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Little Shop of Horrors

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  • A while ago, I actually wrote up a quick little concept for how an equivalent moment would play out on (animated) film. It's pretty much the same way it worked in the play, except that instead of Audrey actually physically approaching (and Audrey II actually looking at where Audrey physically is as it considers the idea of eating her), we would just see Audrey II looking off into space, considering something unspecified, and then we would cut to Audrey in a completely different location (possibly with some kind of subtle frame around the shot to indicate that we're seeing it through some kind of sixth sense of Audrey II's). A couple of seconds later, we'd cut back to Seymour and Audrey II, and Audrey II would deliver the "It's better than nothing" line. I feel like this would be a much more faithful translation of the moment to film.
  • Well, I don't think even that would work as well. It's just a hard thing to pull off on film.

    The problem is this. In theater, you have the entire stage to work with. So when Audrey walks on stage, all you have to do is shift your eyes. But on film, you would have to cut to her, and it would feel too, on the nose. It would be a bit too obvious that you were setting something up.

    The idea that would work best, in my opinion, is if The Plant looked out the window to think, and we cut to his POV as we hear "Suddenly" softly play in the background and we see Audrey, in her apartment, doing something (combing her hair, packing) with a troubled look on her face. We go back to the scene at hand to finish it, and then we cut to his POV yet again to see Audrey exiting her building. We cut to her as she walks over to the shop, singing "Somminex" to herself.

  • Sorry to detract from the conversation, but I just remembered something that made me want to post it here.

    I saw "Wicked" in its San Francisco production back in 2007. Guess who I saw playing the Wizard?

    Lee Wilkoff.

    I didn't realize it until now, but when I did the research, it just enhanced the memory even more. I feel so lucky now looking back on it.

    Also, I was lucky to see Carol Kane as Madame Morrible in the Los Angeles production of "Wicked" a year later.

    Anyway, I just had to say it somewhere, and this was the perfect thread to do it in. With that in mind, back to what Omega was talking about.
  • Lee Wilkoff is one of those wonderful working actors who is too often overlooked because he does his job so well - he gives his characters his all. I love to see him on stage.
  • I'm a bit disappointed that the new Little Shop of Horrors film seems to have died. I would have loved to see a version more faithful to the stage show.
  • I don't know if it's died as much as taking a breather. No one's told me it's dead, anyway. We have absolutely no control but do get occasional updates. I'll try to find out more.
  • While at work today, I had an idea (which is what happens when I'm alone with my thoughts too long) for a digital release that would be, in my opinion, wonderful.

    I thought it would be wonderful to have a full, studio cast album, featuring every song written for the show, from every original song sketch ("Pet Flower" & "Feed Me (I'm Hungry)") to every cut song ("We'll Have Tomorrow", "The Meek Shall Inherit (Reprise)") to cut songs from the film ("Crystal, Ronette, and Chiffon", "Bad"). What I picture is the the first attempt at the score being first, then the final score, with cut songs fitting in where they can ("Green" reprise followed by "Meek" reprise followed by "Mean Green Mother"), with replaced songs ("I Found a Hobby") and other miscellaneous songs ("The Worse He Treats Me") closing out the entire thing.

    I'm not sure if this is a good or bad idea, or even why I'm sharing this (my best guess is that I was working all day and I should be asleep), but I would buy a compendium of the score in a heartbeat.
  • ^ That actually sounds pretty cool to me. I'd love to hear songs cut from the film and play recorded by a cast. Though I don't see it as something that would be likely to happen, I'd love it if it did.

    I went to Walt Disney World this month for the first time, and I noticed a small might-be reference to Audrey II in Buzz Lightyear's Space Rangers Spin. It's pretty visible in this video:
    Not sure if it was intentional, but that plant sure looks a lot like another famous alien flytrap. Then again, it might just be my Little Shop-obsession.

