Spring Lake Park High School stages ‘Little Shop’

Spring Lake Park High School’s theater and music departments bring the comedy spoof “Little Shop of Horrors” to stage for their spring musical.

Nick Ludgate is Seymour, bottom right, clockwise, in Spring Lake Park’s spring musical “Little Shop of Horrors.” Madisen Dempsey is Audrey, Stephanie Pi is Chiffon, Emily Lukens is Crystal, Amira Shanaa is Ronette and Will Kaiser is Mushnik. Ellie Maxwell, hidden under the plant outfit, is Audrey II. The show opens April 18 and runs for five performances. Photo courtesy of Vicki Burns

Nick Ludgate is Seymour, bottom right, clockwise, in Spring Lake Park’s spring musical “Little Shop of Horrors.” Madisen Dempsey is Audrey, Stephanie Pi is Chiffon, Emily Lukens is Crystal, Amira Shanaa is Ronette and Will Kaiser is Mushnik. Ellie Maxwell, hidden under the plant outfit, is Audrey II. The show opens April 18 and runs for five performances. Photo courtesy of Vicki Burns

“It’s going to be very entertaining. High energy. Immersive. It will be an experience,” said director Kevin Dutcher.

Dutcher takes over the musical directing reins from teachers Tom Young and Jeffrey Wressell who have co-directed the school’s musical for the last 15 years.

The play is about a lowly flower shop clerk, Seymour, who discovers a man-eating plant, Audrey II, who incidentally, comes from outer space. Seymour, meanwhile, is turned into a local celebrity. That’s not to mention his love for Audrey I. The downside is the plant intends to take over the world.

“Mayhem and munching ensues,” Dutcher says.

Dutcher describes the semi-dark show with music composed by Alan Menken and the late writer Howard Ashman, as the antithesis of the musical “Annie.” The team provided lyrics to Disney’s “Little Mermaid.”

Among familiar tunes are “Suddenly, Seymour,” “Skid Row,” “Feed Me” and “Somewhere That’s Green.”

Mary Rudquist is the music director. Brian Lukkasson directs the pit band. Jeff Quast is choreographer.

Dutcher has acted in or directed the music in plays at such venues as the Actors Theater of Minnesota and the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company. He has directed more than 60 plays for the Fridley School District.

Dutcher directed Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” at SLPHS in 2011 and last fall he directed Brandon Thomas’ “Charlie’s Aunt” at the school.

Spring Lake Park High School presents “Little Shop of Horrors, ” April 18, 7 p.m. (preview night, all tickets $5), April 19, 26 and 27, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 students; matinee is April 20, 2 p.m.(all tickets $5). Spring Lake Park Fine Arts Center is located at 1100 81st Ave. N.E. For tickets visit District 16’s website at www.springlakeparkschools. Tickets are available at the door.

Elyse Kaner is at elyse.kaner@ecm-inc.com

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