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Little Shop of Horrors, with music by Alan Menken and lyrics and book by Howard Ashman, premiered at the Orpheum Theater, where it ran for five years, on this date in 1982. Based on a 1960 comedy film by Roger Corman, the rock-musical tells the story of a florist who raises a flesh-eating, fast-growing plant that makes his business successful while threatening to consume the entire human race. Menken, second only to Alfred Newman in winning Academy Awards for movie music, composed the scores for Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Pocahontas, as well as many other films; Ashman wrote the lyrics for The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, among other films, and the screenplay for the Frank Oz remake of a film version of Little Shop of Horrors in 1986.
The show “satirizes many things: science fiction, ‘B’ movies, musical comedy itself, and even the Faust legend.” —Howard Ashman