Monday, December 19, 2011

I Got a Part in BMT's 'Guys & Dolls'!

I will be returning to the stage in one of my most favouritest musicals of all time with Brampton Music Theatre's Guys & Dolls!  YAAAAAH!

I'm very grateful to be in the cast as part of the ensemble and carry on a 'tradition' of sorts that began with my father about twenty years ago when he played Benny Southstreet with the same production company.  Many of the production members remember Dad fondly from those days, and many others they had performed in together, and I was happy to make him proud and be a part of the G&D magic!

The audition process was a real learning experience for me - but let's face it, hindsight is always 20/20.  Y'know the moment when you walk away from a conversation with a wittier retort than what you said?  I walked out of my audition for this production realizing the 'error of my ways' when reading for Sister Sarah Brown, the female lead.  Cassandra the Actor thinks evangelicals, 'bible-thumpers' and the hardcore-preaching-type can get overly theatrical and exhuberant, and my nerves went down that road when I started reading, and I couldn't stop.  Sister Sarah Brown in G&D isn't 'theatrical' but more passionate about the idea of fixing these broken people that surround her in such a cesspool of sin, as portrayed in Runyon's version of New York City.  She's a woman with a big heart, who has the desire to leave a light burning in a place of darkness, to save a few souls from the self-destruction of drink and gambling.  She's soft, and she wishes she were big enough to hug the whole world, lean its sobbing head on her shoulder, stroke the hair away from those tear-streamed eyes and say, "It's alright, let me help you."

I read the monologue like a panicked tele-evangelical on her third cup of coffee.  I walked out of there thinking, "Ah, crap.  Well, at least the song choice saved me."  I sang 'Fly Me To The Moon' a la Frank Sinatra, ol' Blue Eyes himself.  My voice suits the cheese and makes it work.  I know this because I love this stuff.  I'm so glad to be in this show!  I'm especially excited because it means I'll get a chance to perform on the Rose Theatre stage!

The musical stylings of G&D are incredibly unique within its genre.  You've heard Frank Sinatra sing 'Luck Be A Lady', yeah?  A huge standard in his day, and everyone knows it, even if it's a few bars.  It's from this musical!  I often tend to think I was born in the wrong era because of my extreme love for 'big band music' and ol' time jazz (Billie, Ella, Chet, Glenn, those guys), and a lot of these songs became jazz and torch song standards that were hits outside of the musical theatre genre.  As much as I appreciate Marlon Brando's take on 'Luck Be A Lady' from the 1955 movie, I really like Frank's more.

Oh, rehearsals are gonna be amazing, I'm so excited to make new friends and work with old ones again.  In fact, guess who else is here - Abi "Yellow Girl" Adekoya is playing General Cartwright!  I've got my trusty iPod Touch with the Voice Memo recorder that I'll be sure to take advantage of.  I'll be posting more about the production as we get further into rehearsals, including recordings, photos and other fun stuff, like where to get your tickets, yeah?

I'd love you to come ... you are coming, right? (Imagine me with puppy dog eyes ... you can't resist!)

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