2005-12-02 / Community

Audrey II Comes To Fort Tilden Theater

Seymour and Audrey relax. Seymour and Audrey relax. This weekend marks the opening of The Rockaway Theatre Company’s final production of the 2005 season, the sci-fi musical that has become a cult favorite, Little Shop of Horrors.

Director John Gilleece joins his cast in eager anticipation of the show’s opening: “This is a really cute show with lively music and a very appropriate message for the holiday season. The popularity of the show is reflected in the response we have already received. We are expecting full houses for all nine performances and I’m sure audiences will not be disappointed.”

Playing the role of Audrey will be Nicole Mangano. Nicole has been an RTC regular for the past three years and anyone hearing her terrific singing voice for the first time is in for a treat. Her costar, young Matthew Smilardi, joined the Rockaway Theatre Company this season and is thrilled and excited to have landed the lead role in his favorite musical. Mushnik, the brusk owner of the Little Shop, is played by versatile RTC veteran Robert Fahn. Little Shop of Horrors is unique in modern musical comedy in that it features a chorus of “Street Urchins” who serve the function of a classic Greek Chorus, narrating and responding to characters and events throughout the play. RTC’s production of Little Shop is even more unique in that instead of a chorus of three, this production features four lovely and talented performers whose beautiful harmonic vocalization alone is worth the price of admission

Audrey’s perfect fantasy family. Audrey’s perfect fantasy family. RTC’s “resident madcap,” Frank Caiati (Last featured in Rockaway CafĂ© ’05 as the hilarious therapist Dr. Frank Freuder) will assume the macabre role of Dr. Orin Scravello, the sadistic dentist who “Gets off” on the pain he inflicts upon his patients. There is no doubt that audience members will howl with laughter even as The Dentist’s unfortunate victims howl with pain. Look for veteran actors Anthony multi-talented Susan Hartenstein to round out the cast in the guise of several “Strange and Interesting” characters.

The real star of the show is actually Audrey II, the villainous plant from another planet, who has come to earth

feed on humans and take over the world. Audrey II, who was designed by Martin P. Robinson for the original production, arrived at the Post Theater last week, courtesy of Character Translations, Inc. Her movements, facilitated by puppeteers Thomas Burke and Emily Arikian, have been a little unsettling to cast members as is the tenor of her deep, threatening voice, provided by Walter Costello. However, the management would like

Nicole Mangano as Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors.” Nicole Mangano as Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors.” remind audience members that Audrey II is harmless and they needn’t be frightened so long as no attempt is made to feed the plant before, during, or after the performance.

The Rockaway Theatre Company invites everyone to visit the Post Theater during this holiday season to see a Broadway quality production of the very popular, Little Shop of Horrors. The show will be presented on Friday and Saturday evenings, December 2,

9, 10, 16 and 17 at 8 p.m. There will also be a matinee on December 10, at

p.m. and on December 11 and 18 at 2 m. Reservations are recommended.

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