Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Two Full Days of Auditions

I've just finished two days of playing the Toronto auditions for Vancouver Opera's upcoming October 2011 production of West Side Story. You can see my piano setup in the Elgin Theatre rehearsal studio (w/genmaicha to go from Teaopia) at left. While I don't play much in the way of musical theatre in Toronto, it was totally fascinating to watch the audition and casting process, and getting to work with some top-notch dancers, actors, and singers in the process.

Especially interesting was playing for the dance auditions, where the dancers show up at the top of the session, learn the routine, then get placed in smaller groups for an elimination round that will determine who gets through to the singing and acting auditions afterwards. The excerpts I had to play for the dancers today were the climactic dance sequence from "Cool" in the morning (it's HARD) and the opening of the dance sequence from "America" in the afternoon. All in all, I probably played each excerpt at least 30 times through the rehearsal process and auditions.

Tomorrow it's back into the studio with some pretty serious playing stats to bully inspire my students with: 7 hours yesterday and 7.5 hours today.


  1. Are you not playing the rest of the auditions? I am about to send 2 people to Vancouver tomorrow after prepping them for a week!

  2. I'm only playing the Toronto auditions. They're probably using Kinza for the Vancouver ones.

  3. Ah, I think I worked that out after I sent the comment. So, I am taking from your comment that you think that WSS is a musical, rather than some other form?

  4. Just as the Jets and Sharks push at the boundaries that surround them (esp. in Jerome Robbins' choreography!) , WSS pushes at the boundaries of the American musical theater of the time...