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Mason High feeds audience a 'Little Shop of Horrors'

Brian Patterson, a student from Langley High School, reviews George Mason High School’s “Little Shop of Horrors” as part of The Cappies Critics and Awards Program.

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Katie Buenneke, Sarah Rodock and Becca Ward from George Mason High School. (Photo by Yasmina Karrakchou)

Is nerdy little Seymour’s life finally turning around? Seems like it. He’s getting the girl, the money, the fame, but there’s one little problem. The unidentified plant that has brought him all this happiness is devouring his friends. This is the basic plot in “Little Shop of Horrors” performed by George Mason High School students.

The musical has gone from a smash hit off-Broadway production to feature film starring Rick Moranis and Steve Martin to high schools around the nation. The plot centers around the strange plant buff Seymour (Sam Waters) and his newfound subject Audrey II (Katie Loftur-Thun). Seymour’s popular plant is shooting his self esteem and popularity through the roof. Not to mention his florist shop’s sales have gone up tenfold, which puts a grin on shop owner Mr. Mushnik’s (Tom Shapiro) face. But the question arises: Is all of this too good to be true? Maybe so.

The cast truly appeared to have great camaraderie. Their enthusiasm impacted this performance in a very positive way, and the entire cast seemed to have as much fun as their audience.

Waters provided an admirable performance as Seymour. His character’s innocence was superb and his vocals were excellent. Sarah Johnson’s portrayal of Audrey was splendid, and she never missed a beat with her clueless character and heavy New York accent. Her hopeful outlook on life in her song “Somewhere That’s Green” was excellent. Not only did Waters and Johnson do well individually, but together their on-stage chemistry was superb.

Shapiro, as the grumpy, old shop owner, also gave a choice performance. His dancing and personality really shone in his duet with Seymour, “Mushnik and Son.” The Dentist played by Rand Walter left the audience in awe (or ahhhh!) in his song “Dentist.” Liz Morrison playing (Laronda) and Loftur-Thun playing Audrey II supplied the night with beautiful solos and comical one-liners. Miles Butler moved astonishingly across the stage as Satan watching the story unfold.

At times, some of the actors were inaudible. There appeared to be a shortage of microphones, but they recovered quickly and showed continued. The set gave the appearance of being the middle of an actual skid row street complete with graffiti-covered dumpsters and broken signs.

George Mason High School served its audience an appetizing performance of “Little Shop of Horrors,” while reminding them not to feed the plant or it might feed on you.

By Brian Patterson, Posted by Mario Iván Oña  |  December 16, 2009; 9:10 AM ET
 | Tags: Cappies 2009  
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