is this cavernous, 750 seat theatre with acoustics that are not as great as they should be. On top of that the principal actors are usually mic’ed and the microphones don’t always come on before the actor starts speaking.

In contrast to our previous experiences, Little Shop Of Horrors was an amazing show. The actress that played Audrey and the actor that played Seymour were absolutely perfect for their roles. The girl playing Audrey looked and acted almost identically to actress that played her in the movie, right down to the squeaks in her voice. I normally don’t like to compare live theatre with movies but because Ellen Greene played that role in the movie and on Broadway, it is still a fair comparison.

All of the students involved in the show did an outstanding job. The dancing and singing were excellent by the soloists as well as the ensemble. The set was excellent, functional, and completely fit on this extremely large stage. Even the pit orchestra did a fabulous job.

My only criticism of the entire show would be around the placement of the Audrey II plant on the stage in the later parts of the show. We were sitting in the house right balcony and the plant was placed upstage left. From our angle in the house, it was mostly blocked by a downstage brick wall representing skid row. I’m sure the reason for the placement of Audrey II had something to do with providing an egress route for the actors eaten by the plant. If this is the reason, then the upstage wall should have been moved to allow a clear view from the entire house.

All and all, it was a wonderful show. The cast and crew should be commended for a great production.

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