Articles, Arts & Literature

The Show Must Go On! ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ Returns to La Misión with a Splash

Photo by Kathey Fatica.

Hurricane Hilary couldn’t keep a good plant down! Dive into the revived, raucous production featuring local talent, ingenious puppetry, and unforgettable performances.


The curtain goes up! The play is on at the La Misión Performing Arts Center.  We sit in our seats thrilled to be present for the encore of The Little Shop of Horrors. It seems that Hurricane Hilary, which made its way this far north, closed down the show a few years ago. This time from the wings three women dressed like street kids moved across the stage singing the opening song. Derek Wille along with drummer Randy Seol, played brilliantly the great music by Alan Menken. Today’s performance was directed by David Cattanio. It took a village to recreate our own Baja-style of this famous story. Actors with very impressive bios of creative excellence graced the stage.  We watched as the play began to unfold and were delighted at each new scene. 

The lead characters carried the play, yet all the cast enacted great cameo sketches, like Rudy Alexander’s delightful wino. The down and out Seymor, played by lead Danny Ingersol, was convincing as he struggled with the decision to feed his hungry little plant which had mysteriously come with the total eclipse of the sun. His love interest played by New York actress, Ginevra Altomara, as Audrey was pure talent. She knew how to work the stage and gave powerful performances even with a black eye and a broken arm given to her by the abusive boyfriend, Matthew Noakes, who played Orin the “sadistic” dentist. Orin liked to inhale his own laughing gas before causing pain to his patients. Matthew’s hysterical laughing and death scene had us all joining in the fun. Lisa Rath as Mrs. Mushnik portrayed the conniving owner of the flower shop which displayed Seymor’s unusual plant. She began to count the cash flow and got greedy. Lisa’s performance and her songs were central to the story line which created the nemesis until it was revealed who the real evildoer was. A plant called Audrey ll. 

Martina meets her match! Our daring writer finds out if she's just as tasty as she is talented, courtesy of Audrey II's appetite for drama! Photo by Kathey Fatica.
Martina meets her match! Our daring writer finds out if she’s just as tasty as she is talented, courtesy of Audrey II’s appetite for drama! Photo by Kathey Fatica.

Audrey ll grows up on this live stage, from a baby to a humongous meat-eating plant. The plant is central to the whole production. It had to be created without the benefit of a movie set and its special effects. How was it done? The design team for four of the Audrey ll puppets were made here in Mexico. It took four weeks of diligent work and was nearly $3000 of the play’s total budget. Master guitarist Miguel de Hoyos and KayAnne de Hoyos took on the project management with a long list of helping hands. And if you have puppets, you need a puppeteer which was filled by a masterful young man, Rafael Mares, who was unfortunately never seen, because he has the good looks for a starring role for which he is well prepared. This all came together so well that we began to forget the murderous plant was a puppet. Karla “Olorato” Henderson was the voice of Audrey ll from the cute little baby plant stage to the fiercely demanding gigantic plant, yelling, “Feed me Seymour, feed me now!”

Director David Cattanio said, “I hope the audience can sit back, enjoy the infectious music, and revel in the delightful silliness of this production. The cast and crew and production team have poured their heart into mastering lines, music, and the intricacies of working with four different puppets. In an effort to enhance what was already a stellar production.” David goes on to thank everyone for their support and calling for continued support in the future for La Misión Performing Arts Center.

Don’t miss the final three performances May 3, 4, 5 at 2:00. You can purchase your tickets at the door.

Editor’s Note: Martina Dobesh is a freelance writer, a frequent contributor to the Gringo Gazette, columnist for Baja Bound, and author of Dust In My Sandals, Tales of a Baja Traveler. 

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