New Castle News

School Musicals

March 9, 2012

Photos, Video, Story: Union presents ‘Little Shop of Horrors’

NEW CASTLE — (Video player appears at the bottom of this story.)

There’s nothing small at all about Union High School’s version of “Little Shop of Horrors.”

Cast members travel through a cavalcade of blood and murder interspersed with songs. For extra measure, throw in a kiss and a drag queen.

Yes, this is a musical and while the cast may be small, it just goes to show that this group is capable of reproducing a larger-than-life adaptation.

It is, after all, a quirky spoof of a place where anything can happen — and does.

And Union has put a new spin on the movie version while also packing 16 songs into the two-act show.

A quirky spoof of 1950s sci-fi flicks, the plot revolves around a down-and-out, skid-row floral assistant who raises a plant that feeds on human blood. Before long, “Audrey II” grows into an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore who offers him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite and finally revealing itself to be an alien creature poised for global domination.

The major players also bring their own personalities to the musical to bring the characters to life.


While junior Dan Fusco has no particular affinity to floral shops, he does have a kinship with the main character.

“Seymour is exactly who I am,” Fusco said — “a dork and clumsy.”

But he is totally confident of his performing skills and is a man of music. Fusco writes and produces his own songs. This time, though, he gets to perform 13 of the 16 in the show, which includes the title song, “Suddenly, Seymour,” and “Git It.”

The music is the style of early 1960s rock and roll, doo-wop and early Motown, and that is also a match with Fusco, who likes pop and R&B including Beyonce and Boyz II Men.

As Audrey I,  junior Kristina Riggans had to learn a Long Island accent. The supporting female lead, who is in 11 songs, obtained her musical talent from her grandfather and inherited his guitar after he recently passed away.

Fusco and Riggans are good friends who two weeks before the show had yet to practice what both believed would be an awkward moment — a stage kiss.

“I’m preparing myself for it,” Riggans grinned.

Mitch Minteer said he isn’t even going to try to emulate the role Steve Martin had as the sadistic dentist, Orin Scrivello, in the film adaptation.

“I’m giving it my own twist,” Minteer said, adding that like Martin, though, he plays banjo and has learned drums and guitar.

He prefers acting to singing but is in three numbers. He’s played the parts of a priest, a butler and Buffalo Bill Cody in previous musicals and “now I get to play a crazed dentist.”

Cue the versatility factor for a chance for the senior to get glitzed up in makeup, a dress and heels to play a woman. With a simple creative twist, the part of Patrick Martin was changed to Patricia Martin.

Minteer, who has his own dry sense of humor noted, “It’s very comical dancing around Dan as I die a slow death.”

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