Little Shop of Horrors, Off Broadway

A Sun Star plant along with Brussels sprouts and cabbages welcome theatre goers. "Audrey II's" and photo care of my friend Lynn.
Plants, cabbages, and Brussels sprouts welcomed theater goers when my youngest daughter performed in her middle school’s production of Little Shop of Horrors.

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

Westside Theatre, Off Broadway

Lucky me, I’ve had a chance to see several shows in Manhattan recently, and the darkest, funniest award goes to LSOH, the 1982 musical by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken and revived by Michael Mayer.

“A certain carnivorous plant has been repotted in Hell’s Kitchen, and I am delighted to report that it’s thriving there,” reviewed Ben Brantley for The New York Times.

[LSOH], staged in a 270-seat theater, restores the show to its original scale and sensibility, reminding us of the special potency of grisly things that come in small, impeccably wrapped packages.

Working with an ace design team, Mayer heightens the show’s classic pulp elements, its aura of low-rent noir splashed with flecks of blood-red.

The Corman film of “Shop” was, like many horror and sci-fi flicks of the Eisenhower years, a fable of the atomic age, playing to a nation’s fears of science run amok. This triumphantly revitalized musical has its own sly message for an era in which celebrity is regarded as a constitutional right:

Embrace fame at your peril. It’s a killer.

My youngest daughter was an Urchinette in her middle school’s production of the show. In keeping with the plant-out-for-blood theme, another mom and I baked and decorated 100 Audrey II cupcakes for the cast party. Fun!

Creative Cupcakes

Here’s how we made edible “Audrey II’s,” the mysterious man-eating plant.

Step 1.  Gather your ingredients.  Rather than make fondant from scratch, we used Fondarific. Supplies included cake mix, baking cups, canned icing, Wilton icing, food coloring, rubber gloves, romaine lettuce, spoons,wax paper, Wilton Decorating Bags and Tips, Swedish Fish candy and Cake Boxes.

Icing and Fondarific.
Icing and Fondarific.
Baking cups and food coloring.
Baking cups and food coloring.

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________

Step 2.  Prepare fondant decorations.  After the Fondarific was warmed and softened, rubber gloves were donned, and food coloring was mixed in by hand.  Small balls of fondant were pressed onto spoons. Then romaine leaves rubbed onto fondant created leaf impressions.  After carefully lifting fondant leaves off of spoons, they were layered with wax paper and left to set.  (I put them in a container covered with foil, not refrigerated, overnight.)  The leaves needed to be stiff enough to stand up, but pliable enough to form LSOH’s man-eating plant.

Add food coloring to icing and softened fondant.
Soften fondant.  *Put on rubber gloves BEFORE blending food color into it.
Form leaves--or whatever shape you want--and let them set a bit.
Form leaves–or whatever shape you want–and let them set.

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________

Step 3.  Bake cupcakes according to package directions. Food coloring was also mixed with vanilla canned icing then spread on cooled cupcakes.  Icing the cupcakes kept them fresh while the fondant leaves set overnight and formed a base to work on.

Bake cupcakes.
Bake cupcakes.
Ice cupcakes once they've cooled.
Ice cupcakes once they’ve cooled.

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________

Step 4.  Assemble Audrey II’s (or whatever decoration goes with your theme).  Lynn said that, though the canned icing was good for a base, the stiffer Wilton icing made better leaves surrounding the “plants” and fangs on the Audrey II’s.  She used Wilton Tip #103 to form surrounding leaves and Tip #4 for the fangs.  Mini Swedish Fish candies became tongues.  Eww and yum!

Assemble cupcake decorations.
Assemble cupcake decorations.

IMG_7206

 

"Whatever you do, don't feed the plants!"
“Whatever you do, don’t feed the plants!”
Headed to the cast party.
Cupcakes with bite!

 

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Highlights Article and Easy DIY Summer Treasure Jars

Decorated Mason Jars.
Decorated Mason Jars.

DIY Summer Treasure Jars

Camp visiting days are an opportunity for kids to show and tell. They’re also a great source of craft ideas. This year, I was particularly excited about the Treasure Jars so I included them in my Highlights article, 12 Ways to Reboot Your Summer. My daughter said the camp provided glow-in-the-dark paint. Turn out the lights and let summer memories shine!

Supplies:

–mason or mayonnaise jar

–any combination of stickers, pom-poms, paint, paint markers, permanent markers, colored tape and feathers

–craft glue that adheres to glass

Directions:

–Decorate jars.

–Add summer keepsakes such as seashells, souvenirs, movie stubs, show stubs, cards, letters, etc.

–For a personalized touch, label with name and year.

Party Favors or Take Home Party Activity:

How fun would these DIY Treasure Jars be as a take-home party activity for ages 8 and up? Or, decorate smaller jars, fill with candy, and hand out as party favors. Come to think of it, that’s just what I did a few months ago. Check out Quick and Easy Candy Jars to see how I carried the middle school musical, Little Shop of Horrors, theme through the candy jars. Hon, you know I love a theme!

Colorful tape, stickers, paint markers, paint, pom poms and thread were used to decorate these jars.
Colorful tape, stickers, paint markers, paint, pom poms and feathers were used to decorate these jars.

