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Community School of Davidson’s Newest Version of “Little Shop of Horrors” is a Well-done and Entertaining Rock, Musical Comedy

by | Mar 19, 2024

Not so long ago at the not -so-far-away, I saw several productions of Little Shop of Horrors around the Lake Norman area —a popular high school play. Now there’s another version at Community School of Davidson’s Artspace, and it really is worth seeing.

Melissa Ohlman-Roberge has designed and directed a lively version of the horror, comedy, rock musical written by Howard Ashman with music by Alan Menke that premiered off-off-Broadway in 1982, more than forty years ago. And, four years ago, in 2020, Melissa directed a version of the story based on the film Little Shop of Horrors at CSDs Artspace, with similar and slightly different characters than those in the current cast. This new version is terrific!

I like this current take that opens with the Ronettes, four vivacious dancers, Bailey Rowles, Amelia Leazer, Tessa Fuller, and Libby Slosson, choreographed by Jenna Tyrell. They weave the storyline over two acts, singing tunes from “Prologue,” “Da-Doo,” and “Dentist!” on to the “Don’t Feed the Plants” surprise finale.

Garret MacIntyre & Griffin Small (Eric Rowles photo)

Two CSD seniors, Griffin Small as Seymour and Garret MacIntyre as Orin Scrivello, DDS, play their leading protagonist and antagonist roles with enthusiastic vigor—delivering their swan-dance from the Artspace (cement) boards with élan. Garrett also delivers the voice of Audrey II with Matilda Walter as the Principal Puppeteer.

Griffin Small and Garret MacIntyre will be missed.

Jack Faubert, playing Mr. Mushnick and Anna Staskel in the role of Audrey, attempt to keep Little Shop of Horrors’ dwindling flower shop business afloat in New York’s broken-down Skid Row.

The Artspace clever set, designed by Melissa, CSD students, and dedicated parents describes the scene so well. It is artistically well done, from dirty doorsteps to pampered dogs, a slithering mouse, and gossiping neighbors—even a poor old broken-down drunk.

I loved seeing the Ensemble of characters keeping the street scene in character while the storyline unfolds, and songs are performed. Individual mics on the leading characters is a definite plus

(Top to bottom) Bailey Rowles, Tessa Fuller, Libby Slosson, Amelia Leazer, and Garret MacIntyre as the Wino (Eric Rowles photo)


Members of the Ensemble cast also perform individual roles. Dane Davis plays Radio Host, Blake Tapia is Mr. Martin, Evan Brezicki is Mr. Bernstein, and James Vale portrays Skip Snip.

Lizzy Geisinger and Kenzy Weber perform the roles of Luce Sisters and Flower Girls. Landry Staskel and Margo Tate play Flower Girls; Nat Hotchner and Lelia McQuaid are Puppeteers; Holt Grier performs a Rich Customer; and Evan Alcano is a dancing singer in the Ensemble.

Horrid as the story goes in Little Shop of Horrors, the play is a rock musical comedy and well worth a casual evening of entertaining fun. You’ll enjoy CSDs current version with costumes designed by Tammy Davis.

The horrendously hungry Audrey II puppets were created by Catawba College.

Shows continue this week at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

Griffin Small & Audrey II-operated by Matilda Walters (Eric Rowles photo)






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