Well Hello There! My name is Laura Bidgood and I am the director of Lyric Art’s production of Little Shop of Horrors…opening on October 16th!
I have been asked to write a blog about our show giving you an inside scoop into our rehearsal process. It’s going to be pretty awesome, so you’ll want to check back every Monday, Thursday and Saturday for new blogs tracking our progress as we get this puppy ready for an audience.
How about I introduce you to our cast and crew?
Laura Bidgood, Director. That’s me! I am a five foot three bundle of directing dynamite.
I love Lyric Arts. For real. *serious head nod* I am delighted that they keep asking me back here to direct! Lyric Arts Main Street Stage is nothing but a good time filled with tons of talent.
Speaking of…here’s my crew and cast:
Jane Frank, Music Director. This is Jane’s first time Music Directing at Lyric Arts, but something tells me it won’t be her last. I like to call her “Keys” because she is one amazing pianist. She’s also got a great ear and really is whipping (figuratively not literally) our cast into excellent vocal shape.
Christopher Marc, Stage Manager. Chris is one cool cookie. He is super organized, always on time, easy going and quite possibly one of the best stage managers I’ve ever worked with. He helps to keep us all on track!
Stacy Karger, Assistant Stage Manager. Stacy has had a bit of a break from theatre, but boy am I every glad she is back. She brings a lot of enthusiasm to her job and is doing great!
Charise Schrupp, Choreographer. Charise is awesome! This show doesn’t have a ton of dance in it, but I wish there were more because Charise is so creative and fun to work with!
Becky Flanders, Costumer. Becky always puts 110% into every show. I’ve worked with her before and am always super impressed with what she manages to come up with! She’s got a great eye for costume.
Dan Thorson, Lighting Designer. Dan always has really good music on his iPod that he pipes in through the theatre whenever he is working on lights which I really enjoy. He also happens to be a wonderfully talented and smart lighting designer. He always sets a mood with his lights.
Todd Edwards, Set Designer. Todd is new to Lyric Arts and has an incredible eye for set design. I can’t wait for the audience to see what he has come up with for Little Shop of Horrors. You will NOT be disappointed. He’s great!
Patrick Vital-Schwartz, Technical Director. Todd’s designing the set and Patrick is putting it all together. Patrick is awesome to work with and quite an incredible set designer himself. He always gets the job done!
Anna Clinkenger, Props Master. Anna is new to Lyric Arts, but no stranger to props. She went to college in Ohio where she specialized in props. I think we are going to be in great hands with her!
Jeff Geisler, Sound Designer. Jeff is incredible at what he does! It’s not easy making sure that everyone can be heard but Jeff does it perfectly. He’s an all around great guy and we are so lucky to have him and his mad sound skills on board!
Joanna Diem, Production Manager. Joanna is a true asset to Lyric Arts. With her keen eye for detail and her can do professional attitude, she is truly the glue that holds productions together and helps to make them so successful. She is super cool!
Now you’ve met the crew. How about our cast?
Nick Menzhuber, Seymour. Nick takes center stage as our lead and is splendid! He really delivers the goods in this show. What an actor! He plays the nerd really well…sometimes it’s like he’s not even acting! He takes a lot of abuse from the other characters during the show; Orin pokes and punches him, Audrey slaps him, Mushnik pushes him, and Ronnette trips him…I won’t be surprise if Nick is black and blue by the end of the run!
Sarah Wind, Audrey. Sarah is brand new to Lyric Arts but are we ever glad she decided to come here. She possesses a truly amazing voice that I can’t wait for our audiences to hear. Her and Nick’s duet, “Suddenly Seymour” is my favorite from the show! Such raw emotion! Sarah said that she definitely relates to Audrey, but doesn’t dress like a floozy and actually has a very nice boyfriend.
Willow Bousu, Ronnette. Willow is also a new addition to Lyric Arts, but no stranger to musical theatre. I gave her, Molly and Emily the assignment of watching some episodes of Maury, Jerry Springer and Peoples Court, to develop their “street urchin” characters. Willow was excited for this excuse to watch bad reality TV. She has a really pure, classically trained voice that blends perfectly with Molly and Emily.
Emily Picardi, Crystal. Emily is our youngest cast ember, with quite possibly the biggest voice. She is an amazing soprano that can sing so incredibly high, that I think if she wanted to, could break glass. She didn’t seem as thrilled by her assignment to watch People’s Court, but I think once she does it might become her new favorite show. She sings the soprano part in the Doo Wops and compliments Willow and Molly’s voice terrifically.
Molly Landgrebe, Chiffon. Talk about your soulful voice. She is a powerhouse of a belter and I am so glad she’s in the show! She’s quite mellow offstage but onstage has this terrific sass and spunk to her that makes Chiffon come alive. Molly seemed slightly intrigued by the concept of watching reality TV to develop character, so I can’t wait to get her opinion on the latest episode of Jerry Springer. She sings the low part in the Doo Wop harmony and sings it well!
David Ulrich, Orin, Bernstein, Snip, Luce, and Patrick Morgan. David is a comic genius! He comes alive once he hits the stage and brings with him a separate and distinct character with each role he takes on during the show. My favorite is the roles he plays in the song, “The Meek Shall Inherit.” That is one you do not want to miss. He also does a bang up job (pun intended) as Orin, the sadistic dentist. You’ll never think of Orthodontry (I think that’s a word – but you know what I mean) the same way again.
Ron Tolliver, Mr. Mushnik. Ron is no stranger to the Lyric Arts stage. He’s done a number of shows here and done them all very well. An experienced actor with a ton of experience, he knows what to do and always gets it done on stage. He is always early for rehearsal and always super prepared. A director’s dream! Be sure to not miss him tangoing during the show!
Curtis Burton, Voice of Audrey II, Wino #1. Curtis has such a rich, velvety voice that it makes you want to just sit and listen to it….all day. I am so glad that he auditioned as he is perfectly suited to voice Audrey II. Curtis has a fun cameo in the first scene as Wino #1, that you will definitely not want to miss. He seems to be having a great time and we are glad to have him the show!
Zach Miller, Plant, Wino #2, Ensemble. Zach is tackling the role of the puppeteering (I am not sure if that is an actual word) our plant. He also has a few fun cameos throughout the show so be sure to look for those. Zach has a fun sense of humor and is a great addition to the ensemble. His enthusiasm makes him the perfect choice to puppet the plant! The plants we are using in the show are actual replicas from the Broadway show, that we are renting and they look amazing!
That’s it! The cast and crew of Little Shop of Horrors. Check back with us later for new blogs as I give you glimpses into how rehearsals are going, share insider secrets, and tell some funny stories as we get this show up and running.
So until next time! And remember whatever you do…. don’t feed plant!