Lyric Arts "cultivated" an interview with Little Shop of Horrors with Nick Menzhuber who plays down-and-out floral assistant, Seymour Krelborn. Check out what this “botanical genius” had to say about Little Shop of Horrors.
LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular rock musical interested you?
NM: Little Shophas taken the top spot on my "Most Wanted" list for as long as I can remember. I think it's an ideal musical in a lot of ways: it's fast-paced, the music really rocks and sticks in your head for days, it's very funny but it also contains some suspenseful moments with romance to boot. Plus, man-eating plant. What's not to love?
LA: Talk about the character that you play in Little Shop of Horrors. How have you developed this character?
NM: The core of Seymour is this sweet, unassuming guy who just wants to make good. But Seymour makes this terrible Faustian deal, so where that comes from needs to be addressed. My interpretation (a common one) is that it stems from Seymour’s insecurities. He desperately wants out of Skid Row (and to take Audrey with him, of course) but he doesn’t think he’s good enough to make it on his own; the plant takes full advantage of that. As far as characterization goes, I try to remember the more awkward days of middle school in terms of tripping over your own feet and trying to talk to that girl you have a crush on (failing miserably) and thinking you’re being far more sneaky than you actually are.
LA: Talk about your fellow cast members, how do you see their characters developing? Any that you are particularly amazed at?
NM:Everyone’s been so great that I couldn’t single out just one person. Sarah (Audrey) is just a pleasure to work with and has such an amazing voice that I’m embarrassed that they let me share a stage with her. Ron (Mushnik) already seemed to have his character nailed in our callback. David (Orin) brings such manic comedic energy to his scenes that my main job so far is to not crack up and break character. One of the things I look forward to the most every night is getting to sing “Feed Me (Git It)” with Curtis (voice of the plant), and I know Zach (the puppeteer) is busy memorizing every syllable so he can bring that plant to life. With Willow, Molly and Emily (the “Doo-Wop” girls), they all have this knack for going off and rehearsing something and stepping it up in a big way. Their harmonies are the toughest lines to sing in the show in my opinion, and they’re sounding great. And of course, any time a cast comes together well, it just speaks highly of the artistic crew, so props to Laura and her team! Here’s hoping I didn’t miss anyone.
LA: What do you feel are the "wow" elements of Little Shop of Horrors?
NM:I would say the music first and foremost. The music in this show is almost a character in and of itself, as personified by the three “Doo-Wop girls,” and it really moves this show along at a frantic pace (with compliments to music director Jane Frank, of course). I would also single out the enormous carnivorous plant as a “wow” element. You just don’t see that too often.
LA: Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
NM: I work by day in the financial services industry; community theatre is my hobby, my creative outlet, and, I find, the very best place to meet new friends (and my lovely wife!). I took a two-year break from it after getting married and returned about a year ago to do Ghostchasers at Lyric Arts, staying pretty active since then. Since I do theatre strictly for the fun of it, I only audition for shows if I really like the script, if I really enjoy working with a specific director, or if I’d really like to work with a specific theatre company. I’m thrilled that all three of those elements came together for this show. It’s been a blast so far, and I can only hope that the fun we’ve been having translates to the audience.
LA: Little Shop of Horrors opens Friday, October 16, and runs through Sunday, November 1. Tickets available by phone (763-422-1838) or online.