    Though my trip to WDW made me think: Wouldn't a Little Shop of Horrors Dark Ride be fantastic? Little Shop seems like the perfect story for a good dark ride. I don't really know how it would end up like, but in my mind I could just see the ending: the entire ride ends with the vehicle getting swallowed by a giant Audrey II.
  • I've imagined that before, too! :) In my imagination it was always a log flume, and the logs were trash cans.
  • edited March 2013
    A brief bit of spam. Sorry.

    Last night, I made a thing on Tumblr called "Little Shop of Horrors Confessions." Inspired by "Walt Disney Confessions" and "Les Mis Confessions," I thought a Little Shop version would be something I could easily do, and I was right. Feel free to submit any thought, memory, experience, or any other confession related to Little Shop.

    The Tumblr is here: littleshopconfessions.tumblr.com
  • Great. I hope people participate. Thanks, Justin.
  • This question has just been nagging me lately:

    Who was it that wrote the new lyrics for "Mushnik and Son" to replace the old lyrics? You know, for the 2003 Broadway production of LSOH?
  • Howard wrote the lyrics, they just weren't in the original.
  • edited June 2013
    You guys, I wanted to share this, but I didn't know where, so I think this'll do.

    Yesterday, an episode of "Nerdist" was released with Rick Moranis as the guest. There wasn't an extensive discussion of Little Shop (though it was touched upon), but it's still a really great, hour and a half interview with the Deanna Durbin of comedy.

    You can listen too / download it here: nerdi.st/moranis368
  • Thanks for sharing this!
  • The Deanna Durbin of comedy, good one.
  • Thank you. She was the only other actor I could think of that completely retired from public life. :)
  • I just had to share this post by Tumblr user Venatorphile. In it, she makes an argument for Seymour and Audrey's relationship, and make a case for Audrey really loving ang caring for Seymour. http://venatorphile.tumblr.com/post/72760955928/character-evaluation-seymour-and-audrey
  • I thought a few of you guys would appreciate this. I'm reading the book "Judy Garland on Judy Garland: Interviews and Encounters" (which is wonderful, by the way), and in a August 1939 interview for "Screenland," May Mann mentions that "Judy owns a little florist shop in Hollywood."

    When I read that, my hand slipped.

    http://36.media.tumblr.com/31d1932be5bcc4d2a3b3bcf68908477f/tumblr_inline_nuhmukaJfw1qahabi_540.png
  • Where are all these other demos you guys are talking about? (Not the un-released or possibly to be released ones Sarah mentioned, but like the Downtown demo)
  • I've posted many of them to Disney Ashman Demos here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD9927223E47151C5

    I believe those are all the demos that have either been released or leaked.
  • edited April 2017
    While doing research, I came across an interesting (and almost hysterical) write up about the news of Little Shop's reshoots. This comes from the September 22, 1986 issue of New York Magazine.
    ***************************************
    HORRORS RESHOOTING FINAL SCENE

    David Geffen and Warner Bros. are reshooting the ending of Little Shop of Horrors, and a Hollywood source says it’s because they are worried about the reaction at a sneak preview. The story of the “young botanical genius who finds fame and misfortune in his efforts to satisfy the insatiable appetite of a bloodthirsty Venus’s-flytrap" is being produced by Geffen Films and directed by Muppet puppeteer Frank Oz. It stars John Candy, Steve Martin, SCTV’s Rick Moranis, and Ellen Greene, who is re-creating her Off-Broadway role.

    “The reaction at the screening was terrific, up to the point where the plant started eating the main characters," the source says. "That turned people off, because this isn’t a creepy movie, this is a musical. And you go in with a certain mind-set."

