Friday, August 20, 2010

Closing this week, the funny and fast-paced Central Square Theater production of The Hound of The Baskervilles.

Who is killing the Baskervilles? What is happening backstage that threatens the actors' well-being? And Why is Remo Airaldi wearing a dress?
The answer to these and many mysterious questions that plague the actors and the characters they play can be found in the funny and fast-paced Central Square Theater production of The Hound of The Baskervilles.
Adapted by British writers Steven Canny and John Nicholson from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous Sherlock Holmes caper, this Hound is performed by three highly skilled and talented Boston actors who portray the entire ensemble of characters.
Remo Airaldi, an ART regular (he and Tommy Derrah play Herr Schulz and Fraulein Schneider in the ART season opener Cabaret, currently in rehearsal) plays an atypical Holmes, a rather anti-Basil Rathbone casting choice, with an ever-ready spyglass and Meerschaum pipe. He also plays a nefarious houseman and his sister (his appearances as the vamping Venezuelan sister are hysterical). As his assistant Dr. Watson, the handsome and versatile Bill Mootos is ever at his side, with latent possibilities just under, and over the surface. Trent Mills, still a student at the Boston Conservatory, plays the Baskervilles (all of them), including a collection of expressions in a gallery of portraits.
The mostly 2-D set gives a turn-of-the-other-century feel to the evening's conceit of a small (very small) touring company who've come to town.
Bill Mootos welcomes us, in character as "Bill", introducing the other two, appropriately called "Remo" and "Trent". They break the fourth wall again at intermission, when mysterious backstage events lead Trent to call a halt to the proceedings, and all go off to investigate what's happening, creating a reason for the audience to enjoy the newly established lobby pub (The Thirsty Fang), with a beer and wine license, soft drinks and baked goods.
As the condensed novel's plot and myriad characters are somewhat convoluted and hard to follow, the cast returns for Act Two with a recap of the first half at break neck speed, a tour-de-force romp for all three, especially Airaldi.
Tommy Derrah, best known for literally scores of performances at the ART, in regional theaters, and on Broadway ("Jackie: An American Life"), directs the trio of quick-change artists in a campy, comic romp: Sherlock Holmes meets Irma Vep. Timing is sharp and no stone goes unturned (nor a 2-dimensional boulder). The three perform as a true ensemble, seamlessly in sync (except when the seams are intentionally exposed for hilarious effect).
With closing weekend at hand, get a ticket (if you can). It's a perfect summer evening, suitable for all ages. The night I went, the almost sold-out crowd was multi-generational, with many kids laughing along with their parents.
After the performance, Executive Director Catherine Carr Kelly, told me that the success of the lobby bar "pub" has set them thinking of ways to adapt it to fit the setting of upcoming shows. For this show, the name of the pub came from the winner of an online contest at
See the show, join their mailing list, and enter the contest. You might just come up with the winning name for a wine and beer bar to compliment their next show, Truth Values: One Girl's Romp through the MIT Male Math Maze, Gioia De Cari's solo performance memoir.
Romper Room? The Gioia of Drinking?
Brew Values?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Equity and Non-Equity Boston Auditions at the A. R. T.

Next week, August 16-20, the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge will hold auditions for it's 2010-2011 season, and "straight from the horse's mouth" the theater is actively seeking Boston area actors to come out for these auditions.
I know, as a longtime locally based actor, that for years the perception has been, for local actors, that there wasn't enough real interest in hiring local talent. But I've been contacted to help rid the community of the "unapproachable Tower on the Hill"
mentality regarding the ART.
Of course, using another old maxim, "the proof is in ..." the casting.
There are many actors who have felt, "why bother? They won't hire us anyway".
But, while there are still residual feelings regarding the former company members who were "cut" from what was once a resident company, there is a real interest in seeing the talent in the community that hasn't come out in the past.
Previously, I made a comment regarding the Cabaret cast. A number of local Donkey Show cast members are currently in rehearsal for the season opener, Cabaret, including Aly Trasher, who makes the transition from a fantastic non-AEA performance as Tytania/Zander in The Donkey Show to a card-carrying Equity member in the role of Sally Bowles. I think it's a great sign that local talent is being solicited and hired.
We'll only know the outcome once the season is cast. Of course, I can guarantee a lack of local talent if actors don't audition.
Reprinted below is the schedule of auditions and the procedure. I hope I've helped convince you that it's worth a shot!

American Repertory Theatre-2010-11 Season Auditions

The American Repertory Theatre will hold its auditions for it 2010-11 Season in Cambridge on:
Monday, August 16th​11:00AM-6:00PM​Equity Principal​Dramatic & Singing
Tuesday, August 17th ​11:00AM-6:00PM​Equity Principal​Dramatic & Singing
Wednesday, August 18th​12:00PM-6:00PM​Non Equity Auditions​Monologues Only
Thursday, August 19th​12:00PM-6:00PM​Equity Callbacks​Dramatic
Friday, August 20th​10:00AM-1:00PM​Non Equity Auditions​Monologues & Singing

2:00PM-6:00PM​Equity Callbacks​Dramatic & Singing

All auditions will be held in Rehearsal Room D at the ART/Loeb Drama Center located at 64 Brattle Street in Cambridge, MA.

AEA members without appointments will be seen throughout the day as time permits.

Please prepare one short monologue (under two minutes), either contemporary or classical and 16-32 bars of a song or two short monologues, either contemporary or classical. Please bring sheet music.

