I was honored to be a part of the first annual Producer Trip to New York August 5-7! As part of our annual fund, Producer level individual donors to the NCT are invited to attend auditions in New York and see a Broadway show (or two!). The inaugural trip included Walter Powell and Melody Fountain, Debbie and Mary Beth Woody, Edythe Poyner and Florence Lumsden along with staff members Lisa Grele Barrie, Carolee Baxter and me! Our guests were invited to sit in and watch as Carolee busily worked with director Josh Bergasse, musical director Edward G. Robinson and artistic director Casey Hushion to audition over 400 men and women for West Side Story. Those of us non-production folks were very impressed with the outstanding talent we saw and very glad to not have to make the tough decisions about who would and would not be in the show.
Lisa Grele Barrie and Mary Beth Woody watching auditions at Equity Audition Center in NYC
We were fortunate to see two shows while in New York. The group saw Raleigh-native Lauren Kennedy as "Mary" in Vanities at 2econd Stage and loved it. Lauren's smile is infectious and we were grateful to have the chance to see her after the show and thank her for a great night of theatre!
The whole group with Vanities star Lauren Kennedy after the showThe second night we were there we saw In the Heights and thanks to our Aritstic Director Casey Hushion (who just happens to be the Assistant Director for In the Heights) we were able to get a "backstage" tour. We quickly saw that there was no backstage (actors have to run up and down a steep flight of stairs to change clothes between numbers) and instead admired the set up close. We said hello to a few of the actors, including everyone's favorite graphitti artist "Graphitti Pete" played by Seth Stewart and had our pictures taken...repeatedly. After all, how often do you get a chance to stand on a Broadway stage?
Carolee Baxter & Lisa Grele Barrie on stage at In the Heights
On stage at In the Heights
It was a very successful trip...thank you to Walter and Melody, Debbie and Mary Beth and Edythe and Florence for trusting us to "produce" an excellent adventure for you!