2. Director and choreographer Mitzi Hamilton, who is helming A Chorus Line at Paramount, tells the Sun-Times all about how she was the inspiration for the character Val, and was even there for the beginning research sessions with Michael Bennett. A Chorus Line
3. Audition round-up from some of the bigger houses: Chicago Shakes is doing a pre-screen for general musical productions, so send in headshots by Monday, by either email or mail BUT NOT BOTH. Actual auditions will be January 23 and 24. And BET is casting for two new productions, continuing with their theme of great musical performers of the past: The Prophet (The Marvin Gaye Story) and Urban Legend (The History of Tupac Shakur). Auditions are Tuesday; prepare an acapella song, a two minute monologue, a rap verse if you’re going for Tupac, and “be prepared to move (dance).”
4. I’ve never really bought the purpose of a book trailer, but theaters make a little more sense, as they actually have a moving, dynamic, visible set of data to display. The NYT reports that trailers “are increasingly being used to promote theater, but producing them is still a challenge in terms of style, access and cost.” A comparison and contrast of several major companies includes Steppenwolf, which managed to get past the problem of stage performances not really delivering on the screen (PBS’ Masterpiece Theatre excluded, of course) with their trailer, seen below. “Everybody is trying it, and I don’t think anyone has nailed it,” said Thomas Weitz, the director for digital assets at Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago. Steppenwolf tried it with Penelope, and though director for digital assets Thomas Weitz argues that though no one has “nailed” the medium, they wanted to convince viewers that ““this production was really funny, really outlandish and dirty,” Weitz told the times.5. Second City alum Kobi Libii has been cast as the titular character in the world premiere of Gabe McKinley’s play CQ/CX, based on the Jayson Blair/New York Times scandal. Previews start soon, on January 25, in New York at Signature Theatre Company’s Peter Norton Space (Atlantic Theater Co’s space is being renovated).
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