Last updated: June 03. 2014 6:03PM - 715 Views
By Kitsey E. Burns kburns@civitasmedia.com

Benjamin Caswell and Bailey Atkins, who will portray Seymour and Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors,” rehearse their music for the first time with Foothills Theatre Musical Director Freddy Casstevens.
Benjamin Caswell and Bailey Atkins, who will portray Seymour and Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors,” rehearse their music for the first time with Foothills Theatre Musical Director Freddy Casstevens.
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The first company rehearsal for Foothills Theatre’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors” took place on Saturday morning and new and returning actors were excited about the summer ahead and the chance to sing, dance and entertain area residents.

Director Leighanne Martin Wright said that this show has always been one of her personal favorites. “Little Shop of Horrors” is a dark comedy about a mild mannered florist who finds fame and fortune with an unusual plant with a most disturbing diet.

“It’s a satire on B movies set to the sounds of ‘6os rock and doo wop music,” Wright said.

“Little Shop of Horrors” will be at Elkin High School’s Dixon Auditorium July 25-27. The cast includes Benjamin Caswell of Elkin as Seymour; Bailey Atkins of Mount Airy as Audrey; Gary Maxey of Elkin as Mushnik; Alexa Maxey, Aspen Jackson and Aj Mantero, all of Elkin, as Ronnette, Chiffon and Crystal; Ray Fencl of Elkin as the voice of Audrey II; Daniel Wilson of Elkin as the puppeteer; Morgan Harrison of Elkin as Orin Scrivillo; and in the ensemble, Ben Erlandson, Brian Rector, David Nielsen, Christie Harrison, Nicole Freeman, Claire Grider, Amy Rector, Cole Lawrence, Cassidy Transou, all of Elkin; Stacey Libbert, Harper Lee Libbert, Neil Green, Gracie Briggs, all of State Road; Kitsey E. Burns of East Bend; and Vicky Zickmund of Mocksville. The play is directed by Leighanne Martin Wright of Elkin, Freddy Casstevens of Boonville and Kim Arnold of Elkin.

Stacey Libbert is one of the new-comers to Foothills Theatre but said she was thrilled to be a part of the cast, along with her daughter Harper Lee.

“This is my first time on stage ever,” Libbert said. “And I get to do it with Harper Lee so it’s a double treat.”

Libbert did perform recently in Foothill’s readers theater production “Motherhood Out Loud,” but said that being in a musical was a completely different experience. While a bit nervous about it, Libbert said she really enjoyed the first music rehearsal with fellow cast mates.

“I liked it. It was fun,” she said. “It’s funny being around all these people who have done it before and worrying about if I’m doing it right, but I think it will all come together.”

Libbert also had high praise for Music Director Freddy Casstevens whom she said brought “such energy and enthusiasm” to the rehearsal.

Casstevens is a veteran musician who has served as musical director with Foothills Theatre and other area theatre organizations for many years. He said “Little Shop of Horrors” has a special meaning for him.

“This is my first show that I ever did many many years ago,” Casstevens said. “It’s just a fun show. The music is fun. It transports me back to the 60s when I was kid and I think the audience will love it. They’ll enjoy the music.”

Casstevens has already had several rehearsals with principal cast members and said all the music rehearsals so far have gone very well.

“The actors seem to enjoy the music so I think we will have a lot of fun,” he said.

Wright said that the audience will particularly enjoy Seymour’s unique plant and it is sure to get a big cheer from the audience when it appears on stage. She also said that the cast of the show will be a great treat for the audience and that she is very pleased and proud to work this exceptional cast.

“The caliber of talent that comes out of this small town and the surrounding area always astounds me and I think the audience will be very impressed with the singing and the dancing and the acting.”

Kitsey E. Burns may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.

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