By Jeff Bahr
Kearny High School will be staging the “Little Shop of Horrors” musical in the school’s auditorium beginning March 22. The first “Horrors” musical of 1986, written by Howard Ashman and composed by Alan Menken, was based on its first incarnation, a black comedy of the same name that debuted in 1960.
The musical has proven itself immensely popular since its first curtain raising, a fact evidenced by the countless theater companies that continue to perform it.
The plot is nothing short of fantastical. It looks at a down-and-out floral assistant who becomes an overnight sensation after discovering an exotic plant with a craving for fresh blood. Dubbed “Audrey II,” the ill-tempered, foul-mouthed R&B-singing carnivore offers the man fame and fortune in exchange for regular feedings. To his great dismay, however, the man soon learns that Audrey II is in fact an alien creature (do you suppose?) with one overriding objective: It’s greatest thirst is for global domination.
The idea to perform this particular show came about much as it always does, explained Brian Toal, the play’s director. “We always try to choose a show that we think the students will enjoy performing in, as well as one that will be perceived well by the potential audience. We wanted to find one that was a little upbeat and humorous this year, and felt that ‘Little Shop’ really fit everything we were looking for.”
John Bednarczyk serves as the scene and lighting director, Ed Garguilo as the music director, and Kathy Astrella ties up loose ends as the business manager.
“The ticket sales go directly to supporting the show,” said Toal. “We are completely self-funded, so all the money we make goes into securing the rights for next year’s show, buying the costumes, paying the orchestra, etc.”
All performances will be held in the Kearny High School Auditorium on March 22, 23, and 24 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and senior citizens.