Friday, October 30, 2009

Full Monty & Cinderella Auditions!

NC Theatre Auditions in Raleigh for

Seeking male and female singers, actor/singers and singers who dance.
All ethnicities are encouraged to audition.

Time: Vocal auditions begin at 2:30 PM, Saturday, December 12th.

Location: NC Theatre Studios/Conservatory (3043 Barrow Drive Raleigh, NC 27616)

Sign up: You may sign up for auditions ahead of time by calling Carolee Baxter (all contact information is below). To sign up ahead of time you must email, fax or mail your headshot (or photo) and resume and give your phone number, email and address (if it is not on your resume). Specific appointment times are not given. All auditionees are seen first come/first serve starting at 2:30 PM based on sign in position. Calling ahead gets your name on the list so you do not have to wait in line to sign up on the day of auditions. On the day of auditions, walk-ins will be accepted on a time available basis in the order in which he/she signs in. There is no fee associated with these auditions.

Please bring:
1. Two copies of headshot/resume.
2. Sheet music in your key. Audition song should be a musical theatre selection or piece in the style of the show that shows your vocal range and ability. Be prepared to sing 16 bars or more if asked. Accompanist provided by NC Theatre (no taped accompaniment or accapella allowed).
3. Loose clothing or dance attire, soft soled shoes or jazz and/or ballet shoes for callbacks.

Callbacks: Callbacks for both THE FULL MONTY and CINDERELLA (ENCHANTED EDITION) are the same day following the vocal auditions. Callbacks will include movement, reading and possibly more vocals.

Pay/contract: All adult roles (ages 18+) are paid. North Carolina Theatre employs Equity and nonEquity performers.

Please click the show specific audition links below for detailed information on audition procedures, age ranges being cast, roles available, show director and choreographer, rehearsal and performance dates and content.

To sign up to audition for THE FULL MONTY and/or CINDERELLA (ENCHANTED EDITION) on Saturday, December 12th or for more information after reading the details in the above links, please contact Carolee Baxter at 919/831-6941 x6945 or Photos and resumes can be emailed to the above email address, faxed to 919/831-6951 or mailed to: North Carolina Theatre, attn: Carolee Baxter, One East South Street, Raleigh, NC 27601.

NOTE: Please check frequently for audition updates or possible changes.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Our Beautiful Cast!

Aren't they great?! You have FIVE chances left to see this show...tonight (10/23) at 8 PM, tomorrow (10/24) at 2 and 8 PM and Sunday (10/25) at 2 and 7 PM! If you haven't seen it, you better be there!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Reviews of West Side Story

There are six more performances of West Side Story and it has received rave reviews from patrons and critics alike! If you haven't already seen them, I'll give short snippets below and then a link to read the full review.

Roy Dicks of News & Observer said, "Right from the dazzling prologue, in which Jets and Sharks whiz, soar and collide with marvelous precision, the bar is set for high-energy, eye-popping sequences. Whether it's the stage-filling coupling in "Dance at the Gym," the sassy frenzy of "America," the angry contortions in "Cool" or the raunchy antics in "Officer Krupke," the entire company impresses mightily." Read the full review here.

Byron Woods of Independent Weekly states, "...this West Side registers with strong performances by principals. Josh Young and Catherine Cheng Jones both evoke a numinous sincerity as romantic leads Tony and Maria, the Romeo and Juliet figures in this gritty, urban retelling of Shakespeare's tragedy. Their voices are as sure as their characters in duets like "Tonight" and "Somewhere." Read the full review here.

Classical Voice of North Carolina says, "it is the ingenious way that producer Carolee Baxter and dynamic director/choreographer Josh Bergasse have put the pieces together with a vivacious cast and invigorating full orchestral accompaniment, with musical director Edward G. Robinson wielding a deft baton, that makes this 2009 Triangle edition of West Side Story not only a must-see musical, but a home-grown production to rival any Broadway tour." Read the full review here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

West Side Story Video

I was able to take some footage during the West Side Story dress rehearsal last week and wanted to share a few videos with you! We have 8 performances left - Tuesday, October 20 through Sunday, October 25. If you haven't seen the show yet, you do not want to miss it!

