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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Director Cindy Graham is seeking "four fun-loving gals who can work, play and sing their way into the hearts of BLT audiences" when she holds auditions Monday and Tuesday (Sept. 10 and 11) for "The Marvelous Wonderettes."

Tryouts will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Hill Memorial United Methodist Church, 44 Kennedy St. Call-backs will be Sept. 12 and 13, and possibly Sept. 14.

Created and written by Roger Bean, “The Marvelous Wonderettes” shows the girl quartet entertaining at their 1958 senior prom and again ten years later at their class reunion. The two-act musical will be offered Oct. 25 through 28 at First United Presbyterian Church social hall on East Corydon Street in Bradford. The first three shows will be at 7:30 p.m.; the final show will be a 2 p.m. matinee.

Music director Andrew Dutko said preferred audition songs would be popular tunes from the 1950s and 1960s. Accompaniment on CD is encouraged; sheet music is required otherwise. He noted that actresses will be asked to harmonize as well.

Veteran Ardyth Van Scoy will be choreographer; she said the auditions will include some movement, but not dance. The show, she said, "is not movement heavy or difficult in the slightest. The quartet will have arm movements and some foot movements but very simple ones."

"It is highly recommended that anyone interested in trying out try to make both nights of auditions," said Graham, who noted that two perusal scripts are available at the Bradford Area Public Library.

Characters in the show include Cindy Lou, who knows she is the prettiest girl at Springfield High and acts out against her best friend Betty Jean when things don't go her way. A mezzo soprano who can belt out the music, she sings lead lines on most songs including "Allegheny Moon," "Son of a Preacher Man" and "Maybe." An overachiever, the very controlled Missy is concerned that everything at the prom turn out wonderful. A soprano with wide range and very high vocals, she belts out "Secret Love," "You Don't Own Me" and "Wedding Bell Blues." Class clown and tomboy Betty Jean is always in competition with her best friend Cindy Lou. An emotion-charged alto with a strong low range, she sings "Lipstick on Your Collar," "I Only Want to Be With You" and "That's When the Tears Start." Happy-go-luck Suzy, best friend of Missy, in her sweet and soulful high alto belts out "Stupid Cupid," "Hold Me, Thrill Me" and "Rescue Me."

"This is a wonderful and catchy musical that will have you dancing in the aisles. The four actresses are peppy, likeable and just plain fun," said Graham.

"The men of Bradford had the opportunity to shine in last season's "Twelve Angry Men," so now it is time for the women to let loose and show their stuff," she said.

She added that anyone interested in helping with lighting, sound, stage crew or any other part of the production, is encouraged to sign up at tryouts.

Graham is a BLT veteran performing on stage in "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," "Waiting for MacArthur," "This Day and Age" and "Dixie Swim Club." Active with BLT about five years and currently vice president, the long-time Bradford resident has also worked with costumes, props, front of house and public relations. This is her first time directing.

Dutko, Fretz Middle School chorus director, is working with BLT for the first time since his recent move to the area. He earned bachelor's degrees in music education and vocal performance at Mansfield University. He has held leading roles in operas, including Prince Aeneas in Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas" and Brack Weaver in Weill's "Down in the Valley." He was oratorio soloist for a Wellsboro performance of Handel's "The Messiah" and has had leading roles in "Guys and Dolls," "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" and "Little Shop of Horrors."

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