By Scott Goodson and Karin Drakenberg, Parents of children in The Bronxville School
Feb. 20, 2019: Bronxville is fifteen miles from Broadway and the bright lights of Times Square. But watching the students of Bronxville High School perform Little Shop of Horrors, you'd be hard-pressed to know the difference. Foot-stomping, hilarious madness descended on the quiet village of Bronxville. The sold-out performances rocked the house with energy emanating from an extraordinary cast, crew, and orchestra.
Little Shop of Horrors was cast and directed by the high school's amazing visionary choral director, Pamela Simpson. The students committed many weeks to daily rehearsals in the midst of midterms and exams, perfecting the exquisite choreography and velvety vocals.
The show is a horror/comedy rock musical composed by Alan Menken and written by Howard Ashman. The story follows a nerdy and insecure florist shop worker living on skid row, Seymour (Matthew Pytosh), who a raises a plant that, unbeknownst to him when he acquired it, grows only by eating fresh humans. Seymour falls in love with Audrey (Catie Burnell) and wins her love by feeding her boyfriend, the sadistic leather-wearing, motorcycle-driving dentist (Jacoby Goodson), to bloodthirsty Audrey II, the human-eating plant. Next to be devoured is the opportunistic shop owner, Mr. Mushnik (George Cooney).
The story is bound together by a group known as the Urchins, who, singing doo-wop and early Motown and wearing '60s fashion (Norah Foley, Maya Engenhiero, Alice O'Connell, Vance Wood, Sofia Fenner, and Olivia Conniff), kept the musical moving along in a funky, breakneck pace. The green star of the show was the bloodthirsty Audrey II (Ally Bruno (voice)/Alana McGinness (puppeteer)). The whole cast and crew were fantastic and blew the roof off the new Bronxville theater. And the magnificent orchestra, consisting mostly of students, didn’t miss a beat! Through the generous support of The Bronxville School Foundation and the PTA, the students worked with the professional puppeteer Fergus Walsh to create Audrey II, who really came alive on stage.
In recognition of the fact that the characters in the musical live on skid row and are struggling to get by, donations were solicited to benefit the food bank Feeding Westchester. In addition, since Audrey, the female lead, is in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend, the show also gave its support to the One Love Foundation by selling little plants in the lobby. https://www.joinonelove.org/
The musical is based on the low-budget 1960 black comedy film The Little Shop of Horrors. The music is in the style of early 1960s rock and roll and includes several well-known tunes such as "Skid Row (Downtown)," "Somewhere That's Green," and "Suddenly, Seymour."
See below for more photos.
Photos by D. Fenner
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