Meeker High School’s ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ opens April 16

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Bob Amick graduated in 1961 from Meeker High School.

He recalls being a part of the musical theatre program as a teenager, a passion that stayed with him through his college years and beyond.

Now retired in his hometown, Amick will once again see the curtain rise on opening night.

This time, he’ll be behind the scenes of a musical that took a community to produce.

“Little Shop of Horrors” is a musical with no shortage of technical complications: large-scale puppets depicting a super-natural plant, sound and lighting special effects and a demanding musical score.

But with the help of volunteers, grants and donations, the high school’s first musical in two years will open Friday at the Meeker High School auditorium.

Show times are 7 p.m. Friday and April 17, and 2 p.m. April 18.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students, seniors and children.

Amick, who volunteers his time as the play’s technical director, said he sees the cast’s enthusiasm mounting as opening night approaches.

“They really seem to be pretty excited about doing it,” Amick said. “They’re really free-form type kids. We’ve got some kids that have wonderful voices.”

But the students aren’t the only stars of the show.

Four puppets — representing the plant Audrey II in various stages of growth — were borrowed from the theatre department at Mesa State University in Grand Junction.

Without the donation, renting puppets could have cost thousands of dollars.

Director Gary Zellers, who is a respiratory therapist at Pioneers Hospital by day, said the musical would not have been successful without the community, which made donations to the Meeker High School Drama Club.

“You can’t do this just with our little bunch,” Zellers said. “We have all kinds of help from the community and from Mesa State.”

He said the cast is one that loves performing and is developing a sense of comfort and confidence on stage.

That confidence, he said, translates into a valuable learning experience that every student should have the opportunity to have.

“You’re not sitting down and writing or learning math,” he said. “But you’re still learning. They don’t realize it in a lot of cases, but it helps their self-esteem.

“You get a crowd of people standing up and clapping, and that sends a huge message to a kid.”

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