Little Shop of Horrors gives viewers a fun experience in Bayside’s Theatre by the Bay

Billy Marengo (Seymour) and Eli Koenig (Mr. Mushnik) in the Little Shop of Horrors at Theatre by the Bay.
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The Little Shop of Horrors wowed the crowd at Theatre by the Bay.

This performance played out as a fun show with a fine cast thanks to Director Cathy Chimenti, Choreographer Jenifer Badamo and Musical Director Alan Baboff.

Seymour, an assistant at Mushnik’s Skid Row Florist, catches a glimpse of an interesting plant being sold on the street and brings it back to the shop to nurture. Little did he know, the plant he referred to as “Audrey II,” would become something nobody could imagine.

Eric Fiebelkorn, a self-taught puppeteer who spent much time looking at Henson tutorials, brings Audrey II to life as the grown version of the carnivorous plant and had the audience wondering how it all was accomplished.

Ronnette (Menyon Harrell), Crystal (Chantel Nicole), and Chiffon (Steffy Jolin) set the scene with as a 60’s singing street trio focusing on Mr. Mushnik’s (Eli Koenig) shop, where business is not doing well. His assistant, Seymour (Billy Marengo), is pining for his co-worker, Audrey (Nicole Intravia), when he discovers a plant during a total eclipse of the sun, an unusual Venus flytrap. But the plant seems to feed only on human flesh and blood and Seymour is responsible for feeding it.

As the plant grows, it attracts a great deal of business.

Audrey is dating an extremely sadistic dentist, Orin Scrivello (Michael Chimenti), who loves to inflict pain on his patients. But Audrey takes the physical abuse from the dentist in their personal relationship, not realizing that Seymour is interested in her.

As Audrey II continues to grow, it develops a voice of its own. It speaks with the first time, telling Seymour to, “feed me.” While Koenig operates the plant, Julian Maultsby does the voice.

Seymour has been feeding drops of his own blood and soon, it is not enough for Audrey II, whose appetite for human flesh continues to grow. And before you know it, Orin is about to have an accidental death and becomes the first body fed to the blood-thirsty plant.

Harrell, Nicole and Jolin maintain perfect harmony and chemistry throughout the show, as they re-appear to comment on the action. Marengo gets plenty of singing opportunities in numbers such as “Grow for Me,” as well as his duets with Intravia, who has a beautiful set of vocals. “Suddenly Seymour” is one of a few songs that became popular in the musical version. The casts’ acting chops seem to shine as well.

Koenig gives an excellent performance as Mushnik, although he doesn’t always maintain the character’s Jewish inflection. Although Chimenti’s character may be quite annoying, his talent more than makes up for it.

Little Shop of Horrors has their book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, music by Alan Menken.

There is one weekend left to enjoy the production, with shows scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 19, at 3 p.m. at Theatre by the Bay, located at 13-00 209th St. in Bayside.

For tickets call 718-428-6363.

Posted 12:00 am, November 16, 2017
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Reader feedback

Eric Fiebelkorn from Floral Park says:
Thanks for the great article. Only one thing needs to be fixed
While Koenig operates the plant needs to say while Fiebelkorn operates the plant. That's it. Thanks I love the article.
Nov. 17, 2017, 3:19 pm

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