Director Laura Bidgood on "Little Shop of Horrors"

Lyric Arts had the opportunity to talk with director of Little Shop of Horrors, Laura Bidgood.  Find out what she had to say about the show, cast, and working in the Halloween Capital of the World. Laura Bidgood LA: For those that are unfamiliar with Little Shop of Horrors can you tell us about the show?  

LB: The show is set in the 1960’s, in a scuzzy place called Skid Row. The story centers around a nerdy flower shop worker, Seymour Krelbourn,  and his discovery of strange new plant he calls an “Audrey II.”

LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular rock musical interested you?

LB: Little Shop has always been a favorite of mine. I grew up watching the 1986 movie version and was drawn in by the larger than life characters, catchy musical numbers and campiness. I am very excited to have the opportunity to bring Little Shop of Horrors to the stage!

LA: The movie,  Little Shop of Horrors,  is considered by some to be “a cult classic.”  Why should those who have seen the movie come to see the stage version? 

LB: If you love the movie version, you’ve got to see the stage version! Both the stage and film versions are quite similar but just different enough that it gives you a new perspective on the show.

Also nothing beats seeing live theatre and those characters from the movie, come to life right before your eyes. We’ve also got a number of special effects in this show that will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat!

I can’t wait to see this show...and I’m directing it! LA: How is directing a musical different then directing a play without music?

LB: The most obvious difference is the addition of music and dancing to help the story along in a musical that you don’t get with a straight show.  Also in musicals your characters tend to be more over the top and larger than life.  Especially in this show!

Directing straight shows, it is usually just the director calling the shots in rehearsals. In a musical you have a lot of creative minds all coming together in their areas of expertise, i.e. choreography and music. It’s been interesting and fun in the rehearsal process working with and  bringing all three of those elements: singing, acting, and dancing together. 

LA: Being that you have directed at Lyric Arts in the past, how has Little Shop of Horrors been a different experience for you? 

LB: While I have directed musicals before, this is my first one at Lyric Arts. It’s been a lot of fun working with such creative people in putting the show together.  Musicals take a little bit more work to get performance ready and the process of us getting there has certainly been a different but enjoyable experience for me.

LA: What do you feel are the "wow" elements of Little Shop of Horrors?

LB: There are a lot of “wow” elements in this show; the actors, the set, costumes, the lights.  There are so many “wow” elements that you may, as you watch show, find yourself inadvertently making a “w” sign with first your left and then your right hand.  Next you’ll be lifting those hands to your mouth, while your lips make an “o” shape and you will be literally spelling out the “wow.” Almost against your will. That’s how good this show is.

LA: Comment on the talent level in the cast.  LB: We’ve got the most talented cast ever! Okay…I might be a little influenced in my remark because I am the director.

But all kidding aside, we do have a great cast. They are not only exceptionally talented in singing and acting, but also exceptionally hard working and easy to get along with.

We’ve got a small cast for a musical (only 9 people!) and I believe that’s really made them a close knit group that understands and plays off each other very well. We’ve had a lot of fun preparing this show for an audience.

LA: Being that Anoka is the Halloween Capital of the World, how is this show appropriate for the Halloween season?

LB: Well first I just want to say what an honor it is to be working in the Halloween Capital of the World on Halloween. This show is super appropriate for Halloween, you’ll get some tricks during the show and afterwards you’ll thank us for the treat.

LA: Tell us what is something that you are particular excited about this show coming to together? For example, a certain scene, costumes, set, lights, etc?   

LB: I am most excited for the finale of our show coming together. It’s going to be a cumulation of all the elements in the show giving it 120%; the costumes, lights, set, the orchestra, not to mention the actors all coming together to end the show with a bang that you will not soon forget.  When the lights in the house come up, you will NOT leave this show disappointed and who knows…you may just want to come back again.

LA: Anything else you’d like to touch on that wasn’t mentioned our asked.

LB: Only that I adore Lyric Arts and the opportunity to work here. I’ve worked at a number of community theatres throughout the metro and am always blown away by the talent, strong support from the staff, and the solid productions that Lyric Arts produces! I love Lyric Arts!!

LA: We love you, too, Laura!  Little Shop of Horrors opens Friday, October 16, and runs through Sunday, November 1.  Tickets available by phone (763-422-1838) or online.  Click for more information about show dates and times.