In fact, until 1986, the best any musical could EVER do is get me to like ONE song. That's it. In a two hour show, I would enjoy, at most, 5 minutes. So, what happened in 86? I came across a newly released musical called "Little Shop Of Horrors". The concept alone got my attention: a HORROR based musical?? Really?? I watched it and to my surprise, it was AWESOME!!! The story was still very much predictable, but I didn't mind because the movie never took itself seriously enough to make that matter. It had three of my favorite comedic actors at the time (Rick Moranis & Bill Murray from Ghostbusters, and Steve Martin from SNL) and the music was based on 50s and 60s classics that I had been listening to my whole life!!! (All ten years of it, at the time.) It was even sung by one of the ORIGINAL Four Tops, Levi Stubbs! Except for TWO songs, I loved all the music!! Little Shop was simply a revelation to me!
A few years later, I delved into the history of Little Shop and I found it started out as a 1960s cult classic film (non-musical) starring none other than Jack Nicholson! Some Broadway people converted the story into a play and added the music and then Hollywood made the movie. It even made the history books as the first movie to cast an original member of the play! Ellen Greene, who played Audrey I in the play reprises her role in the film!! That was the good stuff. The bad stuff, well that was something else. See I went to see a production of the play and at which point I found out that the play and movie had radically different endings!! The movie had initially went with an ending in a similar style to the play, but test audiences hated it so the ending was scrapped, and they went with a more upbeat ending.
For the sake of completeness, the producers of the movie included a black & white work-print version of the original ending with the original release of Little Shop on DVD, but that was pulled due to the wishes of David Geffen, the head honcho of company that made the film. I searched and searched but I could NEVER get my hands on that ending to watch it. All the files I found were corrupted or just fakes. But now, things have brightened considerably!! Little Shop of Horrors has been released on blu-ray!!! And not only is it released but it's the DIRECTOR'S CUT!!! That's right, they have fully restored the original 20 minute ending sequence (which supposedly cost $3M of the movie's $25M budget) and released it to the public!! My copy is already on it's way to me now!! I can't WAIT to see it as it was originally intended!!! It's going to be EPIC!
Even now, in the midst of my excitement for the new blu-ray release, I can still remember the first time I watched Little Shop. It's been a very long time. Since then, I've gotten a few people hooked on the movie, and gained the eternal hatred of those who hate the film. I've also added a few other musicals to my library: Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Rent, Sweeney Todd, 5 Guys Named Moe, Les Miserables, and Rock Of Ages. But, none of them can elicit the same amount of joy and glee that bubbles out of me when I watch Little Shop. Just thinking about it brings a smile to my face! It's still my favorite musical of all time. what about you dear readers? What is YOUR favorite musical?