 

Quick and Easy Candy Jars

Mason Jar
Candy Jar

Little Shop of Horrors Congratulations Goodies

In my last post, Creative Cupcakes (Little Shop of Horrors), I experimented with fondant. I admit it. It’ll be awhile before I make cupcakes as elaborate as those again. If you want quick and easy favors, give-aways, congratulations goodies or party activities, these DIY Candy Jars are a cinch to put together.

In lieu of gift cards for my middle schooler’s friends, I decided to make my own Congratulations Goodies. I already owned the mason jars, ordered the candy, and asked my in-house graphic designer (aka Hubby) to print labels.

The result? Sweet gifts for a creepy show–creepy in a good way!

Hon, you know what this means? I LOVE a theme!

Here’s what you need to make your own Quick and Easy Candy Jars:

Mason Jars–available at craft stores

Candy–candy and colors to go with your theme, I used green M & M’s and Frankford Gummy Body Parts Candy

Labels and Ribbon (optional)

That’s It.  Happy DIY’ing! (and enjoy some show pics)

Gummy body parts.
Gummy body parts.
Labels.
Labels.
Fill the jar.
Fill the jars.

 

Audrey II, the man-eating plant, in Little Shop of Horrors.
Little Shop of Horrors’ man-eating plant, Audrey II. See what I mean by creepy?
Seymour and Urchins.
Seymour and Urchins on Skid Row.

DSC_1251

Curtain Call.
Curtain Call.
My little Urchin!
My little Urchin!

 

 

Creative Cupcakes (Little Shop of Horrors)

A Sun Star plant along with Brussels sprouts and cabbages welcome theatre goers. "Audrey II's" and photo care of my friend Lynn.
A Sun Star plant along with Brussels sprouts and cabbages welcome theatre goers. “Audrey II’s” and photo care of my friend Lynn.

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS + CAST PARTY = AN AWESOME THEME

Hon, you know how I love a theme?  

There’s someone who loves themes even MORE THAN ME!

I asked Lynn, mom of “Seymour” in our middle school’s production of the macabre musical Little Shop of Horrors, to show me how to work with fondant. We tag-teamed baked and decorated 100 cupcakes for the cast party.  My Plus-One (as in Triplets Plus One) was an Urchinette.  She wore a gold sequined dress and teased hair (shout out to Emma’s grandma) to Doo-Wop her heart out along with the other Urchins.  The cast and crew’s hard work paid off.

The show was excellent!  Our kids were stars!  What fun!

Creative Cupcakes

Here’s how we made edible “Audrey II’s,” the mysterious man-eating plant in LSOH.

Step 1.  Gather your ingredients.  Rather than make fondant from scratch, we used Fondarific. Supplies included cake mix, baking cups, canned icing, Wilton icing, food coloring, rubber gloves, romaine lettuce, spoons,wax paper, Wilton Decorating Bags and Tips, Swedish Fish candy and Cake Boxes.

Icing and Fondarific.
Icing and Fondarific.
Baking cups and food coloring.
Baking cups and food coloring.

 

 

 

 

 

________________________________________________________________________

Step 2.  Prepare fondant decorations.  After the Fondarific was warmed and softened, rubber gloves were donned, and food coloring was mixed in by hand.  Small balls of fondant were pressed onto spoons. Then romaine leaves rubbed onto fondant created leaf impressions.  After carefully lifting fondant leaves off of spoons, they were layered with wax paper and left to set.  (I put them in a container covered with foil, not refrigerated, overnight.)  The leaves needed to be stiff enough to stand up, but pliable enough to form LSOH’s man-eating plant.

Add food coloring to icing and softened fondant.
Soften fondant.  *Put on rubber gloves BEFORE blending food color into it.
Form leaves--or whatever shape you want--and let them set a bit.
Form leaves–or whatever shape you want–and let them set.

 

 

 

 

 

________________________________________________________________________

Step 3.  Bake cupcakes according to package directions. Food coloring was also mixed with vanilla canned icing then spread on cooled cupcakes.  Icing the cupcakes kept them fresh while the fondant leaves set overnight and formed a base to work on.

Bake cupcakes.
Bake cupcakes.
Ice cupcakes once they've cooled.
Ice cupcakes once they’ve cooled.

 

 

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________

Step 4.  Assemble Audrey II’s (or whatever decoration goes with your theme).  Lynn said that, though the canned icing was good for a base, the stiffer Wilton icing made better leaves surrounding the “plants” and fangs on the Audrey II’s.  She used Wilton Tip #103 to form surrounding leaves and Tip #4 for the fangs.  Mini Swedish Fish candies became tongues.  Eww and yum!

Assemble cupcake decorations.
Assemble cupcake decorations.

IMG_7206

 

"Whatever you do, don't feed the plants!"
“Whatever you do, don’t feed the plants!”
Headed to the cast party.
Cupcakes with bite!

 

Cast and crew.
Cast and crew.

_________________________________________________________________________

Have you ever worked with fondant?  Did you find it easy or hard to use?  What did you make?  Thanks for sharing!