Friday, October 16, 2009

West Side Story Production Photos

Josh Young (Tony) sings "Maria"

Catherine Cheng Jones (Maria) and Josh Young (Tony) during "Tonight"

Balcony scene

Asmeret Ghebremichael (Anita) and the Shark Girls during "America"

The Jets dance during "Cool"

Fun dance shot during the Ballet Sequence

Tony & Maria during "Somewhere"


Maria & Anita during "A Boy Like That/I Have A Love"

Maria singing "I Have A Love"

Maria & Lt. Schrank (Chris King)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Complete Cast List - West Side Story

RIFF, the leader: Leo Ash Evens*
TONY, his friend: Josh Young*
ACTION: Joey Calveri*
A-RAB: Eric Mann
BABY JOHN: Mikey Winslow*
SNOWBOY: Todd Michel Smith*
BIG DEAL: Patrick Mullen II
DIESEL: Brandon Rubendall*

GRAZIELLA: Kiira Schmidt*
VELMA: Kristin Sears
MINNIE: Sara Edwards*
ANYBODYS: Allison Nock

BERNARDO, the leader: Freddy Ramirez*
MARIA, his sister: Catherine Cheng Jones*
ANITA, his girl: Asmeret Ghebremichael*
CHINO, his friend: Adrian Pena*
PEPE: Mathew DeGuzman*
INDIO: Mario Martinez*
ANXIOUS: Elgin Giles
NIBBLES: Cedric Stapleton
LUIS: Jimmie Lee Brooks III

ROSALIA: Vanessa Van Vrancken*
CONSUELO: Michelle Marmolejo*
TERESITA: Christine LaDuca*
FRANCISCA: Nicole Batalias
MARGARITA: Caroline Jordan

DOC: Danny Norris
SCHRANK: Chris King
KRUPKE: Tim Caudle*
GLADHAND: Chris King

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

News 14 Interview

Josh Young (Tony) and Catherine Cheng Jones (Maria) were on News 14 this morning with Tracey Early promoting West Side Story! In case you missed it, watch below.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dinner + Drama

proudly present

Enjoy dinner at one of three Empire Eats restaurants and experience the drama as it unfolds on stage during West Side Story!

Tuesday-Thursday, October 20-22

Make it a date night, girls night out or a family affair - all for only $49* per person for a cultural night out that includes:
-one three-course, pre-fixe dinner at The Duck & Dumpling, Gravy or Sitti in downtown Raleigh followed by
-one mezzanine ticket to NC Theatre's production of West Side Story in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium

Call 919-831-6941 x6941 now to make your reservation for a fabulous meal and a memorable theatre experience!

*(Retail value for this package is $80 per person)

Conditions: all seats are best available in mezzanine section subject to availability; cannot be applied to previously purchased tickets; dinner packages do not include beverages, tax or gratuity; packages not redeemable for cash. Packages must be purchased 24 hours prior to dinner/performance.

West Side Story Radio Interviews

Over the past week, I have taken Josh Young, who stars as Tony, and Freddy Ramirez, who stars as Bernardo, on a few radio interviews! Josh and Freddy were both on WPTF, La Ley and 93.9 KISS FM, and Josh called in to MIX 101.5 to talk with Bill & Lynda about the production as well.

Click here to listen to the MIX 101.5 interview!
Click here to listen to the WPTF interview!

Watch a short clip of the 93.9 & La Ley interviews below:

Stay tuned for other press videos - Josh Young & Catherine Jones (Maria) will be on News 14 tomorrow!

Q&A with WSS Director - Joshua Bergasse

West Side Story director Joshua Bergasse was interviewed by Robert McDowell of Classical Voice of North Carolina. Read below to see his take on the show!

1. When did you first see or read or hear about this show? Have you ever worked on a previous production of this show? If so, when and where?

The movie WEST SIDE STORY was one of my favorites growing up. My first experience with the stage version was performing in a community theatre production as a teenager. Since then I have worked on eight productions of WSS, either as actor, associate director/choreographer, or choreographer.

2. What do you like BEST about this show? What made you WANT to direct it?

I love the perfect marriage of the score, libretto and the choreography in WSS. These three mediums are interwoven masterfully throughout the show to tell the story.

3. Briefly summarize the PLOT of this show in your own words. Please explain the SITUATION at the start of the show and how the various CHARACTERS fit in. (In your summary, please indicate the ACTOR’S NAME in parentheses following the character’s name.)

It is Shakespeare’s ROMEO AND JULIET set in 1950‘s New York City. At the start of the show we see two street gangs fighting for “turf”; The ‘white’ Jets led by Riff (Leo Ash Evens), and the Puerto Rican Sharks led by Bernardo (Freddy Ramirez). Tony (Josh Young), one of the Jets, falls in love with Maria (Catherine Cheng Jones), Bernardo’s sister. Maria is able to conceal the affair for a short time with the help of Bernardo’s girl, Anita (Asmeret Ghebremicheal), but ultimately the gang rivalry sets a series of tragic events in motion.

4. What MAJOR CHALLENGES does staging this show present to you as a director -- and to your cast and creative team?

One of the main challenges of staging WSS is the size of some of the dance sequences such as the ‘Prologue,’ ‘The Dance at the Gym’ and the 2nd Act ‘Ballet.’ Another challenge for the cast is the extrememly small “book” of the piece. The cast must search within aspects of the piece other than the script to help develop their characters.

5. Please describe the SET:

The set is based on the original 1957 Tony award winning production designs by Oliver Smith. It is inspired by New York City architecture of the 1950’s and in some cases is used in an abstract way and in other cases quite literally.

