WHERE: Garden Theatre, 160 W. Plant St., Winter Garden
TICKETS: $15 adults, $8 students in advance or at the door. To purchase, call (407) 905-7737, Ext. 3391
WINDERMERE — The students at Windermere Preparatory School are in their final days of rehearsals for this weekend’s dark but funny musical “Little Shop of Horrors,” which hits the Garden Theatre stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 17 and 18. Alex Schwartz and Samantha Roberts are starring in the lead roles, as Seymour and Audrey.
Director Jason King is playing Mr. Mushnik, the owner of a failing flower shop on Skid Row. This is a throwback role for King, as he played Mushnik 22 years ago as a senior at Mt. Vernon High School.
King was hired last July as the school’s first director of fine arts and said he feels blessed and thankful to work with such a creative and talented faculty and staff.
“We are working together to grow, develop and promote the fine and performing arts at Windermere Preparatory School,” he said.
Cindy Kennaugh is the artistic director. She has taught theater arts and IB French at Windermere Prep for six years. She previous taught, directed and acted in Venezuela, Switzerland and France. She last directed this show 17 years ago.
Emily Tousek is the musical director. This is her ninth musical theater production at Windermere Prep. She currently teaches class piano, vocal ensemble and IB music, and she is the director of Wren 5, the high school’s vocal jazz ensemble.
It took some work to bring this show to the local stage. King said the directors are utilizing a moving set, a turntable set, special lighting effects and puppets from the touring production.
The Audrey II plants and puppets are being provided by Imaginationworks and are “truly impressive,” King said.
“Little Shop of Horrors” is one of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows and is also a Broadway and 1986 Hollywood smash musical. It follows the story of a meek floral assistant in a decrepit flower shop who discovers after a total eclipse of the sun that a mysterious plant shows up looking for human blood to gain strength for its plans for world domination.
CAST AND CREW
“Little Shop” performers are Alex Schwartz (Seymour Krelborn), Samantha Roberts (Audrey), Jason King (Mr. Mushnik), Justin Woodstock (Orin Scrivello), Xavier Cumberbatch (Audrey II), Dove Haas (Crystal), Vanessa Vasquez (Ronnette), Zahria Tims (Chiffon), Desi Kantounis (Customer 1 and Bernstein), Louis Kingsley (Old Chinese Man and Skip Snip), Isabella Esteves (Customer 2 and Patrice Martin) and Valerie Senger (Mrs. Luce).
Schwartz, Roberts, Cumberbatch, Vasquez, Tims and Esteves are members of Thespian Troupe 6902. Cumberbatch, Vasquez, Kantounis and Kingsley are members of Tri-M Music Honor Society.
Performing in the orchestra are Heather Langs, piano; Adam Langs, percussion; Steven MacDonald, drums.
The tech crew consists of Lily Scanlan, Chris Becker, Adam Molnar and Nick LaFalce, puppeteers; Tom Davis, set design; OSCA Technical Theater Department, set construction; Michael Pagan, light designer/operator; Enna Pascau, audio operator; Cindy Kennaugh, props and costume; Alex Schwartz and Claudia Verbaas, program; and Nick Purdue, poster.