One of my favorite things about having high school aged children is watching their friends – ordinary neighborhood kids – find, develop, and demonstrate their God-given talents in a way they never thought possible. Some achieve through athletics. Some realize they are gifted academically. But in late January, many of them will experience the thrill of bringing joy to audiences by performing in the school musical.

The Lake Highlands Theater Department’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” Jan. 29-31 in the high school auditorium, shows that. (Ticket information is here.)

For those of us who’ve been attending LHHS musicals for years, it’s no secret that these kids are wildly talented. We also know to expect the unexpected, especially when the students are engaged in leadership roles in all aspects of the production, from sets to props to sound to directing (remember the year Sarah Brewer lost her voice and teacher Lisa Cunningham had to sing the lead role from the orchestra pit?).
Two of my favorite kids have lead roles this year. Junior Carly Anthony plays Audrey, the heroine. “I saw Little Shop at the Dallas Summer Musicals and loved it,” she told me. “I never thought I’d get to play Audrey. I’ve never done any acting before.” Carly will nail the part, having lots of stage experience as a member of the pop singing group, Espree.

Fellow Espree member and senior Wilson Spreier will be Seymour. “This experience has been fantastic,” said Wilson, who is recovering from surgery to repair a spleen ruptured during an enthusiastic game of Ultimate Frisbee with friends. “The cast is really talented. I was surprised to be given the lead, but (teachers) Terry Berrier, Jill Mackie Rommel, and Beauen Bogner have coached me well.”

If past experience is a predictor of future success, Little Shop will be a wonderful show, with great musical performances and lots of laughs.