Run! A man-eating plant is on the loose

Hoboken High School to stage ‘Little Shop of Horrors’

Humans beware: a killer plant will be on the prowl next weekend as Hoboken High School’s Drama Club premieres its musical comedy, “Little Shop of Horrors.”
“It’s just like going to a Broadway production,” said Director Danielle Miller.
Olive vines dangle from the stage, abridged storefronts protrude from the walls, and a cityscape fills the backdrop of a set made entirely by the students. Hoboken High School’s auditorium has been transformed into the shambled slums of the New York City Skid Row neighborhood where the two-act play takes place.
“I think it’s a fun because of the wacky sci-fi elements. I like the quirky darkness of it,” added Miller.

Heinous houseplant

The production is partly based on the 1960s movie adaptation by Roger Corman (originally based on a 1930s novel by John Collier).
Timid Mushnik’s Flower Shop assistant, Seymour, yearns for co-worker Audrey, to no avail. But soon during a total eclipse, he uncovers a peculiar plant he amicably names Audrey II. He soon learns that Audrey II is not like your run-of-the-mill plant. This heinous houseplant thrives off human flesh and blood.

The madcap musical will receive some twists in the high school’s rendition.
The struggling flower store soon gains business through their new attraction: the ever-growing killer plant. But with love in the air, things are bound to get complicated.
“I love the plant’s role. Without it, it wouldn’t be ‘Little Shop,’” says Willie Allen, a 12th grader who will play the piranha-like plant.
Allen is one of 16 seventh to 12th grade students that make up the show’s cast including a group of students backstage.
The show, which will include tunes from a professional band, is sure to thrill audiences with an abundance of zany props, witty set-pieces, and most of all, an animated cast of your very own local High School students.
Four performances will take place: Feb. 19 and Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 20 at 2 p.m., and Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. Tickets with reserved seating are available online at ($7 general, $5 students, $3 senior citizens).

Madcap musical with tantalizing twists

There are no small parts, only small actors, is the mantra 12-year-old Ronni Bish keeps in mind as she prepares to perform for the first time.
“Yeah, I’m nervous,” she said. “I guess because I’ve sang before, but not with an actual microphone all by myself with no one there to help me.”
Bish, who grew up in Hoboken and has been singing since she was 2, plays a bum in the show. In the past she was part of the choir at Calabro School and Hoboken High School.
“I’m not in the show that much but I’m really happy because it’s my first time performing,” she said.
With audiences expected to peak at 400, managing the stage is vital. That’s where 17-year-old Isiah Watson comes in.
“I feel it’s more or less for the experience, not so much to make it look amazing like Broadway,” he said as he hammered in a door as part of the set. “You need to make so the actors feel it’s real.”
Watson helped Miller spearhead the Backstage Club at Hoboken High School, which has assisted in past shows like “Shrek,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Footloose,” and an upcoming rendition of “Beauty and the Beast” in May. He plans to study set design at Kean University after he graduates.
The cast for the show, Miller said, was chosen from approximately 30 who auditioned, with some parts being cast twice because “some many great young actors auditioned,” Miller said.
The madcap musical will receive some twists per the high school’s interpretation, but the students and Miller kept mum on what some of those surprises might be.
Senior Brittney Colon, who recently enjoyed playing the “hilarious” Fiona in “Shrek,” has Broadway aspirations.
“The best part of the show is getting to work together and helping one another,” said the 17-year-old, who will play Crystal in the show.
Despite the dark undertones inherent of a play with a carnivorous plant, Miller assures the student’s quirky version is fit for audience members of all sizes.
“I think it’s a good show for all ages and a great way to come out to support the public school system,” she said. “People will definitely go home satisfied.”

Steven Rodas can be reached at

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