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Interview: Jim Caruso of CAST PARTY at Crooners Supper Club

This event takes place on July 24th

Interview: Jim Caruso of CAST PARTY at Crooners Supper Club

Cast Party is a wildly popular happening that has brought Broadway glitz and urbane wit to audiences since 2003. It is the ultimate spot to mix and mingle with show folk and the people who love them. Cast Party is a hilariously impromptu open mic/variety show where showbiz superstars and up-and-comers deliver jaw-dropping musical performances and razzle-dazzle.

Legendary showman Jim Caruso guides the entire affair with razor-sharp humor and the unbridled enthusiasm of an uber-fan while Musical Director Billy Stritch holds court at the ivories...but the real fun starts when the audience participates in the onstage festivities. Local legends, jazzers, cabaret divas, starry-eyed tourists and kids right off the bus take to the stage and entertain each other. If you have a voice, a dream and some sheet music, your Cast Party moment awaits.

Caruso and Stritch have also taken the show on the road, and celebrated talent in London, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Chicago, Austin, Dallas, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Miami, and Delray Beach, as well as very special all-star events at The Town Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. Cast Party has been honored with nine BroadwayWorld Awards, seven MAC Awards (including Show of the Year, 2022), a Bistro Award, and two Nightlife Awards.

We chat with Jim Caruso about Cast Party and the event happening at Crooners Supper Club in Minneapolis!

How does it feel to have live audiences and performances back?

We re opened Birdland last July, we've been doing it for over a year, after performing virtually for a year and a half, when we re opened, it was like NY Eve, it was really exciting! The club re opened with cast party, I had a marching band, Broadway stars, band, cabaret, divas, it was an extravaganza! It was a joy to be back and sing for live human beings, just fabulous!

What was the first musical you saw?

The Music Man in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania right after the civil war, and I was blown away. I loved the singing and dancing and when I got home, I told my mother that is what I wanted to do and how to get an agent.

What is your favorite musical?

Dreamgirls, I was living in Dallas when it opened on Broadway and I came up and stayed with a friend - Kevin Chin - who was playing Richie in A Chorus Line and he auditioned for Dreamgirls and didn't get the role. We went to see how "bad this was going to be."

The people next to me where literally standing on their chairs at the end of And I'm Telling You, and it was just visually at the time so unique, and Michael Bennett's staging was gorgeous, and the score is great!

What are your favorite musical songs?

A Quiet Thing - I think it's a masterpiece! I worked with Fred Ebb and John Kander after working with Liza Minnelli for 25 years. They are extra ordinary with what they do. He writes the way I wish I talked; he has great choice of words.

What is your favorite musical song to sing?

Billy Stritch and I did a new album called Sunday Set. It's on the Club 44 record label. "What did you do to your face?" It is a fun song to sing!

What inspired you to host Cast Party at Crooners?

They hired us! We do it all over the country, we celebrate talent all over!

Interview: Jim Caruso of CAST PARTY at Crooners Supper Club

What do you hope the audience takes away from the event?

Every time we go to a new city, Billy and I are always unbelievable thrilled at the fact that there is brilliant talent everywhere. We have met some of the most thrilling artist all over the country and they are involved in a wonderful community of talented people! It makes me happy to have people say to me afterwards that this made me feel great about our town, our talent is so wonderful here!

Have you been to Minnesota before? Any favorite spots or places you hope to check out while you're here?

I opened for Joan Rivers years ago at the Guthrie Theatre. I remember how vibrant the arts community is here. I had to throw a hat at the Mary Tyler Moore statue and see Mary Richards House!

Thank you Jim for your time!

For more show and ticket information, click the event buton below

Jim Caruso photo by Christopher Boudewyns

Jim Caruso and Billy Stitch photo by Matt Baker

From This Author - Jared Fessler

Jared [He/Him] is originally from Iowa and resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He grew up doing theatre and studied music, dance, and theatre with additional training in BFA musical theatre.

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