Alan Menken

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Work

Little Shop of Horrors (Cinema)

Seymour Krelborn is the nerdy, orphan employee of Mushnik’s, a flower shop on urban skid row, where he harbors a crush on Audrey, his coworker. After no business, Mr. Mushnik decides to close the shop. Seymour and Audrey tell him that they think displaying something interesting, strange, and new in the window will attract business. Seymour brings up the perfect plant for the job: a mysterious, flytrap-esque plant he calls Audrey II. The plant immediately attracts business. After the store closes, the plant begins to wilt, and Mr. Mushnik orders Seymour to fix it.

That night, Seymour discovers what Audrey II eats; blood. Seymour feeds the plant his blood, and as a result, it gets bigger and bigger. When Seymour becomes unable to keep feeding it, the plant begins to talk and urges him to kill people and Seymour feeds Audrey’s sadistic dentist boyfriend to the plant and later, Mushnik for witnessing the death of Audrey’s ex feed them to him. Audrey II promises him rewards, and that he’ll bring him business, luxuries, everything he’s ever wanted, and Audrey.

 

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Little Shop of Horror’s original ending.

Story board of the original ending.

"Mean Green Mother From Outer Space"

Alan's Thoughts

This was our first foray into the world of movie-musicals; pre-dating “The Little Mermaid” by a few years. Howard and I wrote a new song for Audrey 2, called “Mean Green Mother From Outer Space”. And we rewrote “(Don’t It Go To Show) You Never Know” as “Some Fun Now”. Other than those songs, the entire score was from our Off-Broadway musical. So it was quite a shock when our film’s “dramatic underscore” composer, Miles Goodman, received a Golden Globe “Best Musical Score” nomination for his 8 minutes of adaptation of my music. It turned out that, as the composer of a work that was presented first on the stage, I was ineligible for that honor. Thank God the music branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rectified that situation by nominating “Mean Green Mother”. We didn’t win. But we got our first taste of the Oscars. And I was determined that, in the future, whenever possible, I would compose the dramatic underscore for my own film musicals.