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Musicals have a rhythm; acts, especially closing acts, build to a finale.The very energetic and upbeat song "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space" was written for the movie and wasn't part of the stage show.Fortunately, as the cagey plant points out, a deserving victim is right nearby in the person of Audrey's abusive boyfriend, Orin Scrivello, D. The song that explains it all, "(Now) It's Just the Gas", was cut from the film, but the circumstances are clearly laid out.For a brief moment, Seymour and Audrey glimpse their future together ("Suddenly Seymour"), but the devil's bargain has to be paid ("Suppertime").At the heart of Ashman's partner-in-crime was Alan Menken, a talented pianist and composer, who got his start accompanying singers in New York City clubs and writing jingles and songs for cabaret performers.In the early days, Menken wrote his own lyrics, and he still sometimes performs songs from those years. (I even took my mother.) Critics raved, the show won almost every award that can be given to an off-Broadway musical, and the Orpheum had a tenant for the next five years. Leaving aside the tricky issue of the ending that was changed after test screenings (which this Director's Cut Blu-ray allows viewers to evaluate for themselves), director Frank Oz's screen adaptation of is one of the most faithful stage-to-screen translations I know.This is a Mushnik's Skid Row Florist is the rundown "shop" of the title.The proprietor, Mushnik (Vincent Gardenia), is quickly going broke.

The lesson I take is: "don't risk major turns in the story after a song that acts as a big closing number".Too late does Seymour realize that Audrey II's appetite is boundless and its plans far more expansive than just Skid Row ("Mean Green Mother From Outer Space").And with that we come to the disputed subject of the film's ending, which is the principal new feature of this Director's Cut Blu-ray.But Menken's true gifts were musical, and his work for numerous performers had developed a skill for melodic pastiche that would serve him well in creating 's score. It certainly helped that Ashman wrote the screenplay, but it was also essential that Oz "got" what had made the show work at the Orpheum Theatre, an intimate 350-seat venue where nothing felt much larger than life.In Ashman, Menken recognized both a superior lyricist and a gifted bookwriter, the latter being an essential but underappreciated contributor to a musical who tells the story and establishes the structure into which the songs fit. The importance of proper scale became apparent when the show made its Broadway debut in the fall of 2003 in a theater almost four times the size of the Orpheum.

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