If watching the local production of Cabaret last spring had you itching for your moment in the spotlight, now’s your chance to get in on the action.
Black Productions, the local musical theatre company run by Sydney Black, is casting roles for its 2014 production of Chicago — a popular Broadway show never before seen in the Kootenays.
With music and lyrics written by the same duo that composed Cabaret (John Kander and Fred Ebb respectively), Black says she was drawn to the vaudeville show because it has a mid-size, balanced cast of nine men and 10 women, with a chorus of dancers — similar to Cabaret — and big, juicy roles for the principals.
Also, she thought audience could do with some lighter viewing.
“Things have been a little dark in Musical Theatre Land,” Black said, citing the local productions of Jesus Christ Superstar and Sweeney Todd, as well as Cabaret. “I think people will appreciate something fresh and funny.”
Chicago is about beautiful women in the city getting away with murder in the 1920s. The show is full of murderesses awaiting trial behind bars with corrupt guards, spin-doctor lawyers, and the tabloid reporters looking for their next headline.
Lisel Forst has come on board to direct the show. She’s directed Nelson Opera Society productions of The Marriage of Figaro and Into The Woods, and most recently shared the stage with her husband Jeff in Cop Shop/Grow Op.
Forst describes Chicago as, “a thinker” with characters you end up liking when you know you shouldn’t and moments that will make you laugh at things that shouldn’t be funny.
“I love duality in live theatre,” Forst said. “There’s a lot of layers in Chicago. There’s sparkles and grime, and nobody’s really who they seem to be.”
The show will be supported by an all star production team, including musical director Allison Girvan, choreographer Mackenzie Hope, stage manager Deb Sigfusson with assistants Stephanie Johnston and Olivia Bogaard, costume designer Leslie Dickinson, set designer Heather Shippit, set builder Eric Galbraith (Black’s dad), technical directors Dave Ingraham and Doug Scott.
Now they just need some actors/dancers to work with — and in a place like Nelson they shouldn’t be hard to find. The main auditions will be held January 18 and 19, but there’s also audition times available on December 29 for university students or others who are home for the holidays and will be back in town when rehearsals start in the spring.
Prospective actors should prepare two vocal selections for their audition, one of their choosing and one from the show. The 10-minute audition will also reading a provided scene from the show and being walked through a brief dance component with the choreographer.
“If you feel you’re not a vocalist, don’t let that hinder you from coming out and auditioning,” Black said. “There are roles in the show that don’t have to involve singing or dancing.”
The most important thing, she says, is that you can commit to rehearsals two evenings per week (Wednesdays and Sundays, beginning March 30) and performances June 12 to 15.