SMFHS junior Shelby Denton has had a pretty good year. For starters, she was a state qualifier in Speech and Debate, champion of the Stow Battle of the Bands and, this weekend, she will be performing live in “Little Shop of Horrors,” her first named role in a high school musical.
“I play Crystal. She is a part of the Ronnettes, a 'Greek-chorus'-like trio who foreshadow everything that is going to happen throughout the story,” Denton said. “I plan on having lots of attitude and sass!"
Denton, who emphasized that the role of Crystal is very unlike her natural self, has been involved with musicals since her freshman year—her first role being a member of the chorus in “Bye Bye Birdie.”
“Trying out for the musical is kind of a no-brainer for me. I love musical theater so much that I plan on majoring in it [at college], so there was no doubt that I was going to audition,” Denton said.
The challenge for her and the rest of the Ronnette girls has been to tap into the characteristics of a “ghetto” girl, as Denton puts it.
“That's something that's sort of foreign to me, and it's been a challenge, but I'm prepared to conquer that and have lots of 'tude,” Denton said.
Denton is not only a part of Speech and Debate and her rising music group “Recipe of Life,” a two-girl duo with fellow cast member Ariel McCleary, but also a part of the high school band, journalism and the Six-District Compact Theater Program at Tallmadge High School.
In a nutshell, she's a busy girl.
Denton and the Ronnettes started vocal practices in January, but moved onto the stage once the Junior Class Play “12 Angry Jurors” was finished. The cast started running through rehearsals non-stop about two weeks ago, and will be ready when opening night—April 20—roles around.
“It's...so rewarding once we get to performances,” Denton said. “It's the
“Little Shop” will go on April 20, 21 and 22. Tickets, which will sell for $8 general admission (only for students or senior citizens) or $10 general admission (anybody else), have been going fast and will continue to be on sale up until the show.
Reserved seating is also an option, at $12 a ticket, or two patron tickets for $35. More information on how to purchase tickets can be found by e-mailing