Announcing auditions for ‘Memphis, the Musical’

ST. PETERSBURG — Auditions for “Memphis, the Musical” will take place at City Theatre Oct. 4 and 5 from 6-9 p.m. Callbacks are scheduled for Oct. 6.

They are requiring that anyone auditioning prepare 16-32 bars of a song (bring sheet music), a one-minute monologue and be prepared to dance as well.

Erica Sutherlin

Erica Sutherlin

Erica Sutherlin, Gibbs High School performance theater instructor, will be directing the production, along with Latoya McCormick as music director and choreographer Rodney Hamilton.

“Memphis, the Musical” is inspired by actual events centered on a white radio DJ who wants to change the world and a black club singer who is ready for her big break. Set in the underground dance clubs in Memphis in the 1950s, it is filled with explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling take on fame and forbidden love.

Casting will include the following roles:

Huey – Caucasian, 20s-30s. Frenzied, bombastic, motor-mouthed hero, who talks his way into becoming a DJ at a local white radio station. He ignores race barriers and eventually falls in love with Felicia, a talented black singer, which causes a whole new set of problems for Huey in a segregated 1950s Memphis. Tenor with a great feel for pop, rock, R&B style.

Felicia – African American, 20s-30s. Beautiful, wide-eyed. Fiercely gifted singer. Follows her heart and falls in love with Huey despite knowing deep down that a relationship between a white man and a black woman in prejudiced Memphis is doomed. High R&B belt.

Delray – African-American man, 30s-40s. Felicia’s older brother. Owns the club on Beale Street where she sings. Realistic, cautious, protective, and aware of the realities of the segregation that exists in Memphis and the world beyond. Baritenor with great pop, rock, R&B voice.

Gladys – Caucasian, 40s-60s. Huey’s stern, traditional blue-collar, Southern mother. Has worked her entire life to be able to support herself and her son, whom she loves, but about whom she constantly worries. Strong singer with alto-belt mix; excellent actor with comic skills.

Gator – African-American man, 20s-30s. Bartender at Delray’s – hasn’t spoken since age five, when he saw his father killed. As the story progresses, Gator finds his voice again. Requires an excellent actor and singer (great R&B Baritenor); comic timing a plus.

Bobby – African American, 30s-40s. Janitor at Mr. Simmons’ radio station. Full of personality and heart. Great gospel voice. Role requires an actor who is comfortable with physicality, as he has a dance break in his show-stopping number “Big Love.” Comic skills a plus.

Simmons – Caucasian, 40s-60s. Conservative owner of the radio station where Huey gets his start. The strong, Southern, commanding businessman becomes willing to take a chance on Huey when he realizes the audience Huey reaches and the money he can command. Great actor who is comfortable singing.

Male & female ensembles – All ethnicities, late teens-40s. Male dancers who sing very well, to play various ensemble characters. Seeking excellent, athletic dancers who sing.

The City Theatre is located at 4025 31st St. S, St. Petersburg. Production dates run from Jan. 21 to Feb. 7, 2016. Rehearsals will begin in late October.

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