LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
Book and lyrics by Howard Ashman : Music by Alan Menken Based on the film by Roger Corman
Orpheum Theatre, Off-Broadway 27 July, 1982 (2209 perfs)
Comedy Theatre London 12 October, 1983 (813 perfs)
For years now Little Shop of Horrors has made New York audiences scream with laughter. In this gleefully gruesome musical Seymour, a poor florist's assistant, allows his craving for fame and fortune to seduce him into playing nursemaid to a man-eating plant. Goings on surrounding the growing plant's demand for more, more, MORE are accompanied by witty parodies of sixties music. Between bites, the carnivorous Audrey II, named after Seymour's secret love, brings down the house singing rhythm and blues à la Otis Reading or James Brown!
On 21 September, not so long ago, creatures from outer space invaded our galaxy intent on world domination. Some of them took the form of plants. Seymour purchased one of the plants and brought it back to Muschnik florists shop on Skid Row where he worked. He tended the plant lovingly naming it Audrey II after his fellow assistant, Audrey.
Audrey II proves to be a draw in the shop which starts to attract many visitors. The major problem, however, is that Audrey II's food happens to be blood - fresh blood! As the plant starts to grow, so does its appetite and its demands.
Audrey has a sadistic boyfriend, a dentist Orin, who regularly appeases his sadistic desires on Audrey, who realises that she really does have a friend in Seymour.
Seymour has been feeding Audrey II with his own blood but is gradually growing weaker as the plant's appetite increases. In exchange for fresh blood, Audrey II says he will grant Seymour's hearts desire. He wants to wrest Audrey away from Orin who he goes to visit. Orin overdoses himself on laughing gas which he sniffs regularly to achieve a high - Audrey II, however, has her first human victim.
Muschnik begins to suspect the worst and thus becomes the second victim when he stumbles on the secret of Audrey II's growth. By this time Audrey II is growing rapidly and entraps Audrey. Seymour rescues her yet Audrey is now dying of malnutrition. Seymour tells her the whole story of Audrey II and her victims. Audrey wants to join them - and does. Seymour is visited by a representative of World Botanical Enterprises (W.B.E.) as they wish to propagate Audrey II. When they've gone, Seymour tries to kill off the bloodsucking plant but is pulled into its heart. The representatives from the W.B.E. return and take their cuttings. World domination looms - here come Audrey II, and III and IV and .....
- "This horticultural horror will have you screaming with laughter... " New
- "Leaves the audience ... feeling just like Audrey II between victims
- ravenous for more." The New York Times
- "The ... style is so infectious one can't help getting caught up
in this adorable little spoof... Little Shop of Horrors is giddy, irresistible
entertainment." Woman's Wear Daily
- "During Little Shop of Horrors 1 silently begged the Lord's forgiveness as I laughed at some poor schlump being gobbled up by a giant Venus flytrap. But it is certain the Lord understood ... There is a surprise ending. I won't tell you what it is, but keep your weed killer handy." New York Daily News
M5 F4 (plus chorus and extras)
Seymour - a nerd
Audrey - his beloved
Orin - an evil dentist
Mr Mushnik - a florist
Audrey II - a carniverous plant
The shop (Mushnik's Skid Row Florists), the Fore-stage (Skid Row), Screens (painted to depict Skid Row flophouses)
- Call Back the Morning
- Closed For Renovations
- Don't It Go To Show Ya Never Know
- Git It!
- Grow For Me
- The Meek Shall Inherit
- Mushnik and Son
- Now (It's Just the Gas)
- Skid Row (Downtown)
- Prologue (Little Shop of Horrors)
- Somewhere That's Green
- Suddenly Seymour
Guitar, Bass, Drums, Keyboards