Friday, March 23, 2012

Bravo to the Cast and Crew of "Little Shop of Horrors"

Audrey gets a little too close for comfort!
Audrey II sings "Feed Me"
When I began this blog the goal was to write just one simple post a week.  After all, there was a chance that some weeks I wouldn't even be able to come up with a topic.  Sometimes I even wonder if my weekly nuggets are being read!  So you may be wondering why we are out of cycle, and now all of a sudden you have this Friday post.  The answer is very simple. Something wonderful has happened at Hudson High School this week and I wanted to let you know about it before it's too late:  Our high school musical "Little Shop of Horrors" is in production right now, and if you want to see it tomorrow night at 7:30 will be your last chance.  Believe me, you will want to see it.  The student actors are fantastic and amazing. 

Now, many of you know that in a former life I was a high school vocal music director.  Many high school vocal music directors have 'specialities' or areas of expertise.  For some, it is Show Choir, others may have Jazz or Concert.  For me, it was the high school musical.  There was no part of my job that I enjoyed more than the annual production of our high school musical.  In fact, when I left teaching to enter into the realm of administration, many of my friends and colleagues asked me how I could do it, and "wouldn't I miss the excitement of the musical and the energy of opening night".  Well, I didn't miss it; not one little bit.....until last night.  I have been to a lot of high school musicals in the intervening years, but last night, for the first time in a long time I saw pure magic on that stage.  I am so proud of these students and what they have accomplished that I can't even begin to describe the energy and excitement I felt when I left.

Audrey II with a 'full belly' after the show
Full Cast Opening of Act II
It also just so happened that prior to the show last night, we were attending a recruiting event at Price Lab School in Cedar Falls.  As we were visiting with parents and students of Price Lab, one of the parents asked Mr. Dieken to describe some of the project based learning activities that we have in the high school.  He artfully described a plethora of activities ranging from art projects to science labs and everything in between.  After the show last night, I remembered how project based the musical is, and wish that I would have offered this wonderful example.

It got me thinking; how many projects do we have in our school that encompass industrial arts, visual arts, music, english, and journalism?  Certainly there are even more disciplines involved in this musical, but you get the drift.  How often do our students have an opportunity to take a script that is mere words on a page and breath life into it?  Think of the long hours of rehearsal, the sweat and sometimes even tears that turned this show from an inanimate object into a living breathing show?  It is very powerful.

Folks, it is not very often you see talent the likes of this in a high school.  Skyler Wendling was fantastic in his role of Seymour Krelborn.  His vocal abilities are absolutely superior and he will have you amazed at his ability!  Our heroine Audrey is played by the remarkable Peyton Higgins, who has vocal abilities that will blow you away.  She is truly awesome and is quite impressive in her role.  Ben Huber is another of our gifted perfomers, we knew he was a great wrestler, but man can this guy sing!  He looked very comfortable and in his element!  I was very impressed with the versatile abilities of Shawn Drinovsky.  Not only was he able to handle the very complex role of Orin Scrivello and challenging vocal passages with ease, he provided outstanding comic relief!  The trio of Chiffon, Crystal, and Ronnette played by Olivia Griffith, Bridget McCulley, and Ashleigh Eichelberger was phenomenal.  As a former high school director I am very well aware of the difficulties with multi-layered harmonies.  These young ladies handled it like true professionals and as I understand it, organized their own choreography.  One of the neatest part of the show no doubt is Audrey II, and our pupeteers Chad Smith and Paul Lichty deserve the credit here, but what about the voice!  I was blown away by the peformance of Cody Bascom.  What a wonderful surprise to have such a natural talented bass baritone to fill this role!  It fit perfectly!

Chiffon, Crystal, Ronnette
I remember very early in this production the questions, some trepidation, and maybe perhaps a little fear from our very capapble director Ms. Teale Burford. I can recall those conversations we had early on about the mechanics of production from the development of the rehearsal schedule to the blocking of the show.  Although you asked advice here and there, it was apparent that you most certainly didn't need it!  You have done an awesome job and I am very proud of you as well!  I wouldn't hold a candle to your abilities any day of the week.  Bravo!

Like I said, it was a magical night.  Thank you so much to all of our performers who worked so hard to ensure the success of the show.  Thank you to the parents for tolerating the long and agonizing nights of rehearsal.

To all of our actors, enjoy every minute of this run.  Believe me when I say from experience that it will end all too quickly.  They will call one final blackout and the stage will go dark.  Cherish this memory.


  1. I couldn't agree more! This is a bunch of really talented kids! Not only the amazing actors & actresses - but our pit band, stage crew, lights & sound & set designers are all students who volunteered their time to make this a special production! Mere thanks are not enough for Ms. B and Mrs. A! Kudos to all the teachers, parents & coaches who also had a part in making this a show to remember!

  2. I can't wait to see it! I love that you posted this, Tony! Teri Sikula

  3. Great show! I was totally blown away!

  4. My husband and I went on Saturday night and it was amazing!!! What a wonderful group of talented students! They did an outstanding job!! Hats off to everyone involved!