Attack of the Monster Musical: A Cultural History of Little Shop of Horrors (Paperback)
How many hit musicals are based on films that were shot in two days at a budget of $30,000? The answer is one: Little Shop of Horrors. Roger Corman's monster movie opened in 1960, played the midnight circuit, and then disappeared from view. Two decades later, Little Shop of Horrors opened Off-Broadway and became a surprise success.Attack of the Monster Musical: A Cultural History of Little Shop of Horrors chronicles this unlikely phenomenon. The Faustian tale of Seymour and his man-eating plant transcended its humble origins to become a global phenomenon, launching a popular film adaptation and productions all around the world. This timely and authoritative book looks at the creation of the musical and its place in the contemporary musical theatre canon. Examining its afterlives and wider cultural context, the book asks the question why this unlikely combination of blood, annihilation, and catchy tunes has resonated with audiences from the 1980s to the present. At the core of this in-depth study is the collaboration between the show's creators, Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. Told through archival research and eyewitness accounts, this is the first book to make extensive use of Ashman's personal papers, offering a unique and inspiring study of one of musical theatre's greatest talents.
Adam Abraham studied English at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, and the University of York. He then completed a doctoral degree at the University of Oxford, where he researched imitations, parodies, and plagiarisms of nineteenth-century novels. He is the author of Plagiarizing the Victorian Novel: Imitation, Parody, Aftertext, and When Magoo Flew: The Rise and Fall of Animation Studio UPA. He has presented work at conferences in Oxford, Cambridge, Nottingham, Kent, York, Dublin, and California. In addition to his research on the Victorian era, Abraham has written on Hollywood film and animation.