The American Repertory Theatre is a LORT C/D theatre committed to an inclusive casting policy of non-traditional casting and encourages all actors to audition regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, or the presence of a disability.

Please bring picture and resume stapled together. If you are unable to attend, please send picture and resume to:

American Repertory Theatre, 64 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 ATTN: Chris De Camillis, Artistic Coordinator
No phone calls or emails please.

Music, Lyrics, Script, and Videography by Jim Bauer

Artwork, Story, and Videography by Ruth Bauer

Directed by Will Pomerantz

First Rehearsal: October 26, 2010
First Performance: December 1, 2010
Last Performance: January 8, 2011

Fusing the sounds of Weimar cabaret and country-western music, The Blue Flower takes us on a journey from Belle Epoque Paris to the World War I battlefields. As the artist Max Baumann assembles his memories into a spectacular collage, he reveals the story of four friends and lovers trying to make their way through a world in pieces. Please note that the creators of Blue Flower are interested in performers that have unique, more non-traditional singing voices, not a traditional “Broadway” sound. The musical influences on the score vary widely and marry Kurt Weill, Country and Western and Art Rock.

MAX (Understudy): plays 40’s-early 50’s (but must be able to be able to play both younger and older, specifically a man around 60) – A famous German artist, lecturer, and former medical orderly. Max is full of life, with a sense of humor and irony, but he also carries within him the pain and rage of WWI, which occasionally surfaces. Max lectures in “Maxperanto,” a language of his own creation, which the actor must learn/create. Baritone, but must have ability to sing various genres of music.

MARIA (Understudy): plays mid-late 20’s – A brilliant young scientist and irrepressible bon vivant, she is Franz’ love and the object of Max’s not-so-secret desire. She is changed by Franz’ death during the war and remains faithful to him after his death, while also caring about Max and Hannah. Doubles in comic role of Hostess for one of Max’s lectures. Vocally, a lovely lyric pop sound, preferably alto, but some flexibility re range.

FRANZ (Understudy): plays 20’s – A young German artist and soldier during the war, Franz is Max’s best friend and Maria’s lover. Franz has the openness and idealism of youth, as well as its magnetism, yet he is profoundly changed by his experience on the battlefields of WWI, moving from idealism to despair. Strong lyric pop tenor.

FAIRYTALE MAN (Understudy): 30’s-40’s – Max’s guide through the journey of his past. He is wise, with a deep sense of human nature, but also playful and mysterious, and never judgmental. Must have strong movement and text skills. Tenor or baritone.

DADA PERFORMER 1 & 2: 20’s-30’s – A performer at the Dada Cabaret Voltaire. Also doubles as soldier, party guest, German citizen. Strong movement background required, as well as humor and versatility. Vocal range flexible.

Please Note: The producers are open to having one of the Dada Performer tracks being performed by a woman.

By Sophocles, in a new translation by Charles Connaghan
​Directed by Sarah Benson

First Rehearsal: January 11, 2011
​ First Performance: February 12, 2011
​Last Performance: March 12, 2011

As the great warrior Ajax recovers from a bout of madness, he struggles to live with the consequences of his crazed violence and with the trauma of war. A poignant examination of how combat affects the mind of a soldier, Sophocles’ tragedy speaks directly to our times. A world premiere translation of this classic work, under the direction of Obie Award-winning director, Sarah Benson.


Written and Directed by D.W. Jacobs

First Rehearsal: September 25, 2007
First Performance: January 13, 2011
Last Performance: February 5, 2011

Journey through the universe on Spaceship Earth with the Leonardo da Vinci of the twentieth century as your guide. Futurist, environmentalist, and geodesic dome designer Bucky Fuller takes us on an adventure through his life and times—from his childhood in Massachusetts, to his meeting with Albert Einstein, to his breakthrough moments of invention. A visionary who anticipated many of the challenges the world faces today, Fuller shows us how to save humanity and the planet by doing more with less.

This is a one man show based on the life of R. Buckminster Fuller. An offer is out, but the theater will be seeing people for replacements and understudies.


Book by Joe Masteroff; Music by John Kander; Lyrics by Fred Edd
Directed by Steven Bogart

First Rehearsal: July 26, 2010
First Performance: August 31, 2010
Last Performance: October 29, 2010

Take your seat at the Kit Kat Klub, the perfectly marvelous cabaret where singer Sally Bowles meets writer Cliff Bradshaw. As the two pursue a life of pleasure in Weimar Berlin, the world outside the Klub begins to splinter. Sally and Cliff are faced with a choice: abandon themselves to pleasures promised by the cabaret, or open their eyes and face the coming storm.

This show has been cast but the theater will be seeing people for replacements and understudies.


Text and lyrics by Steven Sater (from the play by Aeschylus)

Music composed by Serj Tankian
Directed by Diane Paulus

First Rehearsal: January 24, 2011
First Performance: February 24, 2011
Last Performance: March 25, 2011

An outcry against tyranny, Prometheus Boundillustrates one man's struggle against the brute force of a ruthless dictator. Written by Tony and Grammy Award-winning lyricist and playwright Steven Sater(Spring Awakening) with music composed by Grammy Award-winning System of a Down lead singer Serj Tankian, this new musical is inspired by Aeschylus's ancient Greek tragedy about the suffering of Western civilization's first prisoner of conscience. A.R.T. Artistic Director Diane Paulus stages this world premiere production in OBERON, immersing the audience in an environment that has the Dionysian energy and rebelliousness of a rock concert.