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4 posts from October 2013

October 28, 2013

'Book of Mormon' holding Miami auditions

Phyre Hawkins, Mark Evans, Christopher John O'Neill THE BOOK OF MORMON First National Tour photo Joan Marcus 2013If you’re a South Florida actor-singer-dancer who just might be interested in appearing in one of the hottest shows on Broadway or on tour, the casting folks for The Book of Mormon want to hear from you.

They’re coming to Miami to hold auditions on Friday, Nov. 1, and Sunday, Nov. 3, by appointment only, trying to fatten their files for future replacements on Broadway and the show’s two touring companies.  Mormon wannabes ned to submit a photo, resume and any relevant additional material via email to jrichcasting@gmail.com no later than Saturday, Nov. 2 (sooner, of course, if you’re hoping to be seen on Friday).  Appointments are at the discretion of the casting staff, which will supply detailed information about location and times to those they'd like to see.  Equity and non-union actors can submit, and actors have to be 18 or older.

The show itself, of course, comes to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts  Nov. 26-Dec. 22 as the hottest item on South Florida's Broadway touring menu this season.

Here’s the breakdown of what Rich and company are seeking. 

ARNOLD CUNNINGHAM (Early 20's-Late 20's to play 18): Caucasian. Seeking a true character actor. Must be a physical contrast to the other good looking, All-American Mormons. Dweeby, dorky, nerdy, overweight or all four combined. Arnold is a pathological liar but his heart is in the right place. He is a total screw-up but not for lack of trying, he always wants to do the right thing. Must be fantastic comedic actor who sings well. Tenor. We are also particularly interested in comics who sing.

 KEVIN PRICE (Early 20’s-Late 20’s to play 18): Caucasian. All-American. Very handsome. Head of the class, always optimistic. Heroic Mormon. Must be a great comedic actor and a fantastic pop-rock high tenor to a B. Should be at least 5’10" or taller.

 NABALUNGI (18- Late 20’s to play 20): Black African. Pretty. Takes the hardships of her village very seriously and wants to help her people find a better life. Must have great comic timing. Strong alto. Belt to an E.

ELDER MCKINLEY (early 20s to late 20s to play 18): Caucasian. District leader of the Mormon missionaries in Uganda. All- American, wide-eyed and hopeful. Often struggles to cover his flamboyant tendencies and adhere to his Mormon morals. Must be a fantastic comedic actor and great singer. High baritone who can pop out high B-flats for comedic effect.

MAFALA HATIMBI (40s): Black African. Father of Nabalungi. Has come to accept the hardships in the village where they live but is a discerning community leader and tries to bring joy to their lives. Must be a great comedic actor and singer. Also interested in actors who sing.

PRICE’S DAD/MISSION PRESIDENT/VARIOUS ROLES (40s): Caucasian. All-American good looks and physique. Plays several parts from the picture-perfect head of a Mormon household, to the stern missionary president to Joseph Smith, so must have the ability to be transformative. Must be a great comedic actor and good singer. High baritone to an A-flat.

MALE and FEMALE AFRICAN VILLAGERS: (Early 20s-Late 30s) Characters are black Africans. Seeking great singers and great comedic actors who can move.  Seeking tenors (to high B), baritones, gospel sopranos (to high B-flat), gospel belters (to E) and altos.

(Book of Mormon tour photo by Joan Marcus)

October 27, 2013

24 Hour Theatre's plays are in the works

24 FrameThe hour glass -- well, the 24-Hour glass -- is off and running for the 2013 edition of The Naked Stage's popular 24 Hour Theatre Project.  Artistic director Katherine Amadeo and this year's eight playwrights gathered at Palm Beach Dramaworks Sunday evening so the writers could choose play titles and, randomly, directors and actors for the brand-new short plays that will get their one-night-only world premieres at 8 p.m. Monday.

The playwrights' mode right now?  Creativity laced with panic.

What will you see if you go to the show on Monday?

