Grosse Pointe Theatre announces AUDITIONS for
«THE 1940's RADIO HOUR»
Book by Walton Jones
Based on an idea by Walton Jones and Carol Lees
Music by Various Composers
Presented through special arrangement with Samuel French Inc.
Directed by Marty Bufalini
Saturday, August 19th – 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Sunday, August 20th – 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
December 3, 7 – 10, 14 – 16, 2017
University Liggett School Auditorium
1045 Cook Rd., Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236
Auditions will take place at Grosse Pointe Theatre’s Rehearsal Studio: 315 Fisher Road, Grosse Pointe, MI 48230
Phone: 313-881-4004 Website: gpt.org
Scripts are available prior to the audition dates at our office at 315 Fisher Road for a $20 refundable deposit. For additional information, please contact Grosse Pointe Theatre at 313-881-4004.
ABOUT THE SHOW:
Christmas, 1942. The world was at war and everyone pulled together for the cause. We all looked out for each other and we knew how to make our lives more enjoyable through the magic of radio. We will take you inside the studio where the cast and crew of “Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade” are getting ready for a live broadcast to the folks at home and the troops overseas. You become the audience for that nostalgic broadcast – a totally exhilarating evening of music, commercial ditties and rich memories of the era.
(Ages listed are approximations of the characters, not necessarily the actor)
Pops Bailey (non singing role) –age range: 60+, non-singing role
The stage doorman. The traditionally wizened, crotchety, miserable, crusty, foul-tempered stage door keeper who makes book on the company phone and reads hidden copies of “Show Girl.” A former vaudeville comedian, still has great comedic timing. Quits every night. Always mopping up. He moves slowly. Crusty and crotchety with Neil, BJ and Wally, admires Johnny Cantone, genuinely fond of Ann Collier. Was in World War I and has a son in the Pacific. Lovable in his cantankerous way. Always ready to start an argument or start into a conversation he’s not a part of. Has a muttered, mumbled gripe that seems to run under the whole show. Was in World War I. Has a son in the Pacific. Chomps on a frequently unlit cigar and hardly ever calls anyone but Lou by their real names, but by “Pal”, “Buster”, “Charlie” and “Bub”. Lovable in his cantankerous way,
Lou Cohn – age range: 40 – 50, non-singing role
The stage manager. Big shot. Keeps four or five conversations going at once, and all of them straight. Wears a hat because he’s sensitive about his hairline. The surrogate boss during rehearsals which he conducts. Choreographs the numbers. Echoes everything Clifton says. Officious and obnoxious sometimes. Hardass about the seriousness of his job. Unlike anyone else, Lou has no ambitions to be anything else but stage manager. He is perfectly content with a job that has plenty of authority and no responsibility. Cues the audience, Clifton, the band, the performers, performs the sound effects, runs the lights.
Clifton Feddington – age range: 40+, baritone
Head of EVERYTHING at WOV: announcer, general manager, the BOSS. We see him in various states of hysteria; carrying contracts, letters, running his hand through his hair. Always has problems. Always with his Bromo. Has ulcers. A real cheapskate. Sells commercial time on the Calvacade real cheap to attract lots of listeners since the number of sponsors means the show must be popular. He, and everyone associated with this station, treat this and every broadcast as if the world’s listening. And every night is an audition for a network slot since who knows who may be listening in? Very genuine and vulnerable. A Jimmy Stewart with a mic style like a young Bob Hope. Even has trouble hyping the audience during ads. But that’s his charm. He and the others survive every catastrophe, every foul-up, every goof-up, every goof-off. Lives a paper chase from his office to the greenroom and back and forth and back and forth. Wears a William Powell moustache.
Neil Tilden – age range: 30+, baritone (Physical comedy skills a plus for this character.)
Billed as the Cavalcades comedian. Wants to do it all: sing, dance, comedy, act, lead the band, choreograph. Clifton won’t even give him a ballad. Gets called into Clifton’s office pretty regularly for early-morning chew-outs. Still hoping for the “featured vocalist” slot if Johnny ever leaves. Wants to be important, but is a whiner, always sneaking around doing things he is not supposed to do (and getting caught). Always trying to undermine other members of the station cast to build himself up. Immature in that he always is trying to steal focus and be the center of attention. The resident crybaby. A little slow on the up-take. At the bottom line, a very lonely guy who’s the clown. Lives with his mother.
