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Backstage February 2007

Read the February issue of our Backstage Newsletter! Whether you pick the online or print edition you've picked a winner! This months issue contains up-to-the-moment information about our production of Jimmy Dean Jimmy Dean, the City of Angels audition notice, all the buzz about upcoming trustee elections and much, much more. Don't miss a beat, read it today or download the PDF!

BACKSTAGE - February, 2007
Chatham Community Players Newsletter

“City of Angels” Auditions

Angels GraphicThe Chatham Community Players is pleased to announce auditions for “City of Angels” to be held on February 13th and 14th at 7:00 p.m. at The Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Avenue, Chatham. “City of Angels” opens May 4th and runs through May 19th, 2007. Director Susan Speidel and Musical Director Tim Herman ask that those auditioning bring sheet music and be prepared to sing a 1940's jazz standard or a Broadway song that evokes a jazz style. Please do not sing from the score. An accompanist will be provided. Selections for readings from the script will also be provided at the auditions. The cast consists of a variety of types of men and women ranging in age from 18 to 60’s. The Chatham Community Players has an open casting policy. All roles are open; none are pre-cast. For more details, please visit the auditions page. If you have any questions or concerns, call Kristin Barber 732-208-4184 or email

Hailed by Newsweek magazine as "an American musical that's smart, swinging, sexy and funny," “City of Angels” is based on two unmistakably American creations: jazz and the film literature of the Hollywood private eye. The play is essentially two shows in one with interwoven plots and intermingled worlds that depict the writing of a screenplay in the legendary Hollywood studio system of the '40s and the re-enactment of that screenplay in a classic "film noir" style.

Character Breakdown

Stine: (30 to 45 - strong and rangy baritone) - a successful New York writer adapting his novel for the screen, easily tempted by money and Hollywood glitz, married but with a wandering eye and a history of indiscretion (think Dashiell Hammett, Mickey Spillane, Raymond Chandler - only softer)
Stone (30 to 45 - strong baritone) - Stine's creation and alter-ego, a cop turned detective who is down on his luck, tough exterior hides a strong streak of integrity and deep emotion (think Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum)
Oolie / Donna (20 to 40- strong belt voice required) - a dual role; first, the wise-cracking, faithful girl secretary to Stone and second, the assistant with a heart of gold to a Hollywood executive - both have been taken advantage of by men their whole lives (think Rosalind Russell, Anne Southern, Eve Arden)
Alaura Kingsley / Carla Haywood (35 to 40 - sultry mezzo) - a dual role; first, the sexy, mysterious gold digger who marries old men and kills them for money and second, the sexy, glamorous movie star who marries a studio executive to advance her career (think Eva Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner)
Bobby / Gabby (30 to 45 - warm mezzo) - a dual role; first, a nightclub singer and true love of Stone who sleeps her way to the top and second, Stine's long-suffering wife who is always disappointed by him (think Greer Garson, Olivia de Havilland, Maureen O'Hara)
Munoz / Pancho Vargas (35 to 50 - baritone who moves well) - a dual role; first, a bitter cop who used to be Stone's partner and second, a Latin heartthrob actor (think Fernando Lamas, Ricardo Montalban)
Mallory Kingsley / Avril Raines (18 to 25 - alto) - a dual role; first, the rambunctious and reckless daughter of a wealthy industrialist and second, an ambitious and flirty Hollywood starlet; (think Marilyn Monroe, Veronica Lake, Caroll Baker, Ann Margret, etc.)
Irwin S. Irving / Buddy Fidler (45 to 60 - baritone who moves well) - a dual role; first, a fast-talking Hollywood director/producer with one eye on the grosses and second, a fast-acting Hollywood studio mogul with one eye on the casting couch
Jimmy Powers (35 to 50 - sweet tenor) - a Hollywood crooner and radio show host who also sings with the Angel City Four (think Rudy Vallee, Bert Healy)
The Angel City Four (20 to 50 - soprano, alto, tenor and baritone with experience in part-singing and who move well) - a close-harmony singing group who function as a "Greek chorus" by narrating and commenting on the action (think the Pied Pipers, the Modernaires, or Manhattan Transfer)
Ensemble - versatile performers of all types and ages are needed to play a wide variety of roles including doctors, hospital orderlies, cops, city commissioners, wealthy industrialists, maids, barbers, hoodlums, ladies of the evening, movie stars, agents and Hollywood "wanna-bees." All ensemble members will play multiple roles. Also looking for a very small man and a very large man to play two "thugs" in a number of comedy fight scenes.

…Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean” Comes to Chatham

Jimmy Dean GraphicThe next show in our season is “Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean” by Ed Graczyk and directed by Bob Cline (“To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Into the Woods,” “Pippin”). The show runs March 2 to 17, 2007. The action takes place in the small Texas town of McCarthy in 1975. Inside a five-and-dime store, a reunion is planned for the members of a local 1950s James Dean fan club. An odd assortment of women arrive, revealing hidden secrets, as the play flashes back, showing the women as young James Dean fans, and then jumps forward to present day to reveal the ravages of time and lost innocence. The wonderful cast consists of Kate Schlesinger, Juanita; Karen Pierson as Mona; Liz Royce, Edna; Jen Hanselman, Sissy; Barbi McGuire, Stella; Carla Kendall, Joanne; Susan Murray, Young Mona;Alex Dorer, Young Sissy; and Tom Waltz, Joe.

Nominating Committee Presents 2007-2009 Slate

Our nominating committee has presented the following slate: President: Roy Pancirov; Vice-President: Steve Stubelt; Secretary: Mara Lundstrom; Treasurer: Kathy Rex; and Business Manager: Steffi Denmark. Chris Furlong will remain as Past President. The Election Meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 14, 7 p.m., at The Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Avenue, Chatham, New Jersey

New Year, New Member Registration!

It’s time to declare membership in Chatham Community Players. Our March election meeting is coming up, and only registered members may vote. You can be a member for just $5 or five hours of service to CCP. Please, there’s no need to do both!! To comply with our by-laws, all workers on all committees and other interested parties MUST register to vote. Just submit the form from the PDF version of this issue of Backstage.

Here & There

Matt Burns (“A Christmas Carol,” “Chess,” “Into The Woods”) and Frank Todisco (“Blood Brothers”) will be performing in 4th Wall Musical Theatre’s “Invisible Fences”…Catherine Rowe-Pherson (“Blithe Spirit”) directed “Joey’s Last Meal” by Henry Meyerson (Jersey Voices) at Villagers Theatre…..Frank Briamonte (“…Carol,” “Desperate Hours”) will be performing in Westfield Community Players’ “Rumors”…Beth Painter (“Rumors”), James Lopez (“Pippin”), Paul Zeller (Jersey Voices) and Marguerite Wurtz (“Six Degrees of Separation,” “Master Class”) will be starring in Summit Playhouse’s production of “Living Out” directed by Michael Driscoll (“Night Watch”)…..Rob Pherson is directing “Macbeth” at Circle Players in Piscataway….Marc Phelan (Jersey Voices) directed a pro-duction of “Bus Stop” at the Barn Theatre in Montville starring Keith Beechey (“Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Side Man,” Jersey Voices), Paul Bettys (Jersey Voices), Chess Lankford (Jersey Voices) and Rich Maloy (“…Mockingbird,” Jersey Voices, “Fantasticks”)