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East High has one 'mean green mother' of a summer show

Feed me, Seymour! The hardworking team at East Bakersfield High School is ready to plant you in your seat for its production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” the school’s first live theatrical production since the shutdown.

Playing today and Thursday, the musical features the talents of alumni, current students and potential future East High Blades, director Jenna Odlin said.

The longtime theater instructor said that the cast and crew were thrilled to return to the stage.

"We felt that a summer performance was something that we could offer our students to reconnect them with the joy of school and each other," she wrote in an email. "They have missed that interpersonal connection for the last year and a half and seeing the joy on their faces while singing and dancing will bring the audience a similar feeling of euphoria."

"Little Shop" follows hapless florist Seymour (Nathan Armendariz) who discovers and ends up raising a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh. The carnivorous Audrey II (Ivan Vielma) is named after Audrey (Leslie Art), the object of Seymour's affection.

The show also stars Atlas Parkins as Seymour's cranky boss, Mrs. Mushnik, and Robert Padilla as Orin Scrivello, Audrey's sadistic dentist boyfriend.

Natalia Arnold, Hallelujah Jackson and Darryn Johnson perform as The Bleeding Heart Ronettes while Taylor Guinn, Lillian Morales, Cassandra Rich and Jasmine Vielma play The Poison Ivy Ronettes.

Jairo Rivera, Ethyn Rodriguez, Orlando Servin and Marcus Thompson serve as The Venus Fly Traps.

The cast also includes Amelia Ferguson; the Mini Bleeding Hearts Mia Odlin, Mayah Smallwood and Emylee Wright; and ensemble performers Aracely Alva, Elyse Bell, Valerie (Jax) Fuentez, Samantha Jorge-Vazquez, Daphne Ruiz and Isabella Torres.

East High alumni Marvin Ramey of Experience Dance choreographed the show and dances in it along with Benjamin Odlin, Jenny Rejon, Allison Nelson, Audreena Wright, Sarah Rodriguez, Maya Wright, Lena Smallwood and Emma Wright.

Student director Christopher Juarez also served as assistant choreographer.

Shows are at 2 and 7 p.m. today and Thursday at the East Bakersfield High School auditorium, 2200 Quincy St.

Tickets are $10 at the door. Because this is a school-sponsored event, all audience members are asked to wear a mask.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter: @realstefanidias.