BWW Interview: Kevin Riddagh Talks Bringing BUBBLE GUPPIES LIVE! READY TO ROCK to The Beacon

BWW Interview: Kevin Riddagh Talks Bringing BUBBLE GUPPIES LIVE! READY TO ROCK to The Beacon

An undersea adventure is coming to The Beacon Theatre! This weekend, the family jamboree Bubble Guppies Live! Ready to Rock will make a tour stop here in New York, bringing with it the colorful aquatic characters and rockin' tunes of Nickelodeon's Bubble Guppies.

Actor and playwright Kevin Riddagh has until this week played Mr. Grouper, the cheerful orange fish that serves as teacher to his school of Guppies. Riddagh has since taken over the red-clad role of the stylish, dancing Rock Lobster. Each performance, he and his castmates embark on a spectacular, music infused, educational adventure, interacting with the always-energetic audience of fans along the way.

Riddagh spoke with BroadwayWorld about the "invigorating" experience of bringing the vibrant world of Bubble Guppies to audiences across the country.


How's the tour going so far?

The tour is going swimmingly, thanks for asking. It's great to travel and see the country, both big cities and small towns. It puts a lot in perspective.

You're a New Yorker: is it exciting to come back for a brief stint while on this tour?

Absolutely, I consider NYC to be my home for the long term, despite the contracts that take me away. It's the greatest city in the world. The mentality I have as a person and an actor is: opportunity is around the corner, every corner, so go look. Also, performing at The Beacon is a dream and something I get to check off the bucket list! May I also say that, while I've been in a few other BroadwayWorld articles, I'm humbled and thrilled to be doing a solo article with you.

BWW Interview: Kevin Riddagh Talks Bringing BUBBLE GUPPIES LIVE! READY TO ROCK to The Beacon
Courtesy of VStar Entertainment

Tell us a little bit about the character you play: Mr. Grouper.

Mr. Grouper is the Bubble Guppies's teacher. As any teacher knows, stoking the fire of creativity and imagination is important. The ability to lead others on the right path so they can figure out the correct answer by themselves is the artful skill of a teacher. The ones that can do that while inspiring their students are the best teachers. We all have teachers that changed education for us and I strive to do that in my everyday life, both on stage and off.

What's it like bringing an animated character to life? One that so many young fans know so well.

Invigorating! This show is for kids, so I do all the work I can to make sure they are laughing, dancing and hopefully feeling inspired by our live production.

Your costume looks so extensive - what did it take to master the onstage movement for Mr. Grouper?

A lot of trial and error. Not everything is right the first time, but perseverance and optimism are key. Luckily, I never run out of ideas. Plus, our production team is fantastic, helping me adjust my character development in regards to the costume and movements.

What is it about Bubble Guppies that has such an impact on its young audiences, both during its television run and in Bubble Guppies Live! Ready to Rock?

In both the TV show and the live production, the Bubble Guppies explore everything from colors, numbers and senses to teamwork, problem solving and patience. One impactful lesson is that they can be wrong sometimes, and that's [okay]! The courage that the Guppies have should inspire all the viewers, young and old.

BWW Interview: Kevin Riddagh Talks Bringing BUBBLE GUPPIES LIVE! READY TO ROCK to The Beacon
Courtesy of VStar Entertainment



How do you and the rest of the cast maintain the energy of the television series?

We are ridiculous and manic on stage and off. I can't say enough amazing things about my castmates and the crew. We all have a positive attitude day in and day out. Even if one person is down, we know how to bring them up. It almost mirrors our show. We are a family and always have each other's backs.

What's been the joy of doing this show across the country?

I get to do what I love everyday. I get to inspire a kid who sees this show and wants to dance or write a song or get a puppy. As a performer, it's not about me, its about giving my audience something memorable to take with them. It doesn't have to be big, but I hope they leave with positive memories they'll have for years to come.


Bubble Guppies Live! Ready to Rock will play The Beacon Theatre April 14th and 15th. Saturday performances will be at 2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Sunday performances will be at 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tickets and information are available at www.msg.com. For more about the tour, visit http://www.bubbleguppieslive.com/.

Get the ultimate fan experience with the Meet and Greet Package, which features premium show seating and a pre-show Meet and Greet with two Bubble Guppies Live friends - Gil and Molly!

This production is part of the PM Pediatrics Family Show Series at the Beacon Theatre.


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