Friday, January 30, 2009

Cast Announced for Miss Saigon!

We are very excited to announce our cast for Miss Saigon! After holding auditions in New York and Raleigh, we are confident that this is going to be one of the most amazing casts ever assembled on the Raleigh Memorial stage! Under the direction of Richard Stafford, Marc Oka as the choreographer and Edward G. Robinson as conductor, this show is a one you don't want to miss! Below is the cast list with snapshot of their credits. For more information on Miss Saigon, please visit

  • Kevin Gray (The Engineer) His Broadway credits include the Phantom and Raul in The Phantom of the Opera. He is also one of three actors to star on Broadway as “The King” in The King & I. Gray also starred as “The Engineer” in the Toronto and LA productions of Miss Saigon, and can be heard in the complete symphonic recording of Miss Saigon as “The Engineer.”
  • Jennifer Paz (Kim) She is famously known for this role where she starred as “Kim” in the First National Tour of Miss Saigon.
  • Eric Kunze (Chris) He starred as “Chris” on Broadway and the First National Tour, and recently was in the production last summer at the St. Louis MUNY. ( His other Broadway credits include Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees and Marius in Les Miserables. He was last seen as Jesus in NC Theatre’s Jesus Christ Superstar.
  • Josh Tower (John) He starred on Broadway as Simba in The Lion King. He is best known to Raleigh audiences as Curtis Taylor Jr. in NC Theatre’s Dreamgirls and as the Arbitor in Chess.
  • Jennifer Shrader (Ellen) She starred as “Belle” in the National Tour of Beauty and the Beast and was the Belle understudy on Broadway. Shrader also appeared in the National Tours of Sunset Boulevard, Annie and Joseph…Dreamcoat!
  • Marc delaCruz (Thuy) Tour: High School Musical. NC Theatre's Jesus Christ Superstar. Regional: Pippin, Making Tracks, Wonderful Town, My Fair Lady, Cats.
  • Olivia Oguma (Gigi/Chorus) Broadway & National Tour of Disney's High School Musical, Mamma Mia!, Les Miserables and A Christmas Carol.
  • Francis Cruz (Owner of Moulin Rouge/Chorus) is a ten year veteran of Miss Saigon from Broadway to several regional productions.
  • Doan Mackenzie (Assistant Commissar) Broadway: You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, The King & I. Off-Broadway: Nunsense A-Men!. Regional: Miss Saigon, M. Butterfly, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Cabaret.
  • Ryan Bauer-Walsh (Chorus) Broadway: Girl Crazy, Bye Bye Birdie, Side Show.
  • Todd Beasley (Chorus) NC Theatre's Chess. Theatre credits: Evita National Tour, Beauty and the Beast, Aida, Cats, Annie.
  • J. Michael Beech (Chorus) National Tour: Forever Plaid. NC Theatre's Ragtime, Pirates of Penzance, South Pacific.
  • Kristine Bendul (Chorus) Broadway: Camelot, Movin' Out, Man of La Mancha, Swing!, On The Town and The King & I. Miss Saigon at the MUNY.
  • Josie Bodie (Chorus) Theatre credits include The Music Man, Once on this Island, A Chorus Line, Annie, Hello Dolly.
  • Marcus Calderon (Chorus) National Tour: Miss Saigon. Regional: The King & I, Miss Saigon, Singin in the Rain.
  • Catherine Cheng Jones (Chorus) New York Philharmonic's Camelot. NC Theatre's Jesus Christ Superstar, Dreamgirls and Beauty and the Beast.
  • Larry Cox Jr. (Chorus) NC Theatre's Phantom. Other credits: Bat Boy, Forever Plaid, Big River, Parade.
  • Jason Durst (Chorus) NC Theatre's Peter Pan and Man of La Mancha. Other credits: Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Sweeney Todd, A Chorus Line, Mame.
  • Matthew Glover (Chorus) Theatre: Joseph...Dreamcoat, American Jukebox, A Chorus Line, Singin' in the Rain.
  • Natalie Griffie (Chorus) NC Theatre's Peter Pan and High School Musical. Theatre credits: A Chorus Line.
  • Tim Hunter (Chorus) Broadway/Tours: Aida, Miss Saigon, Fascinating Rhythm, The Lion King, Cats, Sarafina.
  • Johnny Kim (Chorus) Cirque De la Mar, Les Folies Bergere.
  • Achiamar Lee-Rivera (Chorus) Theatre credits include Pippin, Joseph...Dreamcoat, Once on this Island.
  • Jaygee Macapugay (Chorus) New York Theatre: Emerald Man, Children of Eden (reading). Regional: Miss Saigon, Aida, Smokey Joe's Cafe.
  • Mel Maghuyop (Chorus) Theatre: The Long Season, Honor, Miss Saigon, The King & I.
  • Aaron Pratt (Chorus) Credits include An Ideal Husband, A Christmas Carol, Chicago, The Pajama Game.
  • Enrico Rodriguez (Chorus) Broadway/Off-Broadway: Rent, Zanna Don't, FAME on 42nd Street, Big-The Musical. National Tours: Mamma Mia! and Rent.
  • Jonathan Stahl (Chorus) Broadway: Cats, Swing! National Tours: Ragtime, Cinderella, Cats. NC Theatre's Annie Get Your Gun.
  • Aaron Velthouse (Chorus) Theatre: West Side Story, Les Miserables, Joseph...Dreamcoat, Oklahoma.
  • Kiyoko Williams (Chorus) NC Theatre's Chess and The King & I starring Lou Diamond Phillips. Regional credits: The King & I, South Pacific.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Disney's High School Musical 2 Audition Date Announced: Saturday, February 21st!

