Warden Drama Club to present ‘Little Shop of Horrors’

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  • Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Seymour (E.J. Smoot) has had enough of Audrey II in the Warden High School production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’ Performances continue tonight and Saturday.

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    Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Seymour (E.J. Smoot, left) comforts Audrey (Jandica Backell) when she’s sad in the Warden High School production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’

  • Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Seymour (E.J. Smoot) has had enough of Audrey II in the Warden High School production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’ Performances continue tonight and Saturday.

  • 1

    Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Seymour (E.J. Smoot, left) comforts Audrey (Jandica Backell) when she’s sad in the Warden High School production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’

WARDEN — The fateful meeting of a down-and-out flower shop employee and a homicidal plant will come to the Warden School stage when the Warden High School drama club presents “Little Shop of Horrors” this weekend. Performances are Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m.

Tickets are available at the door and are $7 for the general public, $20 for a family of three or more.

“I’m a huge fan of sci-fi and musicals and satire, and that’s what this is,” said drama club adviser and director Jami Backall.

Starting out as a little play in a little theater, “Little Shop of Horrors” hit the off-Broadway stage in 1982. It’s the story of Seymour (E.J. Smoot in the WHS production), a sad young man working in a sad run-down flower shop. And then Seymour finds a mysterious plant at the flower market, which he names for Audrey (Jandica Backell), the girl he admires from afar.

Audrey II is a mysterious little plant, seemingly unable to thrive, until Seymour accidentally cuts his finger in Audrey II’s vicinity. “Soon Audrey II grows into an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore,” Backell wrote. Audrey II offers Seymour fame and fortune, and maybe the hand of the real Audrey. All it wants is something to eat...

The story is narrated by Ronette (Kayla Golladay), Crystal (Rachel Verlinde) and Chiffon (Megan Richie), friends of Seymour.

To make sure they had showstopping Audrey IIs, the drama club worked to raise money the last couple of years. Backell wrote the 2016 musical so the drama club didn’t have to pay royalties, and put the show’s profits toward renting some awesome Audreys.

The Audrey IIs are in Warden by special arrangement (as they say in the theater) with Ken Michels, professional puppet maker and director from Everett. Michels made the puppets while working with an original New York production.

Of course, Audrey II talks and sings, and in the WHS production that‘s the work of Clayton Kisler, who provides Audrey’s voice, and puppeteers Izora Pierson and Robbie Corrick.

After the performances, kids can get a picture with Audrey the puppet.

The WHS drama club does two plays a year, a comedy in the fall and a musical in the spring, Backell said. Warden is a pretty small school, so the drama club members have to fit rehearsals in with homework and other activities. “It’s definitely a challenge.” Middle school students are part of the cast for this production as well.

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