Purple Gallery Sets up “Shop” in Hannibal

Submitted article

Derrick Phillips and Elyssa Terry-DeRycke in the floral shop of the Little Shop of Horrors.
Derrick Phillips and Elyssa Terry-DeRycke in the floral shop of the Little Shop of Horrors.

This year the Hannibal High School drama production is “Little Shop of Horrors,” one of the longest running Off-Broadway shows of all time. The musical features a score by the award winning songwriter Alan Menken who has redefined the animated musical with such classics as “Beauty and the Beast” and more recently “Tangled,” and a book by Howard Ashman that reads like a classic sci-fi movie. Evening performances are scheduled for Thursday, March 3 and Friday, March 4 at 7pm and Saturday, March 5 at 1pm at the Kenney Middle School.

The musical opens with the residents of “skid row” singing of their troubled lives. We meet the urchins (Sabrina Woodward, Meghan Gillen, Shelby Tedd, and Rita LaPage) who act as the all-knowing “Greek Chorus” throughout the show. We also meet Audrey (Elyssa Terry-DeRycke), a florist at Muhnik’s Skid Row Florist and Seymour Krelbourn (Derrick Phillips) the clerk at Mushnik’s. Both characters seem unhappy with their lives and sing of how they long to get out of Skid Row. The musical continues with a particularly unsuccessful day at the flower shop after which Mr. Mushnik (John Pittorf) announces that he is closing the store. Seymour suggests that he instead try a new approach – placing the strange plant that he has bought in the window to try to attract business. The plan works and they instantly get a customer. Mushnik offers to take them to dinner but Audrey has a date with her boyfriend, a sadistic dentist, (Dan LaPage). The plant quickly droops and Seymour is ordered to stay behind and fix it.

As the play progresses and the plant grows we quickly learn of its rather unique diet. Audrey II, the strange and unusual plant, (Emily Weldin) has quite the appetite and becomes a force to be reckoned with for its owner. Audrey II brings fame and fortune to its owner and business is booming. Seymour receives a variety of offers from television producers and magazine editors (Emily Terry). In the end Seymour must decide between fame, fortune and a “Somewhere That’s Green” with Audrey or being a slave to the carnivorous Audrey II.

Due to limited seating, patrons are advised to purchase their tickets in advance from members of the cast and crew. Tickets may also be purchased at the High School In the main office between 9am and 3pm when school is in session. Remaining tickets will be available at the door prior to the performance. Admission is $7.00 for adults and $5.00 for students and those ages 60 and over.

Little Shop of Horrors is presented through special arrangement with Music Theater International.