O’Connell & Company kicks off the 2018-2019 season with Little Shop of Horrors, a show that is likely to “enlighten and entertain” you all night long! If Mary Kate O’Connell’s entire season is of this level, I presume this season will bring about multiple Buffalo Artie Nominations.
After a total eclipse of the sun, the show starts when Mushnik’s flower shop store clerk Seymour (Matthew Mooney) discovers an unusual alien plant he names Audrey II after the woman he secretly loves. Seymour’s pet project turns out to be an exotic talking plant (voiced by Jake Hayes and expert puppeteer Zachary Haumesser) with a taste for human blood and flesh that manipulates Seymour into doing evil and unrighteous deeds.
Mooney is no stranger to this show as he has played the role of Seymour in other Buffalo versions of Little Shop of Horrors. However, his portrayal of Seymour in this O’Connell & Company show is a completely different level that you will all enjoy.
Seymour’s co-worker and girl he loves, Audrey (Jenny Marie McCabe), suffers physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her biker and dentist boyfriend, Orin (Daniel Lendzian), who also takes on an assortment of crazy characters throughout the show. The Skid Row failing flower shop owner, Mr. Mushnik (Dan Morris), also takes advantage of Seymour’s naive and trusting nature after he sees that Seymour has the ability to bring more business to his flower shop because of Audrey II.
Jenny Marie McCabe knocks it out of the park in the role of Audrey. She is everything you would have imagined Audrey to be. At certain points, McCabe brings a tear to my eye in a couple of her musical numbers. She is tender, she is sweet and no wonders Seymour falls in love, because I did too! McCabe dedicates her performance to father and there is no doubt in my mind he gave her a standing ovation just like Friday night’s audience!
Dan Morris (Playing Mr. Mushnik) and Daniel Lendzian (Playing Orin) are properly cast by Director Joey Bucheker. Lendzian does justice to the musical number Dentist, and provides the right ingredients to portray this zany character. Morris shines when coupled with Mooney in the musical number Mushnik and Son.
The vocally wowing trio of Ronnette (Emily Pici), Crystal (Marta Aracelis) and Chiffon (Smirna Mercedes-Perez) provide snappy, sassy musical bridges throughout the show. Their vocals are quite tight and each play a role in defining the show’s success. They set the tone of the show with a strong opening number—That’s how I knew I was in for a good show!
Besides McCabe and Mooney, let’s discuss the third star of the show—Audrey II. Brett Runyon’s creation of this growing Venus fly trap is quite magnificent. The plant continues to grow throughout the entire show, evolving into this enormous spectacular “character”.
What can I say? Director/Choreographer Joey Bucheker really does an amazing job with staging and creative concept. I have seen many of Bucheker’s shows over the years and he continues to grow with acquiring the best talent, as seen with this show. The space at O’Connell & Company is perfect for Little Shop of Horrors and the use of the open area in front of the stage was nice, allowing the audience an up close and intimate view.
Donald Jenczka does a distinguished job with music directing this four-person orchestra because it sounds quite full (More than the four noted). From a technical perspective, Melissa Leventhal does a noteworthy job of dressing and costuming this show, especially seen by the colorful trio’s costumes and especially the overall look of Audrey. As for set design, I thought the execution was adequate but there’s a need for attention to detail.
With the opening of the theatre season, there are plenty of shows currently running and O’Connell & Company’s Little Shop of Horrors is one that you will want to take in!
Location: Little Shop Of Horrors plays at O’Connell & Company which is located on the Park School Campus at 4625 Harlem Road in Snyder, New York.
Show Info: October 4th through October 31st. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2:30pm with a Special Halloween Presentation on Wednesday October 31st, 2018 at 7:30pm.
Tickets: $15.00-$30.00; reduced student, senior, military and industry discounts are available.
Ticket Information: Tickets are available at : CLICK TO PURCHASE TICKETS or by calling 716-848-0800.
Running time: About 2 hours including intermission.
Parking: Free adjacent to the Theatre.
Take a look at O’Connell & Company’s 2018-2019 Season:
When John is not performing, his day-time position is as a Registered Respiratory Therapist at Respiratory Services of WNY. There, he takes care of critically ill adult and pediatric patients who are in need of life support in the home. Respiratory Services of WNY has been servicing patients for close to 20 years and John is proud to be a part of a team that make a difference in the community.
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Tags: 2018/2019 Theatre Season, Artie Nominations, Brett Runyon, Buffalo NY, Dan Morris, Daniel Lendzian, Donal Jenczka, Emily Pici, Jake Hayes, Jenny Marie McCabe, Joey Bucheker, John Pirrone, Little Shop of Horrors, Marta Aracelis, Mary Kate O'Connell, Matthew Mooney, Melissa Leventhal, O'Connell & Company, Smirna Mercedes Perez, Zachary Haumesser
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