Other Changes From The Stage Show
Apart from the new ending, major changes from the stage musical include:
- The deletion of the songs "Closed for Renovation", "Call Back in the Morning", "Mushnik and Son", "Now (It's Just the Gas)", and "Sominex"; the reprise of "Somewhere That's Green" and "Don't Feed the Plants" were present in the original ending but deleted in the final cut. The song "Ya Never Know" was adapted into the significantly shorter "Some Fun Now".
- The character of Arthur Denton, the masochistic dental patient, was not in the stage show. However, he does appear in the original 1960 film under the name Wilbur Force, played by Jack Nicholson.
- The sequence in which Seymour goes to the WSKID radio station and the character of Wink Wilkinson was added. In the stage show, only the tail end of Seymour's radio interview is heard.
- The subplot of Mushnik's adoption of Seymour (motivated by Mushnik's desire to ensure his own profit from Seymour's success rather than from any parental affection) is deleted.
- Mushnik does not witness the dismemberment of Orin in the musical, but rather discovers blood drops on the floor and Orin's dental smock in the garbage after the dentist is fed to the plant. His attempt to blackmail Seymour at gunpoint into giving him the plant is also added for the screen. In the stage musical, he confronts Seymour with the evidence he has found and orders him to explain it to the police.
- "Suddenly, Seymour" and "Suppertime" take place the day after Orin's disappearance, unlike in the stage musical, where these events take place several weeks later.
- Seymour is made less culpable in the deaths of Orin and Mushnik than he is in the stage musical, thus making him more sympathetic. In the stage musical, Seymour deliberately waits as Orin slowly asphyxiates, and gets Mushnik to step into the plant's mouth by telling him he has left the day's earnings inside Audrey II. In the film, it is more ambiguous as to whether Seymour is intentionally helping to kill both characters or if he merely panics and takes no action as they die.
- Productions of the stage show typically have the same actor who plays Orin also play several other roles, including Patrick Martin, the voices of the opening narrator, and the radio announcer of WSKID, a wino, the first customer, and all of the people trying to get Seymour to sign with them during "The Meek Shall Inherit." In the film, however, different actors portray all of these parts.
- The opening of "The Meek Shall Inherit" was rewritten entirely and was cut to a fraction of its length in the show. The deleted section was illustrated as a "dream sequence", in which Seymour agonizes over the murders he has committed to feed the plant. Stills from this sequence reproduced in the Little Shop of Horrors photo novel by Robert and Louise Egan show Audrey running through dry-ice fog towards Seymour, only to bypass him and embrace Audrey II (the "Suppertime" sized plant). Another still shows Seymour confronting a giant framed portrait of Mr. Mushnik, and yet another shows Seymour engulfed in vines as if turning into a plant. This sequence was cut, but it appears in the soundtrack album booklet. Oz later said about the absent sequence, "That was cut early on. I cut that because I felt it just didn’t work and that was before the first preview in San Jose. It was the right choice, so I don’t even know what happened to that. It didn’t really add value to the entire cut." A sample of the deleted sequence appears on an outtake reel on the DVD.
- In the film, Seymour asks Audrey to marry him, which she happily agrees to do. The two never make a plan to marry in the stage show, but Seymour promises Audrey that they'll leave Skid Row together in a scene before "Suppertime Reprise."
- The Audrey II tricks Audrey into coming into the shop by calling her on the payphone, whereas in the stage musical Audrey comes into the shop worried, unable to sleep and looking for Seymour.
- The characters of Crystal, Ronnette, and Chiffon interact with Seymour and Audrey significantly more often onstage than they do in the film, where they are primarily narrators.
Famous quotes containing the words show and/or stage:
“Your last words as you led the charge up the beach were, Okay, men, lets show em whose beach this is!”
—Paddy Chayefsky (19231981)
“Even the most incompetent English actor, coming on the stage briefly to announce the presence below of Lord and Lady Ditherege, gives forth a sound so soft and dulcet as almost to be a bar of music. But sometimes that is all there is. The words are lost in the graceful sweep of the notes.”
—Robert Benchley (18891945)