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Fame on 42nd Street

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Fame on 42nd Street

THE FOLLOWING WAS INADVERTENTLY OMITTED FROM LAST WEEK'S MUSIC AND SINGING SPOTLIGHT.

Off-Broadway Opening: Nov. 11, 2003.

The next set of auditions for "Fame on 42nd Street" is Fri., Feb. 6, at 12:30PM, sharp at the Little Shubert on West 42nd Street. Casting is for female members of the chorus, who may be Equity or non-Equity members. Pictures and resumes for possible future replacements are accepted by mail at Stuart Howard Associates, 207 West 25th St., Suite 601, New York, NY 10001. There is one non-Equity tour out. The next set of auditions for the tour will be held Feb. 23 at 10 am at Ripley-Grier Studios; pictures and resumes may be sent to Dan Shaheen, Production Supervisor, KL Management/Fame New York LLC, 1501 Broadway, #1401, New York, NY 10036 (see related casting notices in this week's issue).

"Performers who audition for 'Fame on 42nd Street' must sing, dance, and act," insists Stuart Howard, the show's casting director. "We also are looking for young performers who can play such musical instruments as trumpet, drums, piano, and violin. They are literally playing the instruments on stage. They are not faking it."

In addition to high-energized vocal talent that's "powerful, pop, and jazzy," the key element is youth, says Howard. "Fame" is, after all, about kids in a high school, specifically the High School of Performing Arts. And any performer who is cast in a role here—not as one of the teachers—has to be able to pass for a high school kid. "We don't care if the actor is 45," says Howard. "As long as he/she is believable as a teenager in high school."

Performers of any age and any hue can play the four teachers in the show. The casting is colorblind. Among the students, however, three of the four principal roles are racially specific. There are two Latino roles—young man, young woman—and one African-American male. Casting for the chorus—the kids in the background—is totally colorblind.

To audition for "Fame on 42nd Street," performers should be prepared to sing two songs that are "pop, uptempo, and energized," says Howard. "And it's okay—but by no means necessary—to sing a song from the show." Monologues are not requested. If there is interest in a performer for a principal role, he'll be asked to read from the script, either at the first audition or at a callback.

The best advice Howard says he can offer about giving a good audition "is being well prepared, professional, pleasant, and upbeat. And, most important, it's very important for actors to be themselves. Don't come in playing a character from the play. It really is a turnoff. Just be yourself."

Howard makes the point that the casting director can figure out all by himself what role the actor is right for. Equally important to Howard is that the actor conforms to the casting requirement. "Believe me, we know what we're looking for—age-wise, vocally, etc.—and one of the most common mistakes an actor makes is assuming that the casting director knows nothing. Follow instructions."

That said, Howard insists he will see someone he has turned down in the past.

For those who cannot come to the upcoming audition and/or believe they can play principal roles, Howard suggests sending him a picture, resume, and cover note, explaining what role you see yourself playing.

—Simi Horwitz

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