There’s Plastic on the Furniture

There would be no “Beauty and the Beast” or “The Little Mermaid” without “Little Shop of Horrors.” Two of Disney’s most beloved films owe their success to the songwriting team of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken.

In 1982, Ashman and Menken took an obscure 1960 film called “The Little Shop of Horrors” and adapted it into a terrific off-Broadway musical. It was made into a movie in 1986, which my wife and I loved from the first time we watched it. Shortly before the film was released, a Geffen Records rep suggested that we should play “Mean Green Mother from Outer Space” on WAVA in the morning.

Logan Murrell has been singing professionally since she was a little girl. She’s now a junior at West High School and is playing Audrey in two performances of their production of “Little Shop of Horrors.” Logan made her debut last night and will perform again today at 2:00 p.m. A sophomore named Elizabeth Harper played Audrey on Thursday night and will do so again on Saturday night.

Logan and her mom invited my wife and me to attend last night’s show. As soon as we arrived, we spotted some friends from church who were there to see their neighbor, Jacob Friedrich, who plays Seymour opposite Logan. The whole cast is great but Jacob stole the show with his singing and dancing. Logan was perfect as the girl who belts out “Somewhere That’s Green” and “Suddenly Seymour.”

During a scene when the plant, Audrey II, is tempting Seymour to kill a bad guy, I was reminded of the premise behind the series “Dexter.” Wouldn’t it be funny if crime novelist Jeff Lindsay was a fan of “Little Shop” too?

After the show, I asked director Lisa Nelson about the four fantastic puppets used to bring Audrey II to life. She told me that they made a deal with Oak Ridge Playhouse to share an Audrey II. West High paid for the materials that the Playhouse used to build the puppets. The Playhouse will use the same puppets for their production of “Little Shop,” which opens April 19.

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