None other than Audrey II, the oversized flytrap that nightly eats much of the cast of the Broadway production of Little Shop of Horrors, will preside of the annual event, which begins at 7 PM Oct. 31 between Spring and Broome streets and proceeds north to 23rd Street. The vicious vegetable apparently has some pull—the parade has never before named a Grand Marshal. For the puppet's view on the proceedings, "color commentary" on the parade will be furnished by Kate Monster, one of the cloth stars of Broadway's Avenue Q, and a guest talking head on NY1.
The parade is open to all New Yorkers in costume. This year's parade features approximately 25,000 costumed participants, as well as giant masks and puppets, 38 marching bands from around the world, stilt-walkers, jugglers, break dancers and other street performers.
The Broadway premiere of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's one-time Off-Broadway smash Little Shop of Horrors opened at the Virginia Theatre on Oct. 2. The production, directed by Jerry Zaks with choreography by Kathleen Marshall, stars Hunter Foster as the down-on his-luck, plant-shop worker Seymour and Kerry Butler as Audrey, the ditzy, but pure-hearted woman of his dreams. The show began previews Aug. 29.
Audrey II grows throughout the course of the evening, eventually taking up much of the stage with its roots, tentacles and ravenous maw.