North Carroll High to present musical 'Little Shop of Horrors'


November 18, 1998|By Pat Brodowski | Pat Brodowski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A FAMOUS bloodthirsty plant from outer space has arrived on stage at North Carroll High School for two performances this weekend. "Little Shop of Horrors," the Broadway musical about the plant and the people it eats, retains the depth and darkness of the 1960s-era B-movie it sprang from, says director Jonathan Dunski, a science teacher and adviser to the Drama Club.

The club and plant will wreak havoc on stage at 7: 30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the high school on Hampstead-Mexico Road. Tickets are $5.

Feeding it at first with drops of blood from his fingertips, the hapless caretaker, Seymour, played by senior Andy Haines, develops a relationship with the plant as it grows in size and

sinister motive. The plant talks to Seymour, demanding more blood, explained in the song "Feed Me."

The plant quickly outgrows flowerpots and soon dominates the stage. The largest plant puppet is handled by sophomore Matt Pohlhaus, and the plant's voice is junior Justin Watts. Four professionally designed puppets, on loan from F. Scott Black's Towson Dinner Theatre, are used.

When the play opens, Seymour's miserable life centers on sweeping the florist shop for the abusive owner, Mr. Mushnick, played with an invented mid-European-style accent by senior Nick Deiss. Selling flowers at the counter is Audrey, played by junior Jessica Bonito. Audrey's boyfriend is a sadistic dentist played by junior Brian Wilson.

"Seymour goes to knock off the dentist who is abusing Audrey," Dunski said. "The dentist gets trapped in nitrous oxide, to which he's addicted, and dies. So Seymour drags the dentist's body back to the shop to feed the plant. And that's just Act I."

Tess Pohlhaus, a senior, is assistant director. About 30 members of the Drama Club have spent eight weeks practicing for opening night.

As the plant grows, so does Seymour's botanical career, with television appearances and consultations. But, as Dunski noted, Seymour has sold his soul to gain his fame, and the plant demands to be fed. Audrey becomes entangled, and although Seymour frees her, she decides to sacrifice herself, and the plant gains another victim. The horror is obvious: it intends to consume all humans, friendly or not.

"This is a tragic opera, a B-movie, and sci-fi, all in one," Dunski said. "This musical is for adults and young adults."

Although the movie version that followed the long-running Broadway musical had a happy ending, the North Carroll musical doesn't stray from the gruesome.

Information: 410-751-3445.

Light the village

Hampstead Town Christmas Tree and Main Street Village of Lights will become illuminated by Santa Claus and Mayor Christopher Nevin at 7 p.m. Friday.

The village fills the park in front of the old Hampstead Elementary School building at Main Street and Black Rock Road and includes a home for Santa. This year a festive array of flags, wreaths with candles, and swags with lighted trees have been installed on telephone poles along Main Street to extend the lighted village through downtown Hampstead.

During the lighting, the Children's Chorus of Carroll County will sing. Three choirs will perform under the direction of Holly Kugler and Joyce Hongsermeier.

Each choir is composed of children in grades two through high school who sing in the same vocal range. The chorus has performed at the White House and will soon perform at Hersheypark and at the Mormon Temple near Washington.

Hampstead Business Association and the town of Hampstead sponsor the event. Donations are being accepted from area businesses. Santa Claus will greet children at his house in the village from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays for several weeks.

Admission is free.

Information: 410-239-9477.

Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 11/18/98

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