North Carolina Theatre and Broadway Series South are seeking to cast energetic and talented performers for Disney’s High School Musical 2 On Stage! on Saturday, February 21st in the Promotional Court (on the lower level in front of Sears) at Crabtree Valley Mall. If you sing, dance and look like you go to East High School then this show’s for you! Presented by Capital Bank, the show runs June 13th through the 21st in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

  • Sign-in: 11:00 am to 2:00 pm; Auditions start promptly at 2:30 pm
  • Those auditioning must look like “high school students”
  • Must sing a selection from “Every Day”
  • All auditioning must fill out audition form, attach a photo and/or headshot and resume and turn it in between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm on February 21st
  • Callbacks will be March 21st and 22nd at the North Carolina Theatre Conservatory located in North Raleigh; those invited to callbacks will be notified on February 21st
  • Please do not audition if you have conflicts between May 30th and June 21st

For audition forms, sheet music or questions, please contact Carolee Baxter at 919-831-6941 x6945 or email For more information, please visit

Monday, January 12, 2009

Miss Saigon: NYC Auditions

Two weeks ago (January 6-9), I went to New York City with Carolee Baxter, our producer, and Tricia McCoy, our business manager, for Miss Saigon auditions. We got there on Tuesday morning and had a few hours to get settled into the city before we headed over to the Actor's Equity Association Building for the Equity Principal Auditions, or EPAs as they are called in NYC. There we met Miss Saigon director Richard Stafford, music director Eddy Robinson, choreographer Marc Oka and Jonathan Stahl, Richard's assistant.

From 1:30 to 5:30 we saw around 90 actors, and they came in to audition for any one of the principal roles in the show. In Miss Saigon's case, these roles include Kim, Chris, John, Ellen, Thuy and a few others. For four hours we listened to the same songs over and over again and heard some talented people. Some of the songs you may know - "Movie in My Mind," "Bui-Doi," "Why God" and several others!

On Wednesday we held the Equity Chorus Calls, or ECCs. This day there were over a hundred actors who showed up. This was pretty much the same drill as the day before, except they are auditioning to be a part of the ensemble. Since Miss Saigon has a lot of dancing in it, we held a dance call on Wednesday as well. The ensemble is made up of mostly men, who are soldiers in the show, and they do most of the dancing. This was probably my favorite part - watching everyone learn the routine that choreographer Marc Oka taught them! They learned a section of the dance in the song, "The American Dream." Since so many people showed up to the dance call, Marc had to split them up into smaller groups and teach them the choreography and then have them do the dance as their audition. After they got through all of the dancers, Richard, Eddy, Marc and Jonathan called back a smaller group to sing for them. It was definitely an interesting process to watch!

Thursday we held appointments for the roles of Kim, Chris, John, Ellen and Thuy. On this particular day I was the audition monitor for most of the day. The day started at 10AM and as the monitor I had to make sure that everyone who showed up to audition for Miss Saigon had checked in with me, and then send them in to audition for Richard, Eddy, Marc and Jonathan. It was a bit hectic that day because other theatres were holding auditions in other studios in the building and it was very crowded, but almost everyone who scheduled an appointment showed up for their appropriate time!

I was so glad that I was able to go be a part of the process to see how it all works! Casting a show does not seem to be an easy task...I don't know how they pick the perfect people for each role! Right now they are in the process of choosing the cast, and once it is finalized check back for a post!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Plays that really worked

The News & Observer published an article entitled "Plays that really worked" and our production of Yeston & Kopit's Phantom was among the ten chosen for 2008! Orla Swift and Roy Dicks wrote "Compassion is director Casey Hushion's hallmark, and the heart pounded loudly in this tale of deformity, artistry and love...if it weren't for enterprising companies like NC Theatre, the power of Leroux's tale might have never been fully tapped."

Casey is our interim artistic director and will also be the director on Disney's High School Musical 2 this summer! We are excited to have her as a part of the NCT family!

To see the full article, visit