We've already told you about our fondness for Ford's Theatre (see our post here), but we felt that we should add a little something considering our most recent trip. Thanks to a gift certificate from my parents, we were treated to a playing of the horror-comedy musical, "Little Shop of Horrors." Many in my generation will remember the 1986 film... I know I certainly do. But being in elementary school and one who doesn't particularly like horror films, most of my memories are probably nightmares.
Regardless of the gruesome details, which are even more macabre in the musical than the film, I love the music and the quirky characters. But how would it do at Ford's? Prior to the other night, I had a belief that this historic venue would be limited to a certain type of production. This was based on our other Ford's Theatre experiences - the annual A Christmas Carol and a Lincoln-based historical drama called The Heavens are Hung in Black. Not exactly the same type of thing as a man-eating plant from outer space performed through song, dance, and campy humor...
I was pleasantly surprised and am happy to report that they pulled it off! Not only was the live music, singing, dancing, lighting, and especially set design adequate, it was excellent. We had a fantastic time... us and 1,000 of our favorite 8th grade field trippers. (Side note: is there anything more entertaining than watching pubescent boys in ill-fitting suits, clip-on ties, and way too much hair gel try to act cool around girls in too much make-up and frizzy hair?)
Anyway, Little Shop of Horrors ends its production this week, so any recommendation to see it would be a bit silly. But I will say that in the future, I'll keep a more open mind when it comes to the type of production that Ford's can do well, and I'd suggest you do too.
I don't know whether I liked watching the audience members or the performance more. This is no slight to the performance because it was excellent, but something about a room full of eighth graders just cracks me up. I should've known something was up when I went to the box office the day before the show and they had really good seats available. Apparently it was 8th grade tour group night. Oh well, we were good sports about it and the 8th graders were good audience members.
The only thing I knew about Little Shop of Horrors before the show was that it had something to do with a venus fly trap-looking plant and it had a catchy theme song. I was as shocked as the 7 year old in front of me when the plant started to eat people instead of flies. I might have even talked in my sleep that night about man-eating plants. You'll have to ask B...
Despite the dark tone, I really loved the performance. The singing was top-notch and the sets were impressive. At first, like B said, seeing a musical in Ford's seemed odd, but it definitely worked. I will see a musical before a historical play any day of the week. When does the next one come to town?