SYCAMORE – Although Broadway is still shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sycamore High School is offering live, in-person entertainment with three showings of “Little Shop of Horror.”
Shows will be held 7 p.m. Thursday, May 6, and Friday, May 7, and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 8, at Sycamore High School’s auditorium. Tickets cost $10 to $14 and must be purchased online at www.sycamoretickets.org in advance. There is a limited number of tickets available for each show. The audience is required to wear masks and social distance. Family groups will be able to sit together.
The 14 cast members will also wear KN95 masks and social distance while on stage. They will each wear a microphone in front of their mask so they can be heard by the audience.
A live student pit band will perform remotely in the band room with live audio and visual feed of the stage.
Auditions for “Little Shop of Horror” were held mid-February, with rehearsals beginning as soon as possible. Students were attending school remotely when auditions and early rehearsals were held.
“I’m used to much larger productions, with 70 cast members and a very large crew, all rehearsing in person,” said Sue Johnson, the high school’s performing arts director. “There are about 40 students total in this production. It was very different for this show.”
Johnson describes the musical as “a weird, funny, scary story, almost like an old science fiction B-movie about a plant that eats people.”
Senior Matthew Sharp, who portrays Ori, a sadistic dentist, has participated in three other Sycamore High School musicals. The fall play was held via Zoom instead of in person due to the pandemic.
“It’s great to be back on stage,” Sharp said. “It reminds me why I love musical theater. There’s nothing like a live audience. Hearing them cheering and laughing is a huge confidence boost. It’s a great feeling to have. I think we’re all very happy to be back on stage for a live show.”
Senior Caroline Menzer portrays the character Ronnette, part of a singing trio of street urchins. “Little Shop of Horrors” will be Menzer’s fifth high school musical since she participated in a production while in eighth grade.
“It’s really exciting to be back on stage performing,” Menzer said. “It’s a big deal for us and for the community to actually perform this year. I never thought it would happen with the pandemic, but I’m so happy it is.”