6. Please describe the LIGHTING:

The lighting for WSS ranges from stark and moody with shadows and texture in the ‘Rumble’ - to bright, sunny and warm in the ‘Ballet.’ The dance sequences are saturated with color from angles other than the front.

7. Please describe the COSTUMES:

The costumes are based on the original 1957 Tony award nominated production designs by Irene Sharaff. The inspiration comes from the styles of the 1950’s lower class New York City streets and with a good amount of Latino influence for the Sharks. The costumes are also designed to help us differentiate the Jets who are in blues, yellow and oranges - from the Sharks who are in reds, lavenders and Black.

8. Is there ANYTHING ELSE about this show -- or your production -- that it is important for the audience to know ahead of time? If so, what?

I think the most important thing about WSS is that it is still relevant today, 52 yrs after it originally open on Broadway. We’re still dealing with teen violence, we’re still dealing with street gangs terrorizing not only our inner cities, but our suburbs as well, and we’re still dealing with racism and bigotry. It’s a story that still needs to be told with lessons that still need to be learned.

Monday, October 12, 2009

West Side Story & Pop Culture

West Side Story has been popping up everywhere these days - whether it's in an episode of Flight of the Conchords with Brett & Jermaine bursting into their very own rendition of "Cool" and choreography to go with it...or in the movie Anger Management starring Adam Sandler & Jack Nicholson where they sing their version of "I Feel Pretty"...or to help promote MTV's Video Music Awards in September 2009 - Cobra Starship, Leighton Meester, Neyo, Katy Perry, Russell Brand & Taylor Swift team up to do a modern version of "Quintet." We hope you enjoy these videos below!

(Note: some content may be inappropriate).

While our version of West Side Story rings true to the original - complete with the amazing Jerome Robbins choreography and the score (and lyrics) you know and love - these videos go to show that Jerome Robbins, Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein & Stephen Sondheim have created a timeless piece. The show was originally produced in 1957 and in 2009 we can still relate to the story and conflicts.

These are just a few examples of West Side Story in today's culture, but I'm sure there are more. Leave comments and let us know if you have found anything else, whether it's a similar video or lyrics from a popular song!

Another favorite is Web Site Story - check it out here:

PS - West Side Story runs October 17-25 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. Click for tickets!

Friday, October 2, 2009

West Side Story Study Guide in Spanish!

Thanks to our wonderful board member, Mimi Stapleton, we now have our Target Student Preview Night study guide in Spanish for West Side Story! We will distribute both the English and Spanish versions the night of the show, but if you would like to take a look before hand, see below...enjoy!

2009 Noche de avance para estudiantes presentado por Target
West Side Story
October 16, 2009
Raleigh Memorial Auditorium | 7:00 PM

Sessión de preguntas con los actores después del ensayo.

Notado por los críticos de Nueva York y Londres como uno de los logros principales en la historia del teatro de la media centuria, West Side Story es una adaptación moderna de la obra Romeo Y Julieta de Shakespeare. El contexto de la historia es Manhattan, Tony Y María son Romeo y Julieta. Los novios luchan por estar juntos en medio de tensiones raciales y violencia.

Libro por Arthur Laurents
Música por Leonard Bernstein
Lírica por Stephen Sondheim
Musical basada en Romeo Y Julieta por William Shakespeare

Aviso sobre el contenido
Por favor fíjese que cierto tema no se conviene para algunas audiencias. La discreción parental se aconseja.

Datos Importantes

· West Side Story abrió en Broadway en 1957.

· En 1961 la película ganó diez premios de los Academy Awards, incluyendo mejor película.

· La revista Time encontró la danza y la guerra entre bandas más apasionante que la historia de amor

· West Side Story lanzó la carrera de Stephen Sondheim, quien se hizo uno de los artistas más notables del teatro musical en América.

Preguntas de Estudio

Language Arts
1. West Side Story se basa en la obra de William Shakespeare, La Tragedia de Romeo Y Julieta. ¿Considera West Side Story como una tragedia? ¿Defina la palabra “tragedia” y discute por qué o por qué no sea tragedia.

Conexiones modernas
2. El conflicto principal en West Side Story está entre el étnico y las diferencias culturales de la banda de puertorriqueños, los Sharks, y los caucásicos, los Jets. Las tensiones raciales eran extremas en los años 50 en América. ¿Cómo se compara al siglo XXI? ¿Cómo son las tensiones raciales evidentes en nuestra sociedad moderna?

Dance Arts
3. Jerome Robbins adquirió los papeles de director y coreógrafo para la producción original de West Side Story; pocos han alcanzado una grandeza artística en estas dos posiciones. La coreografía de Robbins ayudó cambiar la cara del teatro musical por acentuar la danza para mover la acción del cuento. Da ejemplos de cómo los movimientos en los bailes ayuda narrar el cuento. ¿Qué diferente tipo de danza observa?