A second round of auditions for the Footlighters Theatre Society production of White Christmas will be held Aug. 29, following the Aug. 22 dance auditions, allowing singers and actors to try out for the Nov. 28-30 production.
“We’ve been planning to do this show for a couple of years,” said director Brian Lawrence. “We’re really excited that it’s finally time to cast it.”
With songs by Irving Berlin, White Christmas is the stage adaptation of the 1954 film, and follows the same plotline: stage stars perform a Christmas show in rural Vermont to help a former general put his failing inn back in the black. It features many of the film’s songs, including the title song and the Academy Award-nominated “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep”, as well as other Berlin songs, such as “How Deep is the Ocean” and “I Love A Piano.”
Some of the larger roles and qualities include:
•Bob Wallace: late twenties to mid-thirties, a major singing star, the guiding force behind the song-and-dance team of Wallace and Davis. A superb baritone with a crooning style who moves well;
•Phil Davis: late twenties to mid-thirties, the fun loving partner of Wallace and Davis. A bari-tenor who is a strong jazz and tap-dancer and comic performer;
•Betty Haynes: mid to late twenties, the sensible half of the Haynes Sisters. A singer with a rich chest mix and a soprano extension who moves well;
•Judy Haynes: early twenties, the more ambitious Haynes sister. A singer with chest mix, who is a strong jazz and tap dancer;
•General Henry Waverly : late fifties to mid-sixties, a retired U.S. Army General, with a curmudgeonly military exterior hiding a compassionate man in need of family. With the exception of one line, a non-singing role;
•Martha Watson: late forties to mid-sixties, once a Broadway star, now the general’s housekeeper, with a dry, wisecracking sense of humor. An appealing comedienne with a strong belt voice; and,
•Susan Waverly: nine years old, the General’s granddaughter, a lovable and outgoing real kid. She must have an excellent belt voice and move well.
Smaller roles include Ralph Sheldrake (army buddy of Bob and Phil’s), Rita and Rhonda (Bob and Phil’s not-too-smart star chorus girls) and Ezekiel Foster (slow-moving maintenance man). White Christmas also includes a large ensemble, which plays a wide range of other roles, such as nightclub patrons, train passengers and chorus members.
Those auditioning will be asked to sing a few bars of White Christmas and read selections from the script. While choreography isn’t the main goal of the Aug. 22 session, prospective cast members will also be asked to try out a few dance steps.
“We’re always excited to discover new talent,” said Lawrence. “And this is all about fun. Nobody needs to have prior experience — just a willingness to work toward a very exciting goal.”
To learn more, visit the Footlighters Theatre Society Facebook page.