    But Geffen says that’s nonsense. "The response at the sneak was the best in the history of Warners," he says. "The only reason we’re changing the ending is that the movie’s such a hit, they want to do a sequel. And you can’t do a sequel if you kill off the hero at the end."
  • Interesting, especially seeing that that's not the reason they said they changed it in the special features and book that comes with the director's cut....
  • pfft...a sequel? I don't want any more Grease 2's please.
  • I wouldn't take too much stock in Geffen's comment. If we didn't know any better, it would be believable. At the end of the film, there's a close-up of a smiling Audrey II in Seymour and Audrey's garden, which you could argue was an attempt to leave the door open for a possible sequel. You could set it in the late 60's (and use a British invasion score) and focus on their son finding and feeding it, and it could work if you figure out a way around the question "Why doesn't Seymour just set it on fire on first sight?"

    The problem is, it's an accepted fact that the response test screenings were atrocious, and we have to keep in mind the context of when this was said. Geffen is a producer on a film that's being released in about three months when the news comes out that the ending is being reshot, possibly due to terrible test screenings. It makes sense that you would want to do damage control and come out and say "No! The studio just wants to do a sequel because it's so good!"
  • Well, when you put it that way, it does make more sense.
    Though another thing I've always wondered...why did they cut Mushnik's singing parts from the movie?
    Could Vincent Gardenia sing? Or did he not want to? Or was it the simple reason for every cut in Hollywood history, time?
  • edited April 2017
    I assume it was a combination of story changes and the differences in medium from theater and film. Based on the Valentines Day draft of the screenplay, it's safe to assume the adoption storyline was cut by the time the film began shooting (which makes sense, since that storyline really doesn't go anywhere), meaning "Mushnik & Son" was cut. Ya Never Know morphed into Some Fun Now, likely for time and to make the moment a bit more cinematic and allow for a montage, and Skid Row (Downtown) was expanded out into Skid Row itself, meaning the other residents could sing it as opposed to the main-cast and supporting performers (usually Orin's actor and the voice and puppeteers for Audrey II).

    And Closed for Renovations just isn't necessary for the film for the same reason Call Back in the Morning isn't needed. The theater is much more of an interpretive medium, so you need to take moments to tell the audience and fill in important details of the world. In the stage musical, you can't instantly change the set, so you need to explain to the audience "The shop is doing well, so we're taking the time and money to spruce everything up!" In a film, you can just do a cut and the shop looks nicer. In the stage musical, that usually has a small cast, you can't show the shop swarmed with people, so you need to show Audrey and Seymour on the phone and tell the audience "We are swarmed with costumers and clients." In a film, you can pack the set with as many extras as you can get.
  • edited July 2017
    So I found a lil' shoutout in the Crash Bandicoot remake and I thought it was funny: https://twitter.com/Speilbilde/status/886380717613174785

    If you get eaten by the venus fly trap you get the trophy "Feeeeed meeeee!"

    (And no, I don't mean to self-promote my Twitter by posting this, I just have no idea how else to post an image on this board. If anyone has a better way, let me know and I'll edit this!)
  • edited December 2017
    I actually portrayed Seymour in my high school production of "Little Shop." I was astonished when a few years ago, Warner Bros. found the original camera negatives for the original ending and spliced it back in. I'm sure Howard would be pleased, wherever he is. However, a few other moments resurfaced, and I'm surprised Warner Bros. didn't do anything about those other missing pieces. One good example is the complete version of "The Meek Shall Inherit." I'm posting that clip right here if you don't object, Sarah. The film itself is (C) 1986 The Geffen Co./Warner Bros. and the song is
    (C) 1982 Trunksong/Menken Music/WB Music Corp./Geffen Music
    All Rights Reserved.
  • ^ Any footage of your high school production? That sounds rad.

    Also:
    We just recently got the movie in stock again at my job (I work at a store that sells, among other thing, dvds) and apparently the current Blu-Ray/DVD release seems to be the Theatrical Cut again, not the Director's Cut (at least from our UK supplier, I logged in to double check after seeing the dvd on the shelf, lol).

    I had to do a double-take, because the cover is basically identical to the one I own, but it mostly just made me happy I already bought the Director's Cut BR. Glad to see it on the shelves so I can recommend it to customers, theatrical cut or no :)
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