Little Shop of Horrors: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert
I admit I thought this might be cringe-worthy, but ended up enjoying it way more than I thought I would.
The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music’s Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It’s the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.
Josh Rogosin | May 6, 2022
Composer Alan Menken beams with pride as he introduces the Little Shop of Horrors Tiny Desk (home) concert. May 6, 2022 marks the 40th anniversary of the show’s first production. Menken is joined by the stellar cast of the current off-Broadway revival, which swept the Drama Desk, Outer Critics and Drama League Awards for Best Musical Revival. They perform a joyful medley of five earworm-filled tunes from the cult classic. Over the course of the tiny concert, Menken shares anecdotes about collaborating with the show’s late lyricist Howard Ashman. It’s obvious how much they loved working together hearing him reminisce.
It may come as a surprise when the composer sits down at the piano to sing “Somewhere That’s Green,” one of the most iconic songs usually performed by the show’s female lead. It’s a melody he admits you might recognize from The Little Mermaid. “This is one of the first songs Howard and I wrote for Little Shop,” Menken explains. “It’s kind of the classic ‘I want’ song, a phrase that Howard [Ashman] would use a lot, especially when we would talk endlessly about our Disney movies. … When we wrote ‘Part of Your World’ we actually jokingly called it ‘Somewhere That’s Wet.’” Good artists copy; great artists steal (from themselves, if they’re smart).
The joy the cast shares while performing these wonderful songs with their composer is palpable. If you find yourself planning a trip to New York, do yourself a favor and book tickets to this heartfelt production, which should run at the Westside Theatre for a long time to come.
“Skid Row (Downtown)”
“Feed Me (Git It!)”
“Somewhere That’s Green”
MUSIC BY: Alan Menken
LYRICS BY: Howard Ashman
Aaron Arnell Harrington
Alan Menken: piano, vocals
Will Van Dyke: piano
Dena Tauriello: drums
Nate Brown: guitar
Mark Verdino: bass
Video: Philip Atlas, Harry McFann, Kayhl Cooper
Audio: Frank Wolf, Ben Fusel, Spencer Dennis
Music Director: Will Van Dyke
Orchestrations & Arrangements: Will Van Dyke
Staging: Michael Mayer & Austin Regan
Production Services: Vivacity Media Group
Video Production: SpotCo
Special Thanks: Rob Ahrens, Hunter Arnold, Tom Kirdhay, Live Wire Theatrical, Michael Aarons, Leslie Papa, Whitney Holden Gore, Macy Sullivan, Maura Consedine, Tyler Talmage, Maddox Martin, Molly Seidel
TINY DESK TEAM
Producer: Josh Rogosin
Video Producer: Michael Zamora
Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
Animation: Kaz Fantone
Art Direction: Nicole Werbeck
Tiny Production Team: Bob Boilen, Bobby Carter, Kara Frame, Joshua Bryant, Maia Stern, Ashley Pointer
VP, NPR Music: Keith Jenkins
Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann