Running To Places does Little Shop of Horrors
Well summer draws to a close, kids are back in school, leaves here are beginning to fall, and a large pile of wood sits ready to be stacked in my back yard. And capping off the end of the summer season is also the last production of the 2009 season for Running To Places.
If you read my blog with any regularity (not that I have been posting as regularly as I used to) you will have undoubtedly seen several posts along the way about Running To Places, the youth theatre company that I shoot pictures for. A fabulous organization giving voice to scores of talented middle and high school students from this area and producing some of the best youth theatre productions you can imagine. After doing Footloose this summer at Ithaca’s State Theatre, they finished up at Candor High School with Little Shop of Horrors. With a small cast of only nine performers, they gave one of their best shows.
Engy Hassan, Sophie Potter, Anais Duplan, and Wynter La Torre-Osavska played the singing girl squad, Chiffon, Crystal, Ronnette, and Shirelle that laid the background vocals setting the stage for all the drama. Elias Spector-Zabusky give another fantastic performance as Seymour, the nerdish orphan and botanical whiz kid of skid row taken in by Mr. Mushnick, played by James Palmer. Elias is an amazing talent with a great stage presence, fabulous strong voice, and incredible gift for humor. And James gave a wonderful rendition of the ethnic Mushnick, whose temper and curiosity eventually lead him to his end as plant food.
My heart went to the fabulous Audrey, played so stunningly well by Kasia Sendek. Kasia is so cute as Audrey that every time she even said the name, “Mr. Mushnick” I just wanted to squeeze her. She played the ultimate clueless, misguided, city sweetheart of the terrible Orin, the dentist, abused but afraid to leave, longing for “somewhere green”, eventually freed to fall in love with Seymour. Kasia has an amazing voice and perfect delivery. Her amazing duet with Elias doing Suddenly Seymour wowed the audience, and her sweet rendition of Somewhere That’s Green tugged at the heartstrings. Bravo, girl, Bravo!
Orin the dentist and several other parts were played extremely well by Adam Beckwith. The dominating and arrogant Orin is funny but distasteful, and the crowd welcomed his demise. Adam returned numerous times to play a stream of promoters of both genders bent on turning Seymour into a star. Very well done, Adam.
The final outstanding performance was played by Jeremy Pletter inside the incredible puppet, Audrey II. Those who are familiar with Running To Places know Jeremy’s booming deep voice from previous productions, including Spring Showcase this year where he and Elias did a prequel performance to Little Shop. Jeremy captured the ominous character of the giant carnivorous plant with such virtuosity and style, you both loved him and hated him. I can still hear that chilling laughter as he taunted Seymour into bringing more and more human food. Jeremy, you were fantastic!
So to all those at Running To Places that give their time and talent for music, sets, costumes, tickets, concessions, direction, lighting, sound, management, and all other aspects of these complicated productions for the benefit of all these great kids and all of us in the audience, many, many thanks for a fabulous play and a wonderful second season.
Now let’s do it all again! On to season three!!
All images are Copyright © George Cannon.
Pictures from this play and all of the 2009 Season are available for purchase at http://imageguy.zenfolio.com. 20% goes back to support Running To Places.