Weston High School has long been home to an array of aspiring young actors and singers, specifically, members of the student club, WHS Company (www.whscompany.com). Since the 1980s, the group has wowed audiences with both classic and contemporary shows; Emmanuel Church seeks once again, to salute their talent. The annual showcase and fun-filled afternoon, “Broadway Bound: A Tribute to WHS Company,” is back and will feature music from the Greater Bridgeport Symphony (GBS) String Quartet -- drawn from past Company plays, coupled with a preview of Company’s March performance, Little Shop of Horrors. The tribute will take place on Sunday, February 26 from 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. at Emmanual Church, 285 Lyons Plain Road, Weston. Admission is free, “Broadway Bound” is family-friendly and will feature both door prizes and a bake sale.
The event will kick off with a several selections by the strings of The Greater Bridgeport Symphony. The ensemble includes: Larry Watson, principal second violin with the GBS and a string teacher; Corinne Metter, violinist and a regular member of the GBS, Ridgefield and Norwalk Symphony Orchestras; Suzanne Corey-Sahlin, principal violist of the Ridgefield and Norwalk Symphonies and viola instructor; and Gunnar Sahlin, principal cellist of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, cello instructor, and artistic director/conductor of the Fairfield County Symphony Society.
Part-two of “Broadway Bound” will feature this year’s Company players showcasing scenes and songs from their upcoming show, Little Shop of Horrors. WHS Company is a student-run theater organization founded in 1984, and the high school’s largest club. Company traditionally presents four productions per year: a drama, musical, one acts (student-directed) and dialogue (student-written and directed works). The March show is directed is Liz Morris and co-produced by Patricia Goodrich, Paul Levin and Lauren Rosenberg.
This spring’s play, Little Shop of Horrors, is a science fiction horror musical with a 1960s pop/rock score by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. Seymour Krelborn is a meek assistant at a floral shop who happens upon a strange plant, which he names “Audry II,” after his current crush. The plant comes to life and promises Seymour fame and fortune in exchange for a constant supply of blood. Little Shop of Horrors is based on the 1986 film of the same name, directed by Frank Oz. Company will share a stage excerpt, giving attendees a glimpse of their full performance that will take place on March 23-26 (7:30 p.m., 3:00 p.m. Sunday matinee). Tickets will go on sale the week of February 26 ($15 adults; $10 students/seniors) via www.whscompany.com, or can be purchased at the door.
“WHS Company is both thrilled to be recognized by the community, and grateful to Emmanuel Church for bringing back ‘Broadway Bound.’ We’re also thankful for the opportunity to celebrate our cast, while promoting the arts at large in Weston and beyond,” said Liz Morris, Director, Little Shop of Horrors.
The Little Shop of Horrors cast includes: David Katz (Seymour Krelborn), Izzy Angeli (Audrey), Thomas Valenti (Voice of Audrey II), Lake Jacob-Skolik (Audrey II Puppeteer and Announcer), Rachael Buddenhagen (Crystal), Jane Burdett (Ronnette), Sophie Lane (Chiffon), Cameron Edgar (Orin Scrivello, D.D.S.), Josh Metchick (Mr. Mushnik), Grace Goodrich, Remy Young, Molly Morris, Ericka Schmiedeck, Payton Spandow, Momo Burns-Min, Amanda Maddox, Emily Andrade, & Erin Dillon (Do-Wop Girls), Matt Figliola (Wino #1), Lucas Casellas (Bum), Josh Ronai (Bum, City Person, Skip Snip), Hannah Dove, Abby Glasberg, Peyton Sander, Bella Sperry, Ben Rosenberg, Karina Warchick, Peri Ferdinand, Julia Kelly, Chelsea Greenberg, Charlotte Chen, Catie Morvillo, Julia Lawless, Jennifer Purcell, Ben Roasenberg, & Patrick Betsworth (City People), Ellen Relac (Cat Lady), Ben Greene (Biker, Dental Patient), Xavier Lewis (Biker, Interviewer), Peyton Sander (Shop Customer), Ben Rosenberg (Mr. Bernstein), Abby Glasberg (Mrs. Luce), and Garrett Landen (Martin).
“Broadway Bound” is Emmanuel Church’s most recent nod to the arts and newest installment to their annual happenings -- The Arts Bloom in Weston, Family Fair and summer concert series. With its renovated parish hall as the ideal backdrop, Emmanuel has become a hub for all things community and cultural, and is epecially pleased to support the theatrical work of Weston’s youth on the 26th.
“Emmanuel Church is delighted to host this salute to Company and thrilled to welcome back WHS Company and the Greater Bridgeport Symphony. The event promises to be a fitting tribute,” said John Boys, Emmanuel Church Music Coordinator.
Photo: (From left), Little Shop of Horror cast members, David Katz (who plays the lead, Seymore Krelborn) and Lucas Casellas, rehearse a scene from their March production.