Auditions were held in front of a cheap gold-framed knockoff of the Last Supper...
First round of auditions were held last on Tuesday night.
It was a dark and stormy night, and the trip to the audition space was shrouded in fog. On the way there, I was convinced that no one would show up for auditions, between the weather and the fact that it was Super Tuesday.
Auditions are being held in an old Methodist church. After enduring the winding fog-covered paths for what seemed like half an hour, I pulled into the dimly-lit parking lot, and thought to myself, once again, “We’re never going to have anyone show up.”
The parking lot, I was pleased to discover, was filled with vehicles. In fact, it was hard to find a spot. “This is encouraging,” I thought, especially since the auditions weren’t scheduled to start for another half an hour. Perhaps all the audition notices that I had blanketed the local media with had paid off, after all.
I opened the front door, and immediately, twenty pairs of eyes turned my way.
Then I realized that I was interrupting a Boy Scout meeting.
Hopes dashed, I made my way up a rickety, winding flight of stairs, where our auditions were being held.
We were in what a large room, filled with pews. One half was evidently used for services, but our auditions were taking place in the other half. Most of my production team had already arrived, and I started to organize how I wanted the area to look.
We cleared out an area by pushing back several rows of pews. I moved a stereo console back, to create a makeshift desk, in order to spread out the audition sheets and my index cards on each person that auditioned.
Those who auditioned would have to do so in front of a cheap gold-framed knockoff of the Last Supper, which made me giggle, every time I looked over their shoulders.
My musical director, Tony, sat next to me. We’ve been friends for years, and he was even in my wedding party. I turned to him before auditions started. “I’ve got a new idea for the show,” I whispered.
“Oh, God.” Tony knew my ideas way too well.
“I want Pete to build me a large bathtub,” I whispered.
He looked at me, shocked. “Why?”
I smiled. “You know the scene where Whitney, the businessman, is in his cabin, and Moonface knocks off his glasses, to steal them from him? I want Whitney to be in a bathtub for that entire scene.”
“Shades of Marat-Sade,” said Tony.
“When Moonface comes in, he hits Whitney on the back to dislodge the glasses. But the glasses end up falling into the water, not his hat. Remember that scene with Harvey Korman in ‘Blazing Saddles’? Moonface will have to stick his hand in the water to retrieve them. Can’t you see it? Whitney sits there, shocked. ‘Those AREN’T my glasses..."
Tony struggled to keep a straight face during the first audition.
Which went pretty well! Despite everything, we had about twenty people auditioning…not bad for a first night. We had two solid potential Renos, lots of Moonfaces, and one guy who might be great as Sir Evelyn. I was disappointed with my Billy selection, and also, didn’t really find the right guy to play Mrs. Harcourt in drag. However, I was surprised by the number of guys who said they’d give it a try!
After auditions, my production team went to Downtown, our local watering hole, for a nightcap. I ordered a martini...my first in what I expected will be a whole series of martinis...