Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors was originally an Indie/Horror film produced in 1960. It was adopted to the stage as a musical in 1982 by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. And the musical was re-adopted to film in 1986 directed by Frank Oz and screenplay done by Howard Ashman.

Little Shop of Horrors’ dark and disturbing humor has layers of meaning. Each layer addresses a different social issue that was pressing during the time of the original film. The some of issues addressed were abusive relationships, poverty, class distinction, and murder, as mentioned in a note from the director of Concordia’s production, Jan Puffer, in the program. I read the directors note after seeing the show and it changed the way I thought about the show. I still think the show was well preformed and very funny, but now I appreciate and understand it on a deeper level.

Knowing through the way of Imagination, specifically theater and film, have a unique way of addressing social issues. Rather than trying to explain social issues using reason and logic or trying to justify them emotionally, theater and film often use humor when addressing major social issues. By using humor, the heaviness of these topics is lightened up. The importance and seriousness of these social issues is still able to be communicated to the audience in a manner that is not going to make the audience feel extremely uncomfortable by making them laugh. Being able to laugh at something makes it less intimidating. Little Shop of Horrors was able to do just that from the time it first came out in 1960 to now in 2018.

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