RCHS talent shines in “Little Shop of Horrors”


Taylor Birdwell

Playing the lead of Seymore, junior Ethan Park jumps into the mouth of Audrey II in Act 2 of the play.

The RCHS drama department put on its annual spring musical, “Little Shop of Horrors,” March 9-11, with four showings. The show debuted on Thursday, March 9 at 7 p.m., and was held in the RCHS auditorium.

“Little Shop of Horrors” is an adaptation of the 1960 American horror comedy classic about a floral shop owner who discovers a new species of plant, that has a strange lust for human blood.

The final performance took place on Saturday, March 10 at 7 p.m., with the Skid Row cast taking the stage. Junior Ethan Park, who played Seymore in the Skid Row cast, was excited about his role in the production. The production included talent across two casts: the Skid Row cast and the Downtown cast.

“It feels great; it’s my first lead in a school production, so I’m really excited about that,” said Park. “There’s been a lot of work to it, but I’m just really excited to be in a show with all my friends.”

Junior Ethan Park (Seymore) and sophomore Jacob Fountain (Orin Scrivello, DDS) act out a funny scene during the RCHS production of “Little Shop of Horrors.” (The Cat’s Eye Staff)

The auditorium on Saturday night was filled with family, friends, students, and administrators on Saturday closing night. The crowd was very active as they were cheering and clapping along with the play, highly supporting the young actors. With some in the audience yelling things such as “Go Abby” and “I love you, Ethan!” during the performance.

“This is the biggest crowd we have ever had at a show,” Mr. James Loudermilk, the RCHS drama teacher, said during his speech at the closing of the show on Saturday.

Even though the set of the show was intended to resemble the run-down town of Skid Row, it was vibrant with color, and the audience could see every detail that went to every plant and crack in the walls. Part of creating the stage atmosphere included an elaborate lighting set-up and team. Junior Andy Hook served as the light lead for the show. He was in charge of the stage lighting.

“As the light lead [lighting crew] likes to add atmosphere to the stage to bring it to life,” said Hook. “We have about 200 lighting queues – 156 on stage lights.”

Senior Precious Ani voiced Audrey II in the Skid Row cast. (Taylor Birdwell)

The big show stopper was Audrey ll, the plant that Seymore cultivates and grows by feeding it drops of human blood and eventually people pieces. The puppet was magnificent from its start as a potted plant to its end as the big beast that it was. It was simply to die for.

There is no doubt about the amount of work and effort that was put into the show. With auditions starting in early December, and rehearsals starting in January and lasting all the way to the debut of the show in March, these young performers and the tech crew dedicated hours after school each day and even some weekends.

“[Clue] was a lot more acting [than] musicals,” sophomore and ensemble member Taryn Ababo said. “We have to go far, we have to learn harmony, we have to do singing rehearsals and learn the harmonies. We have to do dancing which we never had to do during Clue.”

At the end of the closing night, the cast, crew, and audience were delighted by a special surprise message from the actor who played Seymore in the original Broadway production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” Lee Willkof.

This was a special surprise from the cast and crew to their director Loudermilk to thank him for all of the work he put into the show. Wilkof congratulated Loudermilk for the production of the show, and he even sang a part of the ballad of “Suddenly Seymour,” a song from the show.

RCHS’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors” was a crowd favorite. The show was not a walk in Skid Row, but a ride of a lifetime. It left the audience wishing they could see more. To view the production’s Playbill, visit this link.