|WHAT: Little Shop of Horrors|
WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday; and 2 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Desert Edge High School, 15778 W. Yuma Road, Goodyear
COST: $8 for students and $10 for adults
Desert Edge High School is set to perform the dark musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors by Howard Ashman starting Thursday through Saturday.
For those who may have seen the 1986 movie rendition with Rick Moranis, this play will have a surprising ending.
“A lot of people are familiar with the movie. But the play, as it was originally written, has a much more dark ending,” play Director Fran Rosaly said.
However, that ending will remain a surprise until the audience watches the play.
“It’s very enjoyable. Even though it’s a dark one, it’s very family-friendly and a good time,” Rosaly said.
The story centers around three main characters, Mr. Mushnik, Seymour and Audrey who all work at a floral shop on Skid Row. Seymour discovers a plant from outer space, which brings him fame and fortune, and names it Audrey Two.
The otherworldly plant doesn’t just feed off water and sunlight like most plants do, but also demands blood. In order to keep Audrey Two happy, Seymour must figure out how to feed it while pursuing the love of his life, Audrey.
One of the largest challenges Desert Edge’s theater team has faced with the production is the puppetry.
Rosaly said she and the drama team were not able to rent an Audrey Two puppet and had to make it themselves.
“It’s been a great process learning how to build puppets because I’ve never done it before,” she said.
The majority of actors in Desert Edge’s Little Shop of Horrors are high school seniors. For many of the students, it will be their last time in a major high school production.
“It’s been a lot of fun getting to know all these people, you get really close with them and it’s going to be hard to leave them, and getting to know Rosaly,” said Abraham Nava, a 17-year-old senior.
Abraham has been with the drama team since he started high school four years ago, and had a role in last year’s production of Annie.
His character, Mr. Mushnik, is an older man who owns the floral shop where Seymour and Audrey work.
“I play a lot of older characters, so just differentiating between all of them is kind of a challenge,” he said. “But also it’s a lot of fun.”
Andy Garza, an 18-year-old senior, plays the role of Seymour, who Andy describes as “very shy” and “socially awkward.”
“He sees that he’s stuck in a rut … and desperate to get out of Skid Row and make something of himself,” Andy said of why Seymour keeps the blood-thirsty plant.
In a lot of ways, the audience might find Seymour relatable because he doesn’t see his own talent, Andy said.
“He doesn’t see his own personality as unique or different or special, he sees it as a negative thing that people can’t accept, and that’s what a lot of people usually see within themselves,” he said.
Both Andy and Abraham hope to attend the University of Arizona in Tucson next year. Andy plans to study professional singing and Abraham plans on going into marketing.
Fellow 18-year-old senior Demi Romeo will play the role of Audrey, who works at the floral shop, has low self-esteem and is secretly in love with Seymour.
Romeo said the play is a “good way to end senior year” and the drama team has become like a family to her over the last four years.
She said she hopes to attend Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff or the University of Arizona to become a music or theater teacher one day.
This is Romeo’s first time in a lead role.
“It’s fun, I’m really excited,” she said.
As a freshman and sophomore, she said she worked mostly backstage and her first role was in last year’s production of Grease.
Attending the show
Romeo said community members should go out to the play because “Desert
Edge is known for putting on some great productions.”
“Little Shop of Horrors is a classic. It’s funny in its own way, even though it’s dark,” Romeo said.
The show will run at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday.
Tickets are $8 for students and $10 for adults and can be purchased at the door.
Charity Yodis can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @ckyodis.