Westside Drama takes on a Carnivorous Cult Classic with Little Shop of Horrors


From left to right: cast members Elena Smith, Galaxy Saskill, Sebastian Borges and Lucy Warren. Photo by Gaia Corvino.

Siena Wyatt Draher, Staff Writer

The year is 1960 and the set is Skid Row, New York City. Here in this gritty, grimy, gloom, trouble is brewing in the form of a carnivorous plant called Audrey 2. This deadly anomaly sets the scene for a world of trouble hand-crafted by the West Seattle High School drama department.

Little Shop of Horrors began as a 1960 low-budget film by American director Robert Corman and rose prominence as a beloved Broadway musical with several hit adaptations, the most famous of which debuted off-Broadway in 1982. Most recently, the play was revived on our very own WSHS stage. WSHS drama debuted their production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ on March 23rd and the opening performance was a fun, festive take on a campy classic.

The play centers around a run-down corner of NYC. The set, constructed entirely by students, is ambitious but delivers an atmosphere reminiscent of the location, with impressive structures marked up with graffiti by the cast throughout the show. Orchestrated by the smooth sounds of the ‘Skid Row Band’ and a choir of narrators called the Skid Row Six, we meet Skid Row’s equally neglected inhabitants; the timorous Seymour Krelborn (played by a focused and genuine Sebastian Borges) who works under the stern management of Mr. Mushnik (Miles ‘Spiders’ Gehrman) at Mushnik’s Flower Shop, where business is dismal and Seymour distractedly pines for his waifish coworker Audrey (Lily-Cibene Ingram). To Seymour’s dismay, Audrey is already on the arm of a cruel, leather-clad dentist named Orin Scrivello (Sophia Wilke). Seymour thinks he’s found the answer to all his problems with the discovery of an unknown species of plant he names Audrey 2 (Lucy Warren) whose unfortunate appetite for human blood quickly grows out of control.

Director Dan Wiener puts a fresh spin on the long-loved story by setting it a couple decades earlier than the original script, but the vintage charm and oddities are still preserved. The show’s eerily-mystifying mood is sustained by the steady sound and lighting, illuminating several stand-out performances. Wiener’s casting skill deserves equal credit to his directing skill for making the show a success. Cibene-Ingram is tactfully timid as the caring, soft-spoken Audrey, and Gehrman is completely compelling as the calculating Mr. Mushnik, bringing a lively energy that Little Shop of Horrors demands.

The score stays strong throughout the production, credited to the talent and professionalism of the student musicians led by Ethan Thomas. Standout songs include ‘Mushnik & Son’ starring Gehrman and Borges, and ‘Dentist!’ featuring Wilke, who easily embodies the edgy, over-the-top Orin.

The star of the show is the horror itself, Audrey 2. Warren delivers an unreal performance with powerhouse vocals and effortless acting as the cunning carnivore wreaking havoc on Skid Row. The sophomore, a member of the school choir and band, has a scene-stealing talent perfect for the expanding, parasitic plant and no doubt has a sparkling future in the spotlight.

Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Wiener, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Lambright, and the student crew, West Seattle drama has pulled off a smash hit. The show has three more performances, and is, according to this journalist, a must-see.


Showing in the WSHS Theatre on March 29, 30 and 31 at 7:30 PM

Purchase tickets online or at the door

Tickets available at westsidedrama.com