leave your inhibitions at the door
It’s theater time again! Last November, I posted a song from Oliver! as one of the Pieholes was in a local production. This weekend, her middle school is doing a huge production of Little Shop of Horrors. Those of you interested in purchasing tickets – www.showtix4u.com.
The school has a rich history in the arts, and this bunch of 150 kids is amazing. This is the school’s 22nd musical production and has featured classics like Grease, Joseph, and Sound of Music. Little Shop is a particularly difficult production to stage as you have a man-eating plant that grows throughout the show. Musically, it’s very tricky as there are complex harmonies and intricate interplay between the characters and the orchestra. All of this is challenging enough, but made even more daunting with the addition of a first-year musical director. Me.
Working with these kids has been a terrific experience. Their enthusiasm and high level of performance is captivating and now I’m finding an appreciation for the 1986 movie. Because let’s face it – it sucked.
LSOH was originally a B-movie done by Roger Corman done in 1960. It’s funny that any promotional material for that movie features Jack Nicholson. I haven’t seen it but, based on the character, he was probably in it for all of 15 seconds. Later, it was set for the stage in 1982 with music by the great Alan Menken.
In 1986, it was made into a movie with Ellen Greene reprising her original broadway role as Audrey. It also had the inspired casting of Vincent Gardinia, Rick Moranis, and the great Levi Stubbs, who provided the singing voice for the plant. Not so inspiring was Steve Martin as Orin, the sadistic dentist. Sure, it’s supposed to be campy and silly, but Martin was painfully hammy.
So here’s to all the great cast, crew, directors, producers, musicians, and volunteers I got the chance to work with over the past couple of months. You rock!