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Posted on Mar 20, 2019

‘Little Shop’ comes to high school stage

Man-eating plant and all, Broadway classic “Little Shop of Horrors” will open at Quincy High School’s Chuck McConnell Performing Arts Center on March 21.
The plant, actually a big Venus flytrap puppet, will make its first appearance in the second act of the performance.
The show itself has long been a favorite of the Quincy High School Drama Club, and now finally, “we have the cast for it,” director and music director Kylie Youngren said.
“Once you come to see the show, you will see that every kid was made for the role they are singing,” Youngren said. “I have been wanting to do this show for a while, and I have kids who fit into the roles very well.”
Taggart Hodges, Ivania Chavez, Paige Lubach and Sam Ronish are among the veterans returning to the stage. One of the standouts of the productions, Youngren said, is a freshman.
“We have a ‘Rookie of the Year’ situation,” she said. “One of our leads is a freshman, and he’s a rock star – Hunter Clark.”
About 30 students helped put this show together, including cast and crew. With spring sports finally arising from its snowy slumber and with other obligations such as driver’s education, the students are plenty busy, so establishing a schedule that works around athletics’ practices can be tricky.
“You can tell they care about this as well,” Youngren said. “So even when they are tired, they put forth their best effort.”
Snow days have helped, allowing for longer rehearsals while the school is closed.
Youngren described the show as PG-13, aimed at a more mature audience, with themes of murder and domestic violence. Dauphnie Marotto serves as assistant director.
The show has a live band, with a three-piece group of keyboard, bass guitar and drums throughout the show.
Being a music teacher, directing the spoken parts of a production is “definitely out of my comfort zone,” Youngren said. Having been part of youth theater productions during her childhood and college years helps, she added.
The show opens March 21, with a sneak preview scheduled for the QHS school day on March 22, “to get the kids excited about coming out to see it,” Youngren said. Two more shows follow, on March 22 in the evening and March 23. All performances except the sneak preview are at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $7 and $5 for students.

By Sebastian Moraga,