South Florida Theatre League executive director Andie Arthur is writing The Legend of Hitchhiker Jones, which will be directed by Kutumba Theatre Project's Kim Ehly.  Margery Lowe and her hubby Clive Cholerton are in the cast, along with Matt Stabile and Nanique Gheridian.

Christopher Demos-Brown, whose new full-length play Fear Up Harsh gets its world premiere Nov. 7-24 at Miami's Zoetic Stage, is writing Till Beth Do We Part.  Island City Stage artistic director Andy Rogow is directing Meredith Bartmon, Beverly Blanchette, Irene Adjan and Gregg Weiner in the play.

Mad Cat playwright, actor and company member Jessica Farr is writing Area 54, which will be directed by The Project Theatre's David Hemphill.  Adam Simpson, Wayne LeGette, Clay Cartland and Mia Matthews are in that cast.

Playwright and Silver Palm Awards executive committee member Tony Finstrom is writing The Curse of Willoughby, which Michael Leeds is directing.  That cast features Tracey Barrow-Schoenblatt, Karen Stephens, Niki Fridh and Shane Tanner.

Playwright, actor, designer and Zoetic Stage co-founder Michael McKeever is writing The Seven Deaths of Rhona Banks.  Desmond Gallant will direct Cliff Burgess, Abby Perkins, Dave Corey and Pierre Tannous in that one.

Marj O'Neill-Butler's play is The Ritual, which will be staged by Adalberto Acevedo.  Alex Alvarez, Noah Levine, George Schiavone and Patti Gardner are in the cast.

Actor and Promethean Theatre founder Deborah Sherman is writing Unearthed.  Leland Patton will direct the play, which features Laura Hodos, David Meldman, Sally Bondi and Barry Tarallo.

Mad Cat founder Paul Tei is creating a piece titled Smile as the Hearse Goes By.  Kim St. Leon will stage it, and Nick Duckart, Amy McKenna, Lela Elam and Natalia Coego are the actors.

This creative gathering of South Florida's far-flung theater community happens at Dramaworks' Don & Ann Brown Theatre is at 201 Clematis St..  General admission tickets are $30, VIP tickets (with reserved seating and a souvenir poster) run $50.  For info or tickets, call 561-514-4042, ext. 2, or visit the Dramaworks web site.





October 25, 2013

Silver Palm Award recipients announced

Carbonells0327 i epfThe six-year-old Silver Palm Awards for theatrical excellence aren't like the much older, more formal Carbonell Awards.  The Silver Palms vary in number from year to year, avoid categories and competition, and are decided upon by an executive committee -- playwright Tony Finstrom, actress and Becon TV talk show host Iris Acker and Florida Media News/ENV Magazine critic Ron Levitt -- based on recommendations sent to them by South Florida critics.

This year, Silver Palms go to 20 recipients in honor of the South Florida Theatre League's 20th anniversary.  They're for work done between Sept. 1, 2012, and Aug. 31, 2013, and they'll be presented at the League's annual holiday party in Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 2.

Honored this year are producer-writer-director-actor-designer Antonio Amadeo, for his multifacted original work in A Man Puts on a Play at The Naked Stage; Miami Theater Center playwright and director Stephanie Ansin for her production of The Three Sisters; Ann Kelly Anthony for her work as executive director and board chair at Mad Cat Theatre Company; Andie Arthur, for six years as executive director of the South Florida Theatre League; Matt Corey, for his sound design of Mosaic Theatre's The Birds; Lela Elam, for her outstanding performance in Ruined at GableStage; James Danford for 30 years of outstanding work as a South Florida stage manager.

IMG_Erin_Joy_Schmidt_as__2_1_Q0768O8MAlso receiving Silver Palms are Patrick Fitzwater for his direction and choreography of Slow Burn Theatre's Side Show; Ethan Henry, for his outstanding lead performances in Palm Beach Dramaworks' A Raisin in the Sun and M Ensemble's King Hedley II; Andrew Kato for his outstanding work as producing artistic director of the Maltz Jupiter Theatre; Jan McArt for her outstanding work developing new plays via the Lynn University New Play Reading Series; Harriet Oser for her outstanding performance in Driving Miss Daisy at the Plaza Theatre.

