Little Shop of Horrors
at Corona del Mar

Reviewed on April 26, 2014

Santa Margarita Catholic
Orange County Register
Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts
Orange County Register
La Habra High School
OC Cappies Facebook

JeanneAnn Faris
Santa Margarita Catholic

Submitted for publication to Orange County Register

CDM's Little Shop of Horrors is to die for!

JeanneAnn Faris is a junior at Santa Margarita Catholic in Rancho Santa Margarita.

When hesitant, squeamish and downright dorky Seymour Krelborn tends to a special venus flytrap at a failing plant shop, his whole world flips upside down as it grows not only in size but in appetite. Soon, to find meaning in his life, Seymour must learn to balance his love for the girl of his dreams, and his temptation to gain a fortune off the plant's fame. With a deliciously moral ending, "Little Shop of Horrors" by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken reminds us what really matters in life (and that man-eating venus flytraps are not a good investment).

Seymour Krelborn (Christopher Diem) incomparably embodies the quirky yet lovable nerd. With shaky hands, nervous laughter, fast paced breaths and little adjustments of his glasses, Diem shows masterful skill in characterization. His powerful vocals heighten his ability to own the stage, and his display of range from hopeful to heartbroken is unparalleled.

No less impressive is Audrey (Caleigh Wells). Her high-pitched, squeaky voice paired with her big eyes and over-exaggerated facial expressions bring her classic character to life. Wells demonstrates superior control over her voice as she effortlessly sings clearly and dynamically throughout the show.

As an ensemble, the Doo Wop Girls (Olivia Kamalski, Maia Mohammadi, Emily Arenal, Melisa Ulkümen, Gianna Schott, Dana Kadifa) make first-rate singing look easy. As a group they are synchronized not only in dance moves but in spellbinding harmonies. The strong ensemble as a whole convinces the audience that life on skid row is unimaginably gloomy and lifeless.

The hair design (Kendall Cameron-Petersen, Phoebe Evans, Sarah Marshall) accurately reflects the fifties feel of the show. The wigs fit just right and complement the creative and suitable costumes (Diana Place, Savanna Bachelder) that emphasize either the despair of the poverty-stricken ensemble or the uniformity and clear-cut style of the Doo Wop Girls. What really surpass expectations are the props (Claire Holland, Maxwell Remington). From detail in texture and coloration, the construction of both the smaller and enormous Audrey II plants is remarkable.

With vibrant energy, fun music, and man-eating plants, Corona Del Mar High School's production of "Little Shop of Horrors" will leave you hungry for more!

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Stephen Stanec
Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts

Submitted for publication to Orange County Register

Corona del Mar offers botanical bonanza

Stephen Stanec is a senior at Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts in Huntington Beach.

Corona del Mar traps its tribute to one of the most iconic musicals ever to grow on stage with its production of "Little Shop of Horrors."

"Little Shop" follows the maniacal work of naïve flower shop employee Seymour Krelborn as he finds a new species of plant quenched only by human blood. When everything goes awry, Seymour turns to the love of his life, Audrey, to take his mind off the horror. However when the plant's desire for more blood sprouts, Seymour must feed the monster, making the show truly a carnivorous delight!

The relatively small cast maintains high energy throughout the performance. Ensemble dance numbers combine synchronization and characterization to songs like "Skid Row," emphasizing the cast's professionalism that truly anchors the show to success.

Christopher Diem brings a boyish insecurity to Krelborn's complex role. With songs like "Suddenly Seymour" and "Grow for Me," Diem cleverly charms his way out of the friend zone to be Audrey's man. Diem's exaggerated physicality fits cohesively especially in numbers like "Don't It Go To Show Ya Never Know" where dance moves like "The Spongebob" make an appearance.

As another memorable performer, Caleigh Wells blossoms on stage as Audrey. With a fresh take on the character, Wells intertwines innocence and hope in her elegant characterization, which makes her a perfect love interest for this twisted show. Her light flowery voice never falters and features excellent diction and projection throughout her solos.

As the show's recurring ensemble, the Doo Wop Girls inspire a blooming level of sass and relevance. Songs like "Da-Doo" weave together attitude and apt costume design to reflect the period of the show. Maia Mohammadi stands out as Ronnette with her impressive vocal belt and eye catching facials.

Georgina Laube's stage crew keeps the set changes fluid at all times without creating a distraction. The intricate movable plant design is textured with a cartoon-like paint job. The encompassing sound design, props and execution truly make the show shine.

With an enticing love story, hilarious puppeteer work, and the mirrored horror from the original, Corona del Mar's cast really proves that they're "somewhere that's green."

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Jakob Garberg
La Habra High School

Submitted for publication to OC Cappies Facebook

It's suppertime at Corona Del Mar

Jakob Garberg is a sophomore at La Habra High School in La Habra.

How far should one go for love and success? This eternal conflict unfolds in Corona Del Mar's recent production of "Little Shop of Horrors," where an energetic cast works together to create a memorable night of theater for playgoers.

Based on the 1960 dark comedy of the same name, Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's "Little Shop of Horrors" follows flower shop employee Seymour as he raises a new kind of flytrap that eats only human blood. As the plant grows, so does Seymour's fame, giving him a new-found romance, business deals and heavy conscience.

The dedicated cast never skips a beat, always performing their numbers to the fullest extent.

The down-on-his-luck Seymour is portrayed by the excitable Christopher Diem, who uses strong vocals and energetic dancing to entrance the audience. Diem's nasally voice and hunched shoulders clearly create his nerd character. With awkward stutters and long stares, Diem excels at displaying his love for co-worker Audrey, most notably in the romantic duet "Suddenly, Seymour."

The witty Mason Amdor plays the violent Orin; his exaggerated laugh and bouncy step create an animated, cocky antagonist. Amdor always keeps the audience interested, using his quick comedic timing to leave spectators roaring with laughter after each scene.

The stellar Caleigh Wells portrays Serymour's crush, Audrey. Wells's excellent singing voice and clear diction leave the audience hanging on every word she utters in her steady, humorous accent. Wells's change of feelings for Seymour is made apparent as she becomes more playful and giddy as the show progresses.

The grouchy Mr. Mushnik is played by the strong Maxwell Remington, whose thick, consistent accent and slower movements clearly distinguish him from his younger, more energized employees.

The detailed and dynamic props of the production, overseen by Claire Holland, add a realistic element to the show, from the changing times on the clock to the deadly, intimidating Audrey II plant. Diana Place and Savanna Bachelder's costumes never fail to express the feelings of each scene, from the bright colors of the exciting act 1, to the dark shades seen in the gloomy act 2.

With an exciting cast and wonderful voices, "Little Shop of Horrors" has truly shown audiences "somewhere that's green."

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