Adam AbrahamSep 2, 2022
Attack of the Monster Musical
A Cultural History of Little Shop of Horrors
In Attack of the Monster Musical: A Cultural History of Little Shop of Horrors (Bloomsbury, 2022), Adam Abraham chronicles the history of this hit musical. Starting with the story of Roger Corman's 1960s movie that was shot in two days with a budget of $30,000, and largely forgotten, Abraham details how two decades later Little Shop of Horrors opened Off-Broadway and became a surprise success.
Abraham relates 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.
Rebekah Buchanan is a Professor of English and Director of English Education at Western Illinois University. Her research focuses on feminism, activism, and literacy practices in youth culture, specifically through zines and music.