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'Little Shop of Horrors' shows at Centennial High School

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Las Cruces Bulletin

LAS CRUCES - One of the most popular musicals of all time, “Little Shop of Horrors,” will be performed at 7 p.m. Thursday-Sunday, May 2-4 in the performing arts lab at Centennial High School, 1950 Sonoma Ranch Blvd.

Tickets are $5 for each performance, available at the door.

The cast includes Gus Sanchez as Seymour Krelborn; Wanda Beach as Audrey; Diego Gomez as Mr. Mushnik; Frankie Gomez as Orin Scrivello, D.D.S. and two other characters; Ashton Taylor as the voice of Audrey II and other characters; Monique Romero and Isaac Pacheco as Audrey II puppeteers; Eva Cullen, Morgyn Gallegos and Emma Kenney as Crystal, Chiffon and Ronnette; Abigail Hindes as “Old Chinese Woman” and Mrs. Luce; Luke Tumblin (also the show’s assistant director) as Arthur Denton and Delivery Boy; and Julianna Luna as Customer #2.

The crew includes CHS students plus popular performers, musicians and designers in Las Cruces theatre.

The play is directed by CHS English and theatre teacher Darin Cabot, a long-time Las Cruces actor and director. He recently starred in Las Cruces Community Theatre’s popular “The Crucible.”

Megan McQueen, co-founder of Scaffolding Theatre Company, is the show’s musical director. Diane Thomas, who has performed in recent shows at LCCT and Black Box Theatre, is the conductor and plays piano for the live orchestra, which also includes Tommy Medina on drums, Robert Garcia on guitar and Darrin Loken on bass. Julianna Luna is the dance choreographer. Roxi Garcia is the stage manager and Kendra Van Doorn is assistant stage manager.

The puppets were designed by Bob Diven and Diego Gomez, who also did the scenic design. The puppet/props team is comprised of Thahee Arreola, Frankie Gomez, Melissa Hernandez and Charli Barbee. The set team is comprised of Adam Shervanick and Isaac Pacheco. The lighting design is by Ally Flitcroft, with Monique Romero, Emma Kenney, Eva Cullen and Morgyn Gallegos on the lights team. The sound design was by Connor Williams, with a sound team comprised of Travis Wollard and Gus Sanchez. The costumes were designed by Isabella Flores, with Emma Pitts and Ashton Taylor on the costume team. Make up design is by Cierra Perez, with Jazmin Aguilar, Ariela Flores, Abigail Hindes and Wanda Beach on the makeup team.

Wanda Beach (Audrey) and Gus Sanchez (Seymour) rehearse a scene from “Little Shop of Horrors.” (Photo courtesy Darin Cabot/Centennial High School) Wanda Beach (Audrey) and Gus Sanchez (Seymour) rehearse a scene from “Little Shop of Horrors.” (Photo courtesy Darin Cabot/Centennial High School)The production is dedicated to the memory of Connor Williams, the show’s sound designer, who died recently.

“Connor was in many ways at the heart of our theatre program,” Cabot said. “He joined the after-school [theatre] program as a freshman and brought with him the knowledge and commitment of an upper-classman. He was one of the most genuine, sincere and positive students I have ever had the privilege to teach. He was recognized for his talent in sound design at the High Desert Thespian Festival, receiving first place for his design for our state championship-winning production of ‘And.’

"Connor’s spirit lives on in every sound cue, every beat every moment of what we do from here forward," he said. "We miss his smile, his laugh and most of all his friendship. Heaven must have an excellent musical underscore now.”

Cabot said Diego Gomez has worked with long-time Las Cruces theatre wizard Bob Diven to create the show’s Venus flytrap puppets, using everything from small, plastic sleds with gloves glued to them to pool noodles.

This version of the plants is “a little scarier, a little darker than other productions I’ve seen,” said Cabot, who was in the ensemble of “Little Shop of Horrors” when it was produced years ago at Las Cruces Community Theatre. He also wanted to do the show, Cabot said, before senior Gus Sanchez graduates from CHS. “He’s kind of a young Rick Moranis,” Cabot said, referring to the 1986 film version of the show.

With music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman, “Little Shop of Horrors” opened off-Broadway in 1982 and on Broadway in 2003.

For more information, contact Cabot at 575-527-9330 or dcabot@lcps.net.

Mike Cook may be contacted at mike@lascrucesbulletin.com.

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