TJ’s musical Little Shop of Horrors was a groundbreaking performance and set milestones for the future of TJ’s performing arts.
The highly awaited Little Shop of Horrors TJ fall musical was a great success. The cast and crew members have worked for many weeks to make their visions come to life. The show ran the second weekend in November and had an impressive attendance for all four performances.
Bringing this show to life required a lot of hard work from many people. All of the cast and crew pitched in to help make it a success, including stage manager Aiden Heeres, an off campus junior at TJ who seemed to be juggling many jobs outside of his stage manager job description. Heeres helped manage and guide the cast and crew to success. From tech crew to sound engineers to actors to musicians, every single player was dedicated to their craft and it showed.
One of the main priorities this semester was creating an orchestra in the pit, which for the first time in two decades, was made up of a majority of students. Robin Morrissey, the band and orchestra director at TJ, was in the pit with the students. Morrissey explained that the large student presence was due to “this year’s band and orchestra classes having some skilled students” as well as the fact that the“students were willing to dedicate the time and energy needed.” The combination of these reasons created a successful student led orchestra. This was “a milestone” for the performing arts at TJ and changed the way that future musicals and plays will go for years to come. Morrissey also mentioned how the visions of Drama teacher Andre Moss and Choir director Tambyr Reed required the inclusion of a larger student body which influenced more people to dedicate more time and effort into the dramatic arts this semester.
The large number of those willing to participate in the creation of this year’s musical led to double casting this semester. Many lead roles were given to two people, which was divided equally to both cast members amongst the four nights. For example, the lead for the part of Audrey was given to senior Shana Saint Phard and junior Amielia Lauritano to share. Despite this challenge of casting, and lack of time, Lauritano commented, “I feel like it actually went really well…I was really proud of us.”
The time frame set for this talented cast and crew made the musical that much more challenging to accomplish before show time. Reed explained, “The students were great at practicing outside of rehearsal on this music. For the time frame we set, they did exceptionally well.” The musical was a hit, there was a large body of students in the audience supporting fellow classmates on stage, and the actors performed confidently and seemingly flawlessly. The determination of the cast brought to life an inclusive and exciting musical experience for the entire TJ community.