After weeks of set-building, memorizing lines and songs, lighting and sound checks and rehearsals, the two casts of the 2021 Neshaminy High School musical, Little Shop of Horrors took to the stage on Saturday, March 20 in front of a small audience of close family members spread out in the auditorium and several video cameras. For the first time ever, the show was recorded and streamed on the internet one week later for an online audience to enjoy. Since pandemic restrictions severely restricted the number of audience members that could see the show in person, a license to broadcast the show online was purchased and four dates were scheduled (two shows for each cast). Under the terms of the license, the show could only be viewed at specific times as though it were broadcast live.
Wearing special transparent masks while on stage for Covid-19 protection, the cast members performed the show four times, with the final two performances captured on video. This musical comedy is an adaptation of a 1980’s film, which itself was based on an off-Broadway musical based on a 1960’s Roger Corman film. It features a fast-growing carnivorous plant with an appetite for human blood. The Vocal Music Boosters at NHS held a successful GoFundMe campaign to raise money to rent several Audrey II puppets for the show, the final one of which is large enough to swallow cast members whole. The show was directed by Vocal Music teacher and NHS Choir Director Kristin Nichols.
The three Neshaminy middle schools are also planning on holding virtual musicals later this spring. Carl Sandburg Middle School will be performing the Disney hit, High School Musical and sharing it on video during the month of May. Poquessing Middle School will perform Schoolhouse Rock Live, an adaptation of the retro Saturday morning educational cartoons. Their performances will also be recorded and shared with the public on streaming video also in May (at times to be coordinated with all the middle schools). Maple Point Middle School is currently assembling cabaret-style musical that will feature selections from several shows. Using a everything from green screen technology to choir performances brought together on multi-track software, the show will also be presented as a video that will be shared with the community in May.