Little shop

Lovelorn Seymour (Matthew Hall), left, pines for Audrey (Itzel Mayen) while wrangling homicidal Audrey II (operated here by Clara Beagle) in Stockdale High School's production of "Little Shop of Horrors."

"Little Shop of Horrors," one of the funniest, craziest and much loved Broadway musicals, opens next week at Stockdale High School. The show is based on a 1960 B-movie produced for $28,000 and created a sensation that was a surprise. The production is weird, campy and hilarious.

A show highlight is the scene-stealing alien plant Audrey II, which is operated by student puppeteers John Bolinger, Alonso Trujillo, Clara Beagle, Katherine May and Matthew Hall in various stages throughout the production. The final puppet in the musical takes two people to manipulate.

Of the experience operating the huge final puppet, Bolinger said, “I love every second during the show manning the puppet, even through the sweat and all of the cramps I’ve received.”

“I’ve given you sunlight, I’ve given you rain, looks like you’re not happy, less I open a vein,” sings Seymour, portrayed by sophomore Matthew Hall.

During a total solar eclipse, Seymour discovers an unearthly plant that thrives on human blood. Audrey II makes Seymour a celebrity and a murderer.

“Working with the 'Little Shop of Horror’s' production at Stockdale High School has been a phenomenal experience," Hall said. "The cast and crew are all amazing and talented people. My fellow co-stars really lit up the stage and are easy to work with; in addition to working with our spectacular director Mrs. Pope. I am truly having a wonderful time with this production.”

Audrey II is named after Seymour’s co-worker crush, whom I portray in the show. Audrey is someone I never knew I needed in my life. She has taught me about love and sacrifice; that no matter rich or poor, or where you’re from, you are always worth it. I love that no matter what Audrey has been through, she always keeps her spirits up and lights up the room with her little quirks.

I have been so blessed to be a part of this amazing program, it has changed my life forever. I will always be grateful to Mrs. CJ Pope and all the love she has shown me.

This will mark the last production directed by Pope at Stockdale High School.

Pope said, “It has been a true privilege to have been part of this Fine Arts Department, John (Biller) and I were hired before the school was built in 1991. We have worked on 15 main stage musicals together. The quality of our combined students have created moments on stage that I will remember for the rest of my life. Stockdale High School is a special place and I will miss the love, talent and joy that this theatre has brought to my life. Please come and share in this storytelling adventure.”

“Little Shop of Horrors" runs 7 p.m. Feb. 27-29 and March 5 and 6 with a matinee at 2 p.m. March 7 at the school, 2800 Buena Vista Road. Tickets are $15, $10 for students and can be purchased at the Stockdale High School finance office or at the door.

Itzel Mayen is a senior at Stockdale High School.

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