Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 23, 2014

Way Off Broadway planning auditions for summer season

Apr 16, 2013

Way Off Broadway, Iowa’s only professional musical theatre company and the residential company at Fairfield Arts & Convention Center’s Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts, announces its summer season which will include: “Miss Saigon,” “Annie Get Your Gun” and “Shrek.”

Roles are open in all three musicals for local talent.

“Miss Saigon” has roles open for an Asian boy about 4 years old, and a few other children as well as young adult and adult roles.

“Annie Get Your Gun” has two boy and two girl roles, which are featured as Annie’s brothers and sisters, plus roles for young adults and adults, as well as roles in the ensemble.

“Shrek” has all the characters from the movie including Pinocchio and Gingy the gingerbread man, but also has roles for Sugar Plum, “Three Little Pigs” — Bricks, Sticks and Straw — Big Bad Wolf, Wicked Witch, Mama Bear, Papa Bear, Baby Bear, Peter Pan, Ugly Duckling, Humpty Dumpty, White Rabbit, Fairy Godmother, Gnome, Shoemaker’s Elf. A full children’s ensemble is planned.

“Miss Saigon,” which will open the summer season, starts rehearsing June 4 and plays June 28 through July 7 with additional shows in Coralville to be scheduled. Some roles are cast professionally, and this summer, WOB will once again be hosting a group of musical theatre interns from throughout the United States. As usual, many roles and ensemble spots will be held open for local casting.

Nationally known choreographer Roy Lightner, who choreographed WOB’s production of “Hairspray” returns to stage “Miss Saigon,” and Chaz Williams Ali will musically direct.

“Miss Saigon” is a musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, with lyrics by Boublil and Richard Maltby Jr. — the same team that created “Les Miserables.” It is based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera “Madame Butterfly,” and similarly tells the tragic tale of a doomed romance involving an Asian woman abandoned by her American lover. The setting of the plot is relocated to the 1970s Saigon during the Vietnam War, and Madame Butterfly’s story of marriage between an American lieutenant and Japanese girl is replaced by a romance between an American GI and a Vietnamese bar girl.

The second musical is the new play-within-a-play version of “Annie Get Your Gun” created for Bernadette Peters and Reba McEntire by Peter Stone playing July 19-28, with Coralville Performing Arts Center performances to be scheduled.

Well-loved Metropolitan Opera baritone David Malis will return to play Frank Butler; he was WOB’s Emile in “South Pacific.” Other roles are currently open.

Well-known New York choreographer David Marquez will make his WOB debut when he choreographs the production, and Chaz Williams Ali will musically direct.

“Annie Get Your Gun” is a musical, with lyrics and music written by Irving Berlin and a book by Peter Stone. The story is a fictionalized version of the life of Annie Oakley, a sharpshooter who starred in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, and her romance with sharpshooter Frank Butler. Songs that became hits include “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly,” “You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun,” “They Say It’s Wonderful” and “Anything You Can Do.”

The last summer musical will be another family extravaganza as WOB presents “Shrek the Musical” Aug. 9-19. Many roles and ensemble opportunities are available. Well-known Broadway performer and choreographer Michael Mindlin will travel to Fairfield to choreograph.

“Shrek the Musical” is a musical with music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire. It is based on the 2001 DreamWorks film “Shrek” and William Steig’s 1990 book “Shrek!”

Opportunities abound for involvement: be on a crew, plan a party, host an intern or join the cast.

Those wishing to audition should come to auditions, complete an audition form and be prepared to sing two minutes of any song from any source. Auditions will start at 1 p.m. Sunday and 6 p.m. Monday at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center.

For informtion, contact Randal K. West, artistic director, at rwest@wobroadway.com or 919-0580.

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