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Little Shop of Horrors Gives Us a Disaster Do-Over

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Unexpectedly, the opening of the 1986 musical Little Shop of Horrors hits a lot harder in spring 2020 than it did before. In the prologue, green writing scrolls up the screen, informing us that at a point in the not-too-distant past, “the human race encountered a deadly threat to its very existence.” Obviously the threat in question is of the alien-plant variety (spoiler alert: the plant is an alien) and not of the pandemic variety, but it’s still a little much. Rewatching the film, I found myself surprised and a little pulled out of the macabre delight. These Remote Rewinds are supposed to focus on escapist entertainment in a time when escape is hard to come by. Meanwhile, Little Shop of Horrors is over here like, “Okay, I hear you, but what if you seriously contemplated mortal peril?” Is Little Shop basically Contagion but with songs and horticulture? Maybe so. Quite a shock. Should I have watched The Music Man instead? Perhaps, but when Harold Hill starts singing about trouble with a capital T, my mind would probably snap back to current events anyway. Best to fight for the future with Seymour (Rick Moranis!), Audrey (Ellen Greene!), and the other residents of Skid Row.

If you want to get technical about it, there are arguably three openings to Little Shop: the newly-ominous prologue, the title song, and minutes later, “Downtown.” I’ve always liked this about Little Shop, firstly because Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s songs are so great. Secondly, because by starting and then starting and then starting a third time, the viewer gets introduced to multiple ways of experiencing the film. On the outside, it’s a campy horror story. But then the Doo-Wop girls show up as a Greek chorus and frame the film as a musical morality tale. And finally, in “Downtown,” we meet the down-on-their-luck central characters who are pining for a way out in the grand tradition of musical theater heroines and heroes since the beginning of time, which we date to the birth of Ethel Merman. Little Shop doesn’t limit itself to one stylistic lane, but rather inhabits all three to varying degrees at once. It’s like a musical theater turducken: a Broadway show inside of a Greek tragedy inside of Roger Corman’s original B-movie shocker.

With that in mind, I pushed aside the too-on-the-nose connections between the headlines and skipped right to the next layer of the turducken: the Greek chorus. Whomst among us would not want to be followed around by a sequins-clad 1960s girl group? The Doo-Wop girls have always been Little Shop‘s most ingenious component and in the Frank Oz-directed film they nearly steal the show. Played by Tichina Arnold, Tisha Campbell, and Michelle Weeks, the Doo-Wop chorus is wise and wise-cracking, all-knowing and arch. In their interpretation, the worst decisions and the basest human instincts are, if not palatable, at least harmonious. By placing the burden of delivering the inevitable—good, bad, and indeterminate—on the girl group, Little Shop shears off the cynicism of its story. It doesn’t excuse any of the events of the film—y’know, murders and such—but it shifts them into a new context.

Frankly, I could use a similar shift right now. While watching, I wondered if Twitter was a modern equivalent of a Greek chorus. I’ve decided that idea is malarkey. Twitter is many things: constant information, constant cancelation, the worst possible takes, many dogs, and front-facing-camera comedy. But it is not an all-seeing, omniscient body, telling the truth with a Stax Records beat. One of the most frustrating and terrifying aspects of this moment is that we want someone who actually knows what’s going on and what’s going to happen and can communicate it effectively. Ideally this someone would be a trio of black women, as the Doo-Wop girls are traditionally cast.

Alas, life is not a turducken and there is no chorus. When my high school did Little Shop, the director made the choice to increase the number of Doo-Wop girls from three to seven because she needed to fill more roles. It worked out fine, I guess, but the sight of a small army of young women invading the stage and belting out dire warnings about the future remains hilarious to me. Bertolt Brecht was like, “Yikes! This is intense!” Me, I didn’t appear onstage at all. I wasn’t going to bring it up, but since you asked I was cast as Audrey II, the plant, after a competitive audition process. A villain edit! I was only the voice of the plant; a strapping soccer player was responsible for the onstage puppetry. It’s well-established that I don’t do my own stunts.

In high school, we did the original ending of the stage musical, which sees Audrey fed to the plant and Seymour lose his climactic battle with Audrey II, thus getting gobbled up as well. (Yes, you could say I was the star of the show.) The 1986 film originally ended this way as well. Audrey II eats Seymour and Audrey and goes on to take over the world. But audiences weren’t sold and that footage was scrapped in favor of a happy ending which finds Audrey snatched from the literal jaws of death, Seymour electrocuting the plant, and the two Skid Row residents escaping to a cute Hooverville to live happily ever after. The film closes with the Doo-Wop girls strutting across the lawn as the camera pans down to a baby Audrey II growing in the garden.

On the Set of Little Shop of Horrors

Murray CloseGetty Images

It makes sense that an audience would like the theatrical ending better. No matter the moral questions or mortal peril in the story, one tends to want to leave a musical with a sense of wellbeing. While there’s a fiendish flourish to giving the Doo-Wop girls and their all-seeing eyes the last laugh, it doesn’t come across as ominous. It reaffirms that the chorus isn’t there to judge, per se, but simply to remark. It’s a reminder that, for better or worse, we humans are responsible for writing, or rewriting, the end of the story.



