Albert Gallatin students open the fun with 'Little Shop of Horrors'

| Saturday, March 9, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

About 35 students from Albert Gallatin High School will be presenting the cult classic hit musical “Little Shop of Horrors” as they entertain their audiences with the fun and lively comedy production.

Set in the 1960s, the show tells the tale of hapless Seymour, a timid florist who rises to popularity after purchasing an interesting new plant that seems to have a mind of its own, and one huge appetite.

Throw in a little love, some laughs and some interesting twists and you have the show that has entertained audiences since its off-Broadway debut in 1982.

“It's just a fun show and one that you can't take seriously,” director Toby Maykuth said. “You can't come to see this show expecting a serious theatrical experience because most of the show is tongue in cheek.”

Although the show is popular with audiences, it is not often staged as its one main character is hard to create or expensive to rent and that is Audrey II the ever-growing plant.

“We rented a plant,” Maykuth said of the plant that starts out small and grows huge throughout the show as it continues to “feed.” “The final one is as big as a Volkswagen. We couldn't get it in the school.”

Maykuth said the students held fundraisers to help defray costs, and the relatively inexpensive set and costuming helped to offset the expense.

“There isn't an elaborate set for this and the costumes were easy,” Maykuth said, adding that the school has acquired an impressive amount of costumes over the years and the rest were purchased in local thrift shops. “There was a lot of Salvation Army and Goodwill shopping.”

The music itself is fun and upbeat, and lead actress Kayla Grimm, 17, of Masontown is thrilled to step into a role that is one of her most coveted.

“This show is my favorite show,” Grimm said of “Shop.” I was so excited when I heard, and I couldn't wait to do it.”

Grimm is not only familiar with the show but also performed some songs from it this past summer in a show staged in Carmichaels, so it's not the music that she finds challenging but the wardrobe.

“Performing in heels is definitely my biggest challenge,” Grimm said. “I'm more of tennis shoe-type girl.”

Grimm said that she thinks the show will appeal to a wide range of audiences.

“It's funny, it's a little serious and it's a little creepy,” Grimm said. “I think that everyone will like it.”

The show has a running time of about two hours.

“This is a fast and fun theatrical experience,” Maykuth said. “It's funny, it's campy, it's tongue-in-cheek fun. It's a relatively short show, and that it always good for younger audiences.”

Maykuth said the production and show would not be taking place if it wasn't for the support received.

“The school district is so supportive of our shows, and we can't thank them enough,” Maykuth said. “I'd also like to thank the teachers who help, the parents and the students. These kids basically put their lives on hold for three months to do these shows.”

“Little Shop of Horrors” will be performed Friday through March 17 at the Albert Gallatin High School auditorium. Show times will be 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. March 17. All tickets will be $5.

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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