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Los Alamos High School Olions Thespian Club is not ending its theater season on a sweet note. No, a much more evil, sinister song will be sung. Something villainous appears to be growing within Duane Smith Auditorium. It’s in the form of a monstrous, man-eating Venus-fly-trap in the musical, “Little Shop of Horrors.”
“This is a show I always I wanted to do,” Nina Saunders, sponsor of the Olions, said. “From the first time I saw ee I was just intrigued about the idea of a musical being a horror story.”
The story didn’t start out being a musical. It first appeared as a 1930s B-movie horror film before it was transformed into the musical play. Even though the story is old, the Olions are putting a modern twist on it. Skid Row has gone punk in the high school’s production. Performers don neon leggings and hair sprayed their hair into spikes. The buildings are coated with graffiti.
Saunders said their concept for the play was to make the environment and the people unnatural, inorganic.
However, as the monster plant grows and gets more powerful, the scenery changes. The plant assumes control and forces the environment to become organic and natural, Saunders said.
Additionally, Saunders said she incorporated simultaneous staging to make what is appearing on stage more realistic. The environment, she explained is always moving.
These seem to be innovative ideas but will the audience approve of them? “I think it’s going to appeal to everyone in Los Alamos who likes to see a scary movie every once in a while,” Saunders said.
There is no moral or lesson to be gained from this play, Saunders said, people can merely enjoy being entertained.
Plus, the high school students have proven their talents and abilities, Saunders said. “The kids are amazing,” she said, the cast is “absolutely fantastic.”
Students did more than just act; they helped design sets, work with the sound and lights, sewed costumes, did hair and makeup, and choreographed dance numbers.
“I think it’s going to be one of the best shows I’ve directed in a while,” Saunders said. “I’m really happy with it.”
She is not the only one who is pleased. Several students said they were proud of their creation.
“Everybody worked really hard putting this together,” said freshman Alex DeNevers, who works on the lights for the show. “I think its going to be a really great show.”
“It’s a lot different from what we’ve done before in Olions,” said sophomore Catelyn Booth, sound board coordinator. But, she added, “the sets are amazing (and) the acting is also amazing.”
Junior Bethany Sullivan, who plays Audrey, said, “The music is great ee. it is fun to see (the plant) grow from small to big.”
Sophomore Amanda Jalbert plays the part of the murderous plant, although she keeps it light. “There a lot of great music ee our set is awesome,” she said. “It’s just fun, minus the fact that everyone dies at the end.”
Ethan Kellogg also gets to delve into a darker side as Orion, the dentist. “I really like the fact that I get to be really mean and evil yet at the same time laugh like crazy on stage,” he said.
Kellogg added he is not a bad guy in real life, but it is still fun to pretend to be a villain.
He encourages the community to see everyone’s hard work. “I think just the fact that everyone worked so hard ee (the community) can see how everything came together.”
Junior Natasha Roberts is the lead chorus girl and the show’s choreographer. Choreographing and performing in the play was an “overwhelming responsibility,” she said. But, “I really enjoyed working with the girls,” she added.
She described the choreography as “fun” and “free-formed ... I just let the girls have fun with it,” Roberts said.
Sophomore Craig Mortenson, who plays Seymore, said, “It’s a very interesting play; it’s completely different from most musicals you see.”
The Olion’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors” will begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and May 10. Additionally, there will be shows at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $7 for students and seniors.
Saunders cautioned while the fear factor of “Little Shop of Horrors,” is very tame, it may not be suitable for really young children.