By Bella Casella
Manlius Pebble Hill is bringing “Little Shop of Horrors” onto the stage for the first time in the school’s history.
“Little Shop of Horrors” is a sci-fi horror musical with an 1960s pop/rock score by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. The dark yet goofy tale of the man-eating plant is “more than what’s on paper,” said senior Carli Arbon.
Arbon will be portraying Audrey, the broken love interest of Seymour Krelborn, a botanical genius who finds success and romance with the help of a manipulative plant who demands to be fed.
“Yeah it’s about this big plant, but there’s also subplots,” Arbon said. “If you watch carefully you can see all the different stories of each character. The characters are more than they come off as in the beginning.”
It wasn’t until the day of auditions that Arbon gathered up the courage to try out for the musical.
“Originally I wasn’t planning on auditioning because I had a lot of stuff on my plate, but during dance class we learned the choreography for the opening number,” she said. “Once we did it, I realized it was going to be really fun this year.”
Little did she know she would be starring next to one of her best friends, fellow senior Jared Amankwah. Though she got the role, Arbon still struggled with her confidence. She listened to the soundtrack, worrying whether or not she could pull it off.
“I have big shoes to fill,” Arbon said.”At least with past musicals, actors have gone on to do big things and they were always that musical kid. Everyone thought they were going to be the lead. I’m usually just a secondary character, but I got the lead.
“I have to fill these shoes, on top of that, learn all my lines, do all the singing and work with other actors. Now that I got my lines down and I’m more comfortable with the music, I definitely think my confidence performing has grown. Especially with the support of the cast mates.”
She referred to her co-stars Amankwah and freshman Ryan Hinshaw as Seymour and Mr. Mushnik and thanked them for helping her grow out of her shell. She also recalled a video of Ellen Greene, the original actress for Audrey, singing “Somewhere that’s Green,” where Audrey reflects on her life and future dreams.
Arbon originally saw Audrey as a dumb blonde. However, after watching Ellen Greene’s performance, she reconstructed her character.
“The way she played it wasn’t this ditsy blonde girl,” Arbon said. “It was this broken person who’s had a terrible life. Her father left, she grew up poor, and the only way to get money was to dance at nightclubs. That’s actually where she met Orin.”
Orin Scrivello is Audrey’s semi-sadistic boyfriend who abuses her throughout the show, played by junior Leo Alaghband. Arbon explored her character’s emotions. Audrey knew she was never going to get her dream, but she still had hope, and realizing this was a turning point for Arbon.
“She’s just a broken person who wants, like everybody else in the show,” Arbon said, “ just to get out of here.”
Tickets are currently available for $15 through the My Mph tab on the school’s website or by searching “Little Shop of Horrors” on Ticketleap.com.
FRIDAY, MARCH 16 2018 7:30 PM — 9:30 PM
SATURDAY, MARCH 17 2018 7:30 PM — 9:30 PM
SUNDAY, MARCH 18 2018 2:00 PM — 4:00 PM
FRIDAY, MARCH 23 2018 7:30 PM — 9:30 PM
SATURDAY, MARCH 24 2018 7:30 PM — 9:30 PM