I Love You Because.
Book and Lyrics by Ryan Cunningham
Music by Joshua Salzman
Directed by Paul Carr
Sunday 24th January - 1pm at Chorley Little Theatre
Wed 11 - Sat 14 May 2016 (inclusive) – 7:30pm @ at Chorley Little Theatre
Rehearsals will probably be on Tuesdays and Thursdays (7.30-10pm) but a full rehearsal schedule will be arranged to suit everyone once the play has been cast. Many scenes are in pairs / threes / fours so rehearsals can be flexible around the cast.
I Love You Because is a musical set in modern-day New York, based loosely on Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice. Through 18 songs we follow the lives of brothers Austin and Jeff Bennet, and best friends Marcy Fitzwilliams and Diana Bingley as their paths crash into each other in hectic NYC. Austin and Marcy are both recently split from long term relationships and Jeff and Diana separately arrange dates for them through an online dating site. Jeff has convinced Austin that he needs to move on in order to get Catherine back (because the ex always wants to get back together when you are happy with someone else) and Diana has a formula for love which involves Marcy meeting a perfectly wrong man during her ‘rebound time’ in order to find her perfect man after that – and when the two meet it is hate at first sight – perfect!
Aided by Brigitte and Danny (who play a range of New Yorkers from Bartenders and Baristas to taxi drivers, restaurant waiters and random passers by) the show follows the ups and downs of Austin & Marcy and Jeff & Diana as they find that love can often be found where you are least expecting it!
There is a full video of an amateur production on YouTube if you want a fuller idea of the story (though we are aiming at a higher quality output than this), and there are various excerpts from the off-broadway production available as well. There is also the original cast recording available to listen to on YouTube if you want a better idea of the songs:
Act 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdQaLuoNVOQ
Act 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqovCVUICCQ
Cast Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=689Y-zbqry0
Off-broadway videos (individual songs): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEpDZvuqxxyKR2s6FjAgX0K8ae2Uft7i5
Austin Bennet (playing age 25, tenor to A) – a greeting card writer
Jeff Bennet (playing age 28, baritone to A) – a pedi-cab driver
Marcy Fitzwilliams (playing age 24, soprano to F, belt to D) – a photographer
Diana Bingley (playing age 27, alto to D) – actuary
Brigitte (soprano) – cocktail waitress, taxi driver, baristress, neighbour, chinese restaurant manager, NYC woman
Danny (bari-tenor) – bartender, taxi driver, barista, waiter, delivery boy, NYC man
New York accents are preferred but not essential – whether we use accents depends on the ability of those cast, not the other way round
Playing ages are as a guide only but the characters need to be convincingly in ‘dating age’ as singles on the NYC dating scene.
All six need to be extremely good vocal artists as the songs feature lots of close harmonies and quite a wide vocal range. This is not a sing for the faint hearted and an ability to follow (if not read) music would be anticipated.
We are definitely looking for singers who can act, rather than actors who can sing, and this will be the main focus of the auditions as without the vocal strength the show will not hold together.
Austin, Jeff, Marcy and Diana have the biggest bulk of the show’s focus, but Brigitte and Danny are definitely not ‘bit parts’ – they appear regularly throughout the show and have major singing roles in a number of the songs so need to be on a par with the others in terms of singing ability.
The songs are also available on YouTube from the original off-broadway production as a guide:
Even Though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qjj4nTs4bHY
We will also be teaching you a short group extract from the show (from “But I Do”) during the course of the audition and this will be performed in small groups to get a feel for how the balance of voices will sound and how well people deal with close harmonising.
Finally there will be short acting extracts given to auditionees on the day to look at the ability to portray the range of characters which appear throughout the show.
GOLDEN RULES FOR AUDITIONS!
DO read the character descriptions and be realistic about if you are right for the part to avoid disappointment!
DON’T do a half-hearted audition or ‘just’ read/sing the part – we want to see characters who are interesting and engaging, and the sort of characters we would want to spend 3 hours watching!
DO make sure you have learnt the audition song (though you can have lyrics with you in the auditions)
DON’T be nervous – you’re only acting to two or three people and if you make a mistake it doesn’t matter – we’re looking to see if you could play these roles after a few months rehearsals and not that night!
DO use your reading time before the audition to plan how you are going to deliver the lines and read it out loud with other people going for roles
DON’T assume that you have it ‘in the bag’ and so don’t bother putting much into your audition – we want to see your performance
DO show off your voice and really sell the song – we are looking for dynamics and performance as well as the ability to hit the notes!
DON’T just stand there – move around the stage and use your body language and gestures to sell your performance
DO have a go! If you fancy trying out then don’t assume that everyone will be better than you – it might be that you are just the person we are looking for!
DON’T get disheartened if you don’t get the part – we are looking at a range of factors (including how people look together as well as the quality of performer) and we are casting a company not individuals. Sometimes you can do a great audition but still not be right for a part compared to someone else so do try again in the future if you don’t get cast.
We hope that we see you there!