GOOD MORNING, THEATERATI for May 1, 2017
Good Morning, Theaterati! It's May Day: May 1, 2017, and we're asking the musical question...What if you have five members from two casts of Million Dollar Quartet together backstage after a performance of the show, might it more accurately be known as $1.25 Million Dollar Quartet? Our query comes after perusing today's cover photo, in which dentist/director Darryl Deason (why has no one ever cast him in Little Shop of Horrors, we wonder?) has Cumberland County Playhouse's Ross Griffin (Jerry Lee Lewis), Daniel W. Black (Carl Perkins) and Edward LaCardo (Elvis Presley) posing with Arts Center of Cannon County's Daxton Patrick (Jerry Lee Lewis) and Jacob Miller (Carl Perkins) after a performance of the former's production on Saturday night. Could a new musical based upon the meeting be in the offing? We'll just have to wait and see, I guess. (Left to right: Griffin, Patrick, Miller, Black and LaCardo) Maybe they were talking about barbecue, moonshine and/or Beale Street, but we suspect they were chatting with giddy glee about being our cover boys on Monday morning...what say ye?
What's opening this week? Tennessee Women's Theater Project's 11th Annual Women's Work Festival at the Z. Alexander Looby Theatre; Nashville Ballet's 7 Deadly Sins (along with Paul Vasterling's restaging of Appalachian Spring) at TPAC; Distraction Theatre Company's The Complete Work of William Shakespeare; and Studio Tenn's Spamalot, starring Matt Logan, Jake Speck, Laura Matula and Garris Wimmer, directed by the always stellar Kim Bretton, bows at The Factory in Franklin. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Nashville Children's Theatre's production of Goodnight, Moon, The Cast List at Lakewood, John and Jen at Street Theatre Company, Center for the Arts' Little Shop of Horrors in Murfreesboro, The Larry Keeton Theatre's Daddy's Dyin'...Who's Got the Will?, Million Dollar Quartet at Cumberland County Playhouse in Crossville, Roxy Regional Theatre's [title of show] in Clarksville, and Beau Jest at Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre are all back on the boards this week after some much-appreciated days off.
It's audition season in Nashville and everyone's rushing hither and yon across our fair city, singing 32 bars of a Broadway-style song or offering up their take on a Shakespearean monologue, so we asked if any of our friends/readers/associates had any particularly interesting tales from the pages of audition history:
Jordan Tudor Haggard: One time at UPTA, I was called back by a children's theatre. I went in and read the sides with the reader and then the director goes, "Okay. Now do it like you're an asparagus. But a scientist as well." I think my mouth fell open because he was dead serious. I can honestly say I did not try very hard to act like an asparagus because that is ridiculous and the pay was mediocre. I didn't get the job.
Arthur Kirkby: Some bitch director for Circle Players wouldn't let people leave the audition because it was snowing. When I voiced my concern, she acted like I was a child, saying it had snowed during every show she had ever done. So, she kept me until the last and I almost died getting home.
Over the weekend, the Twitter Takeover of @BWW_Nashville continued apace Saturday with Sara Kistner, the assistant stage manager of Daddy's Dyin'...Who's Got the Will? at The Larry Keeton Theatre posting blackmail-worthy photos from backstage, while on Sunday Brett Myers, JorDan Scott and Ryan Lynch of Street Theatre Company's John and Jen kept up appearances by taking us backstage of their matinee and on various and sundry shopping trips in search of cinnamon rolls and beer. Thanks, y'all! They were very creative and imaginative (totally unlike certain people who won't be named) and, above all else, marvelously entertaining. Put succinctly, that's how it's done. Since today is traditionally dark in theater parlance, our used and abused Twitter feed is resting, deservedly. But tomorrow, Nashville Ballet's Julia Eisen takes up the baton to give us the skinny on 7 Deadly Sins, revealing which sin she'll be dancing this weekend. WildcaRD Productions' Patrick Kramer is on the job Wednesday, followed by Joanna and Daniel Hackman of Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre's Beau Jest on Thursday and Distraction Theatre's cast of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare on Friday! This special experiment in social media torture has been phenomenally successful, so if you wanna get in on it, just call my assistant (when I hire one, I'll let you know...in the meantime, text me, message me...hell, you can even call me)!
Happy, happy birthday, baby! Today's the special day these folks get one year older and we're mighty glad they do...so sing a song for dancer extraordinaire Caleb Marshall, now in NYC; 2016-17 First Night Honoree Terry Schwab; MTSU alum now pursuing advanced degrees, the one and only Meg Davis; BWW Nashville award winner Heather Vaughn Alexander; and former Nashville Rep artistic associate/current Chicago director, the illustrious Lauren Shouse (who we really miss now that we type her name and feel the despair of loneliness in our heart). Of a more historic nature, today's the birthday of John Wilkes' father Junius Brutus Booth (1796...we went to prep school together) and contemporary playwright Yasmina Reza (born in 1959, she's the creator of Art and God of Carnage).
Today in history: Tommy Tune's My One and Only debuted on the mainstem in 1983, in which he co-starred with 1960s fashion icon Twiggy; in 1991, he was back on Broadway with The Will Rogers Follies, which ultimately got 11 Tony Award nominations, winning six of 'em! Speaking of which, the Tony nominations for the 2016-17 season will be announced tomorrow! In 2003, Bernadette Peters starred as Mama Rose in the revival of Gypsy. Laura Linney (now on Broadway in The Little Foxes) and Ben Daniels starred in a revival of Les Liaisons Dangereuses in 2008. And just last year, the musical expected to be honored at this year's Tonys - Pasek and Paul's Dear Evan Hansen - opened off-Broadway, with Ben Platt in the title role.
That's it until tomorrow morning, so live life dramatically and always remember this: No matter where you find yourself today, CELEBRATE THE MAGIC OF LIVE THEATRE!