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This musical has teeth

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After much speculation and anticipation, the music and drama departments revealed last month that the 2018 musical will be “Little Shop of Horrors.” While the musical has been highly requested by students participating in theatre, it is somewhat of a hidden gem to others.

“Little Shop has been one of my favorite musicals for a long time,” Kara Levchenko, Central’s new choir teacher said when asked about the musical. “I was excited when Mrs. Tickle-Rupe, Mrs. Perry and I realized it would be a great, fresh option for the talent we have here at Central. I’m a huge fan of the R&B, blues and gospel feel [that] the musical has, and l feel that the social issues/undertones brought up throughout the show are incredibly relevant today.”

The musical, set in the 1960s, follows Seymour Krelborn, a meek flower shop worker, living on the run-down streets of skid row. The flower shop where Seymour works is run by Mr. Mushnik, a greedy older man who mistreats Seymour. One day Seymour stumbles upon a strange, otherworldly plant, and names it Audrey 2, after his ditsy co-worker and love interest, Audrey. Desperate to save his failing flower shop, Mushnik allows Seymour to put the plant in the front window. Suddenly business starts booming, and things are looking up for Seymour, all because of the plant. But things quickly go south when it is revealed that Audrey 2 needs human blood to survive. The jazzy comedic musical, while having a darker plot, is lightened up with its eclectic cast of characters and upbeat music.

“Alan Menken has written tons of music, from ‘The Little Mermaid’ to ‘Newsies,’” Levchenko said. “Little Shop of Horrors is one of the only musicals where he’s been able to compose for himself and celebrate his favorite kinds of music to write and perform. Additionally, the dark, twisted plot of the musical does not at all match the upbeat blues and doo-wop feel of the music, adding another unique component to the show.”

The 1982 musical is based upon the 1960 film “The Little Shop of Horrors.” The musical was then adapted into the 1986 movie-musical starring Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene. The film had two endings. The one similar to the musical’s ending was not initially released with the film.

“My favorite part of the show is the ending,” Levchenko said. “It is so outrageous and unexpected. Plus, the finale is a fantastic song! I hope everyone is able to come out and see it!”

The production, scheduled for early spring, is directed by Levchenko, Sylvia Tickle-Rupe, the new drama teacher, and Jennifer Perry, the orchestra teacher.

“I am most looking forward to teaching the music and seeing the performers give it their all,” Levchenko said. “This show is vocally demanding, and I can’t wait to see students rise to the challenge and step out of their comfort zones.”

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