Other Silver Palm honorees are artistic director Skye Whitcomb and Outré Theatre, as the year's outstanding new professional company; Nicholas Richberg for his outstanding performance in Cock at GableStage; Erin Joy Schmidt for her oustanding performances in Mad Cat's Blow Me and Other Desert Cities at Actors' Playhouse; Nicole Stodard for her challenging productions at Thinking Cap Theatre and her outstanding adaptation/production of The Rover; John Manzelli of City Theatre and Andy Rogow of Island City Stage for their coproduction of Shorts Gone Wild, the outstanding LGBT theater piece of the season; Tom Wahl for his outstanding performance in Zoetic Stage's I Am My Own Wife; Mike Westrich, for his outstanding performance in Outre Theatre's tick...tick...BOOM!.  I am also getting a Silver Palm, recognizing my 34 years of theater criticism at the Miami Herald.  And I swear I didn't suggest that to the committee.

This year's party goes from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Dec. 2 at Stache, 109 SW Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale.  Theatre League members get in free, but anyone can come for a $25 admission fee.  For more info, contact Andie Arthur at 954-557-0778 or visit the Silver Palms web site.

(Photo of Ethan Henry by the Miami Herald's Patrick Farrell; Erin Joy Schmidt photo from Mad Cat)

October 18, 2013

24 Hour Theatre Project readies its crazy, creative '13 edition

Carbonells0327 d epfArtistic director and actor Katherine Amadeo is a talented, glamorous presence both on and offstage.  But come the evening of Oct. 28, the Naked Stage cofounder (she launched the company with hubby Antonio Amadeo and pal John Manzelli) may be looking a little sleep-deprived and frazzled.  That's because she'll be near the end of the seventh edition of the popular 24 Hour Theatre Project, a creative fundraiser that brings South Florida's theater community together for some made-overnight art.

This year, the peripatetic event takes place at Palm Beach Dramaworks.  At 7 p.m. Oct. 27, eight playwrights -- Andie Arthur, Christopher Demos-Brown, Jessica Farr, Tony Finstrom, Michael McKeever, Marj O'Neill-Butler, Deborah Sherman and Paul Tei -- will gather to choose titles, some deliberately bizarre, from a list devised by Amadeo.  The writers will draw the names of directors and actors from a hat, then scurry to a private place to spend the night creating brand-new short plays.

Early on the morning of Oct. 28, the eight shows go into rehearsal.  And that evening at 8 p.m., the one-time-only performance of 24 Hour Theatre 2013 takes place.

24 FrameInvariably, conflicting work commitments cause some of the participating artists to jump ship before the event (sending Amadeo into crisis control mode).  But at this point, the directors are slated to be Adalberto Acevedo, Kim Ehly, Desmond Gallant, David Hamphill, Michael Leeds, Leland Patton, Andy Rogow and Kim St. Leon.  This year's actors are Irene Adjan, Alex Alvarez, Tracey Barrow-Schoenblatt, Sally Bondi, Cliff Burgess, Clay Cartland, Oscar Cheda, Clive Cholerton, Natalia Coego, Dave Corey, Nick Duckart, Lela Elam, Patti Gardner, Nanique Geridian, Laura Hodos, Wayne LeGette, Dan Leonard, Noah Levine, Margery Lowe, Amy McKenna, David Meldman, Nicholas Richberg, George Schiavone, Adam Simpson, Karen Stephens, Shane Tanner, Pierre Tannous, Barry Tarallo and Gregg Weiner.  Lots of Carbonell Award winners and nominees in that bunch.

For plenty of hardcore South Florida theater fans, 24 Hour Theatre is a can't-miss event, no matter where it's taking place.  Dramaworks' Don & Ann Brown Theatre is at 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach, right in the heart of the city's lively downtown.

General admission tickets are $30, VIP tickets (with reserved seating and a souvenir poster) run $50.  For info or tickets, call 561-514-4042, ext. 2, or visit the Dramaworks web site.

(Photo of Katherine Amadeo by Miami Herald photographer Patrick Farrell)