Little Shop of Horrors.
As many of you know, this is my favorite musical of all-time. Dark humor, fun songs, sweet love story, and of course, plenty of Sci-Fi elements about a giant man-eating plant. It has always been one of my favorites, and I watch the 1986 film every year in September as my own tradition. With the original Director's Cut ending, of course.
So every time there's a play about it, I do my best to go see it. I had no idea about this one, until my partner-in-crime came home to tell me he had seen a sign for it on his way home from work. It would be held at Carrollton Center for the Arts. I immediately went online to buy tickets in the front row. I ordered a new Venus Fly Trap shirt (I couldn't find my Audrey 2 one at the time, but I'm always up for more carnivorous plant shirts!) and was super excited.
"Meek floral assistant, Seymour Krelborn, stumbles across a foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivorous new breed of plant in this deviously delicious Broadway smash. Sponsored by University of West GA and West GA Technical College."
We also noticed it said "Teen Theatre" Which meant these were budding young actors- even more exciting, because we knew they would be giving it their all, and would one day be super stars, we'd proudly look back and say "We totally saw them on stage!" I think it's very important to encourage young creative minds, to inspire them to pursue their passions!
Friday night rolled around. I got myself all ready- wearing my Venus Fly trap shirt, a flower hat, piranha plant earrings, and even carried in my own Audrey 2 puppet, gifted to me by my friend, Jeff Burdett, who does lots of special effects for films.
So cool right? As soon as we walked in, everyone took notice and was wanting some pictures, asking where it came from and such. Definitely a big hit! We were greeted so nicely by everyone, and toward the front, they were selling lots of neat plant books! Everything from carnivorous plants, to mushrooms and herbs and all sorts of things. I got myself a mushroom calendar for 2022, and a neat book about herbs!
We settled into our seats with excitement. The Director of the play came out and introduced himself, saying how proud he was of all the students, and he began with the intro. "On the 21st Day of the month of September..." (Interesting how the play is the 21st, but the movie is the 23rd) and then out they came, starting with the Urchins!
They rocked it! Everyone was so into it. It was also my partner's first time seeing it live on stage, so he got to see such songs that aren't in the film like "Now It's Just the Gas", "Mushnik and Son" and the extended version of "The Meek Shall Inherit" (I think this should have stayed in the film as well!) We were all so enthralled- The songs, the lighting, the special effects and puppetry. The "Downtown" scene was so much fun! You could see all of the actors come out and there was always something going on during all of the singing- We were giggling because every actor was doing something funny and interesting, like their own little "Mini" stories within the song- (Like we noticed one of the bums stealing someone's purse, or someone trying to give a girl a rose) Nobody just stood around, you could tell every person was having fun and giving it their all. The young man who played Seymour was one of my favorites I've seen- He looks just like Seymour would and his voice was amazing! Same with Audrey, her voice was beautiful, especially during "Somewhere That's Green" She was practically glowing! Mushnik was hilarious, the whole bit with "Mushnik and Son" and them dancing was great. The Dentist was having a blast and had a great evil laugh (As any dentist should!) Audrey 2 plant was deep and sassy with a great voice as well (Levi Stubbs would be so proud!) Every actor did a phenomenal job and should be very proud! Also the lighting and colors were spectacular- they really set the mood for any scene that was going on. The plant puppets were also INCREDIBLE! Lots of love and work put into them for sure!
Yes, we may have shed a tear during this scene, when Audrey does her reprise of "Somewhere That's Green" before she's fed to the plant. What an amazing play!
The original ending is my favorite, of the 1986 film. If you've seen the film with Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene, there's 2 versions- one with the happy theatrical ending, and the original ending which is similar to the play, where Seymour and Audrey are eaten, and then Audrey 2's take over the world. Test audiences didn't like the dark ending, so that's why you usually see the happier version. I think a big part is because Seymour is so lovable, but also because in film, it seems more "Final"- In the play, all of the actors come out during "Don't Feed the Plants" and of course take a bow- that doesn't happen in film, so that could be a big reason why the original didn't take well. You can still watch the original (And I highly recommend it!) 1/3 of the budget went into it, and you can tell!
We also got to talk to some of the actors of the play afterwards- One of my favorite things to do! We told them what a great job they did, and they were all so sweet. I got to take a picture with "Mushnik & Seymour" too! Also, look at the details- they had vines on their clothes, and the girls had these gorgeous Audrey 2 pins on their green dresses!
Congratulations to everyone involved- You did a fantastic job and I see great things in your future! I'm very happy I got to see the final production of what I know took many long hours in the creation process. Coming from the biggest Little Shop fan, thank you all so much! You've made this plant lover very happy!
Thanks for stopping by and reading! Toon in next time and remember-
Don't feed the plants!!!
Additional photos by Katie Simpson on Facebook from Carrollton Center for the Arts