HISTORY OF LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
Little Shop of Horrors has become one of the most produced musicals in the United States and around the world. The story is based on a 1960 low-budget film directed by Roger Corman. The musical opened at the WPA Theater in 1982, where Howard Ashman was the Artistic Director. After receiving rave reviews, the show transferred to the Orpheum Theater. Although many people thought the show should have transferred to a Broadway theater, Ashman felt the show belonged in a smaller venue. This decision allowed the production to run for 5 years and more than 2,000 performances. The show won a Drama Desk Award for Best Lyrics, Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Lyrics and Best Off-Broadway Musical, and a New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. It also received the 1983 London Evening Standard Award and a 1983 Grammy nomination for Best Cast Album.
In 1986, Little Shop of Horrors was adapted into a hit film directed by Frank Oz. The cast featured Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene (who originated the role of “Audrey” on stage), John Candy, and Steve Martin. The film originally had the same ending as the stage musical, but a test audience responded poorly to it, so Ashman wrote a “happier ending” for the movie which included new song “Mean Green Mother from Outer Space”. The song was nominated for an Academy Award. When the film was issued on DVD, producers mistakenly added the original ending as a “bonus feature.” Copies of the DVD were quickly recalled, and these DVDs were highly sought after items on Ebay. In 2012, a “Director’s Cut” of the movie featuring the original ending was released.
PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR’S NOTE
Welcome to the final production of American Blues Theater’s 30th anniversary season “Seeing is Believing”. Our founding Ensemble members never imagined Blues would exist many decades later. Our company, like most storefront theaters, began with a group of artists creating opportunities for themselves in hopes of attracting larger projects, more remunerative pay, and higher-profile work.
Our artists never hoped for fame; they craved a career in the arts. They wanted their chosen professions to afford a simple life: to own a small home, to buy fresh produce at a grocery store, to squirrel away a little savings every month, and to grow a family.
Thirty years later, while our multi-generational Ensemble and Artistic Affiliates are in various phases of their lives, the goal remains the same for all. Whether 24 or 73 years old, we still want to find “Somewhere That’s Green”…or in our case, somewhere that’s Blue.