Hollywood legend avers that low-budget filmmaker Roger Corman undertook the 1960 black comedy The Little Shop of Horrors on a bet to see just how quickly and cheaply a feature-length film could be made. Using standing sets from another production, Corman filmed the entire movie in just two days and a night. In the years that followed, Little Shop's cult reputation grew to proportions matched only by the appetite of its star, a carnivorous "Venus flytrap meets avocado from space" named Audrey II. By 1982, an off-Broadway musical adaptation gained a great deal more mainstream success than its B-movie inspiration — so much so that it was itself adapted into a Frank Oz feature film in 1986, bringing The Little Shop Of Horrors full circle! What is it about this tale of a bloodthirsty plant and the milksop florist who keeps it sated that audiences find so appealing? The zany humor definitely plays a part, but it's probably the nebbishy Seymour, Audrey II's human keeper and cohort, who strikes the most resonant chord. Seymour's dream of being accepted and even loved by his human coworker, Audrey, leads him to do terrible things to keep Audrey II well-fed, and who doesn't want to be loved? And it certainly doesn't hurt that Alan Menken and Howard Ashman wrote funny, catchy songs for this strange little love story. Stages St. Louis presents Little Shop of Horrors at 8 p.m. Friday, May 29, at the Robert G. Reim Theatre (111 South Geyer Road, Kirkwood; 314-821-2407 or www.stagesstlouis.org). The show continues every day except Monday through Sunday, June 28. Tickets are $28 to $48.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: May 29. Continues through June 28, 2009