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Maddie Kornely and Wesley Whirlwind Soldier

Cast of Little Shop of Horrors delivers Piece DE Resistance
May 12, 2017

By Rich Winter

A few years ago I had the privilege of seeing the Addams Family, on Broadway, in New York City. Nathan Lane played the lead of Gomez Addams while Bebe Neuwirth, more commonly known as Lillith from the show, Frazier, played Morticia.




As the curtain closed on that show for the final time, I shed a tear because what I had just seen blew my mind and I wasn't sure if I would ever be back to enjoy an experience of that ilk. 


Heard great things about the TC School District Production of Little Shop of Horrors from their opening night performance, but walked in Wednesday a little skeptical. While most concerts and productions are pretty good, I often can't hear the songs, and while I clap politely, I've never had my socks knocked off...


Until Wednesday...

Can't really tell this story without telling how the whole story of this magical production really got off the ground.


Rhonda Stoecklin, who Directed the Little Shop of Horrors production shared with a captivated audience how this shin-dig got off the ground.


Apparently when now senior, Wesley Whirlwind Soldier had finished up the production of the Sound Of Music two years ago he mentioned to Stoecklin that before he was done with high school if there was one play he wanted to do it would be the Little Shop of Horrors.


Oh man did this cast do this one RIGHT!

Wesley Whirlwind Soldier as - SEYMOUR (playing age of mid 20s) Our insecure, naïve, put-upon, florists’ clerk hero. Above all, he’s a sweet and well-meaning little man. He is not a silly nerd, and therefore, should not be played as the hero of a Jerry Lewis film. Strong acting and singing.


Whirlwind Soldier dove into his character and personified the naive store clerk to perfection. Impeccable timing and terrific singing. When he started dancing with Mr. Mushnick (Chandler Bordeaux) I almost died. Above all you felt the passion and energy throughout the entire performance from Whirlwind Soldier.


Maddie Kornely as AUDREY (similar playing age to Seymour) ) The bleached-blond, Billie-Dawn-like secret love of his live. If you took Judy Holiday, Carol Channing, Marilyn Monroe, and Goldie Hawn, removed their education and feelings of self-worth, dressed them in spiked heels and a short black dress, and then shook them up in a test tube to extract what’s sweetest and most vulnerable – that’d be Audrey. Strong acting/comedy and singing


Kornely embraced her roll as Audrey showing a flirty side woven with comedic timing and breathtaking singing. Kornely delivered several singing numbers that were absolute perfection. Sweet and yet vulnerable was captured by Kornely and her presence only grew as the play proceeded.


Chandler Bordeaux -  (middle aged? Old enough to ‘adopt’ Seymour as his son) This part can be played by either male or female. Their boss. A failure of an East Side florist. His/Her accent, if he/she has one, is more that of middle class New York than of Eastern Europe. S/He seldom smiles but often sweats. Strong character actor (some singing)


Not knowing Chandler Bordeaux from boo I was mesmerized as the east-side florist failure came to life. A big, strong perfomance from Bordeaux who sang, and danced his way into the hearts of every audience member in attendance. A robust performance from someone I couldn't imagine had that much talent flowing through his veins. 


Now, mind you, I've only heard about Alan-Mychal Boyd's skills in Oral Interp...DAYUM!


Alan-Mychal Boyd as ORIN (late 20s-early 40s?) A tall, dark, handsome dentist with a black leather jacket and cruel tendencies. He is not, however, a leftover from the movie version of Grease. Think instead of an egotistical pretty-boy – all got up like a greaser but thinking alike and insurance salesman and talking like a radio announcer. Makes a couple of brief, but high impact, appearances. Strong character actor and singer. 


Boyd swaggered onto the stage with a smoothish, almost sinister demeanor capturing of his character. He was mean to Audrey and was electric in the gas-mask scence with Seymour. Boyd, with his raspy renditions vocally still managed to swagger his way into the hearts of the audience.


I could go on and on and on.

The trio of CRYSTAL, RONNETTE and CHIFFON, whom I secretly referred to as fly girls made a gigantic impact despite not having a major role in the play. Kalion Knox gave a special performance and really captured the role of Ronnette.


(If I didn't mention you by name, all of u were AWESOME!!)


From the set design to the lighting to everyone back stage that made things just right this one was a performance for the ages.


I don't think Pauline Lanz missed a note on Wednesday...Brilliant!


Stoecklin delivered a magical performance.


I've seen and heard a lot about the artistic abilities of some of the members of this senior class. I've heard Oral Interp stories and seen scores of All-State Chorus and All-State band things...


On Wednesday, all of that hard work paid dividends as a wicked display of talent made this guy feel like he was back on Broadway.


U guys killed it...


To those students and staff who cared enough to spend the time it takes to deliver that kind of performance, I bow at your greatness and the community thanks you for sharing your talent with us in such a special way!


And yes, I shed a tear...AMAZING!!!


So, I hear some boo-bird stories out there today...BOO...Pay no mind, take a look into the eyes and smile of the young lady who was watching the show...You captivated her and brought her imagination to a new level...You moved mountains and that's rare in Mission South Dakota!



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