Ann Collier – age range: 35+, alto
“Old Standard” in Clifton’s Cavalcade. She’s been there since it started in 1936. Very attractive but in a wholesome way. “Dating” Johnny Cantone at the moment. Must sound like the “big band vocalists” of the period: has a voice like Peggy Lee, Ginny Simms, Dinah Shore, Doris Day, Helen Forrest, all rolled into one. Gets offers all the time but claims she is perfectly happy where she is.
Geneva Lee Brown – age range: 28+, alto
A beautiful, high-class, black singer. Sassy, fun-loving: think Ella Fitzgerald or Pearl Bailey. Doesn’t put up with anything from anyone. Not at all afraid to stand up to Clifton or Lou. Started in New York at fifteen in the Hot Chocolates Revue at the Cotton Club. She is always performing and loving it. Her second job is singing. And her third job. And her fourth job. Can sing either with lot of sass and scat or simple and bluesy. Dresses to kill.
Biff Baker – age range: 20+ NON SINGING
Plays trumpet in the band. Baby-faced. Mid-twenties. Started with Zoot when the band was only a six-piece combo in 1936 on WOV. From Chicago. Plays trumpet or saxophone in the band. Like Beneke. Carries his horn in a wrinkled brown bag. Has been playing with Glenn Miller for the last few months and the Cavalcade every week off and on since 1936 and, most recently, while in training at Ft. Bragg, Jew Jersey. This is Biff’s last show. Tomorrow he goes overseas in a fighter squadron. Enters in uniform.
Connie Miller – age range: 18+, soprano
Seventeen year old bobby-soxer from Ogden, Utah. Has a little Judy Garland in her. Always in love. “Seriously dating” B.J. Gibson. Very young. Enthusiastic. Taps and jitterbugs. Swoons for Cantone. Has a pushy mother who is trying to get her into show business. Hangs with Ginger, who acts as a kind of big sister to her.
Johnny Cantone – age range: 35+, baritone
Featured vocalist with the Cavalcade. Smarmy and greasy but as much of a punk as he is, he is also a sweet, vulnerable, sad little kid who plays a tough guy to protect himself. Gets pretty sloshed during the show. Not a particularly funny sloshed either. Pays bobbysoxers to scream for him at the stage door. Ex- welterweight boxer. Rough guy. Dating Ann at the moment. Interested in Connie most obviously but isn’t too choosey. Gets away with all the dramatics he sings with because he is good. So good that the waste is even more painful to watch. Class. Wears a diamond pinky ring that he “plays” in the lights during his numbers.
Ginger Brooks – age range: 25+, alto
The bubble-headed waitress-turned-star discovery of Lou’s who found her in a restaurant where she still works and conned Clifton into signing her on. Ditzy but not dumb. Speaks with a Gracie Allen vacancy. Sexy but not aware of it; not intentional or put on. She rehearses in a slip. Chews gum but takes it out of her mouth and holds it while she’s performing. When she’s sitting and her legs are crossed, and she’s not adjusting the seams in her stockings, she wiggles her foot back and forth. Always moving. Has a cab driver boyfriend named Bruno.
BJ Gibson – age range: 18 — 24, baritone
Tall, preppy, about twenty; a student at Yale who commutes to the weekend rehearsals and Monday night performances. Dating Connie. Taps and jitterbugs. Really aggressive about his career. Good-looking. Squeaky clean, Dick Powell look. Always wants to know how he did and elicits praise from people whose opinions he respects. Worships Cantone but keeps it a secret. Picks up tips everywhere – especially from Cantone.
Wally Ferguson – age range: 17 – 24, baritone
In love with him the minute you see him. Has the energy and eagerness and outlook of a puppy. Maybe a little ADHD. Poodle-eyed young hopeful from Altoona, Pennsylvania who came to New York to break into show biz. Works in his uncles’ Piccadilly Drug Store on Forty-Fifth street. Makes deliveries during the show but inevitably leaves most of them in the studio while he hangs around. Piles of bags by the end of the show. Always rehearsing everyone else’s routines in case they ever need him. These folks are the biggest starts in the world to him, especially Cantone. Goes on tonight for Ray Owen and tries real hard but screws up everything he’s a part of.
Stanley — age range 20+ (non singing role) –
Stage hand. Lugs cable and runs around a lot and otherwise lives in the control booth. Constantly busy with “busy” work trying to make himself look useful. Drinks coffee and eats constantly. Has a thing for Ginger whose numbers he watches a little more animatedly. Not too bright. Punches in like Pops and Lou.