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Southern Style Macaroni Salad

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Southern Style Macaroni Salad – This Southern Style Macaroni Salad is a refreshing side for any spring or summer lunch or dinner option. It’s so creamy but yet it has the perfect lightness and flavor that will absolutely amaze you!

Macaroni Salad Ingredients
2 lbs.Elbow Macaroni (pasta shells of your choice will work)
1.5 – 2 cups Mayonnaise
1.5 – 2 cups Miracle Whip
Paprika for garnish (optional)
Green Onion Tops, Chives, Parsley, or Cilantro for garnish (optional)
2 tsp each Kosher Salt and Fresh ground Pepper
1 (10 oz.) can Light Tuna in water, drained
3 large Eggs, Hard-Boiled
3 Celery Stalks, chopped small
1 large Red or Yellow Onion, diced

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Pasta – Boil your pasta in a large pot of salted water. to a boil. Cook pasta (al dente) according to directions on the package. Pour the pasta into strainer to drain water and set aside to cool until ready for use.

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Khloé Kardashian & Tristan Thompson Plan ‘Extra Festive’ Social Distance Party For True’s Second Birthday!

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We all look forward to the over the top baby birthday parties thrown by the KarJenner clan — but unfortunately for us and sweet True Thompson, coronavirus has gotten in the way of the latest bash.

Related: Blac Chyna Trolls Khloé For Saying She’d ‘Dominate’ Kourt In A Fight

A source confirmed to PEOPLE that True’s second birthday will be immediate family only, meaning just mommy and daddy. (As we know, Khloé Kardashian and ex Tristan Thompson have been quarantining together.) The extended family will join in the festivities virtually via video chat. 

However, the source noted:

“Khloé plans on making it special still.”

In fact, the occasion will be “extra festive” because it coincides with Easter Sunday. The source said KoKo’s house is already “beautifully decorated” for the holiday. 

Still, we have to admit that a quarantine party is a bit of a downgrade from last year’s festivities, which saw the whole family come together to celebrate True with “unicorn” pony rides, ice pops, and cotton candy. In early March, the Revenge Body star hinted at her plans for the second birthday bash on Twitter, writing:

“It was going to be Sesame Street but now she’s obsessed with trolls ever since Stormi ‘s birthday. So I might have to do a little Hybrid party lol”

Despite the disappointing turn of events, America’s First Family of Reality TV are committed to doing their part to flatten the curve. Khlo’s sis Kim Kardashian West recently spoke to The View about how the Kardashians are keeping up with each other during quarantine:

“We do zoom dinners, where we all get on, you know, we’ll all make our plate and then have dinner and talk. We’re on a group family chat all the time. FaceTiming my grandma, my sisters. It has been really challenging. … You know, our kids haven’t seen each other, the cousins haven’t played together … that’s been really different for them, too. We’re so close, we’re so used to hanging out. … We really are respecting the rules and …[doing] what we gotta do to help fight this virus.”

For her part, the Good American founder has also maintained social distance from her sisters. On Tuesday, she saw Kourtney in person to work out, but from a healthy distance. She explained in a tweet:

“Me and @kourtneykardash got a great workout in. Social distancing of course But it felt good to workout again. Outside and far apart. Still wearing our protective gear. It was different but felt good. ❤️❤️ stay safe loves”

However they celebrate the occasion, we know that dedicated co parents Khloé and Tristan will make the moment special for their daughter. While fans may be a little more interested in what’s going on between the exes while they’re in lockdown together, the reality star has steadfastly denied reconciliation rumors. She even suggested she may never date again.

Related: Tristan Thompson ‘Fighting’ For Relationship With Khloé

Instead, the 35-year-old is happy to keep the focus on baby True. She wrote on Twitter:

“I can’t believe my baby will be TWO this Sunday 😫 time flies so quickly!!! I’m so grateful for every second ❤️🙏”

AWW!

We hope True has a very happy quarantined birthday — no matter what that looks like!

[Image via Instagram/Khloé Kardashian & Tristan Thompson]





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All of the Sleek, Straight Hairstyle Inspiration You Need

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Over the years, I have dedicated a lot of time and energy to finding a quick and easy way of achieving just-rolled-out-of-bed curls. You see, my hair is naturally poker straight. It’s so straight, in fact, that trying to get it to hold any kind of curl is virtually impossible. Needless to say that this whole situation has meant that trying to keep my hair tousled has proved a little difficult, to say the least. However, I’ve noticed a return to straightened looks that remind me of the days when GHDs first launched.

From some of my favourite celebrities to the fashion girls that I love following, it seems as though people are starting to dig out their hair straighteners. The best part? They actually look chic. Unlike the shapeless styles of yesteryear, the new straight is voluminous and sleek but with some movement.

And it might seem like an odd thing to say, but I’m desperate to dive right in and dust off my trusty hair straighteners, because although my hair is naturally straight, nothing gives it that sleek sheen quite like a pair of straightening irons. A quick whizz over with my go-to GHD Platinum+ Styler (£175) and a spritz of Lee Stafford Shine Head Spray (£6) is all I need for the smoothest, sleekest hair going.

If you’ve yet to be fully convinced by the straight-hair trend and are not quite ready to switch your tongs for irons, keep scrolling for sleek, straight hairstyles that just might be enough to sway you.



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