In her directing debut, senior Carla Kronsbein put together a brilliant show.
The musical follows the blunders and misdeeds of Seymour Krelborn, played by Zachary Peck. He starts as a lowly orphan born of the poor urban town Skid Row, and the plot follows his rise to fame and fortune.
Seymore begins in a floundering flower shop ran by Mrs. Mushnik. Mrs. Mushnik is the greedy mother figure to Seymore. The flower shop is nearly out of business when Seymour shows that he has discovered a new type of plant that is sure to bring in more business.
To bolster the store’s reputation and impress his taken crush, Audrey, Seymour begins to feed the plant blood. Audrey is in an abusive relationship with Dr. Orin Scrivello D.D.S. The dentist is a sadistic boyfriend who regularly beats and verbally abuses her.
As the plant begins to grow, its appetite begins to move from blood to something more deadly, and Seymour, under false promises of fame and fortune, indulges it. Seymour names the plant Audrey II, and it goes on to develop a sinister personality of its own.
The musical does an equally impressive job of showcasing the talent here at Hood College, providing comic relief, and speaking on the dangers of chasing fame at all cost. The performers should be commended for the efforts making the audience both laugh, and sympathize with the moral dilemmas Seymour faces throughout.
The show stars Zachary Peck as Seymour, Alexandra Skouras as Audrey, Rylie Nobis as Mrs. Mushnik, Audrey II was voiced by Gabriel Cassutto, and the puppeteer was Christopher Garner, and Nik Smith as Dr. Orin.
The musical features masterful solos from Peck, Skouras, Nobis, and the skid row gang; Crystal, Chiffon, and Ronnette, played by Kaylene Wright, Meagan Huyett, and Kerry Murphy respectively.
The cast was given excellent musical direction by Lynn Staininger who also graced the keys in the pit along with Jacob Harding (guitar), Jay McRoberts (Bass), and John Maestri (percussion). The pit orchestra, along with all the voices providing refreshingly beautiful and down to earth music that further added to the greatness of the production.
On opening night, Hodson Auditorium was filled with Hood students, faculty, and family members. The following nights reportedly also had high attendance.
I sincerely hope that all of you were able to come out and enjoy the production, because it truly was one of the best musicals I have seen. Whatever you do, don’t feed the plants!