Saturday, December 28, 2013

Some Broadway in You? Auditions at The Edge

Here is a chance to get on stage and sing, dance, or play an instrument for an audience that will love it. The songs need to be from Broadway musicals, and you will have ample time and opportunity to rehearse with a capable and talented musical director. Auditions for this show will be Tuesday and Thursday January 7 and 9 between 4PM and 6PM. The place is The Edge Center in Bigfork. This second Broadway Show from The Edge will be April 4, 5, and 6. Voicing and ability will be the key to those chosen for the show. This promises to be a fun event for those on stage and in the audience. The person to contact is the Musical Director, Cris Brown, for more information at or 218-245-3240.

Above Broadway 1946 Original Cast Album 


These Edge shows are a celebration of the American musical as seen on Broadway.  They are done for the pure enjoyment of performers and audience and can be a great learning experience. The actual show will be a concert dress event, black or white tops with black pants, skirts, dresses.  You can audition, though, in anything you wish. The music should stand on its own, telling the story without costuming being necessary. Simple props for enhancements are fine but the music should tell the story without a lot of fanfare.

The content will depend on the auditions and who shows up. We have a great deal of music to choose from and the resources for finding more. Much of the show will be accompanied by piano, but a pre-recorded CD, if it is available, is fine as long as it is instrumental with no vocal tracks on it.

For the auditions, you can bring in the music either with accompaniment or with CD. If you don’t have any, we will provide the accompaniment of something familiar to work with. We will be asking for each auditionee to fill out an questionnaire about their favorite Broadway piece, or one they would like to perform, and if they want to do a solo, duet, or an ensemble piece.

Above original Broadway window card 


Past experience is NOT required. Please come regardless of your level. If the Music Director feels you have potential, and you are willing to work hard, she is more than happy to work, coach, and teach to get you ready to perform. The Music Director, Cris Brown, says, “I would like to add that it would be fun to have all ages. There are a lot of great Broadway songs out there for children, young adults, middle agers, and older performers.  So for me, age is really not a limiting factor either.”

Above original Broadway cast recording


And who is Cris Brown, the Music Director?  Cris Brown is a local piano and voice teacher and accompanist who has studied piano, voice, and flute at Bemidji State University. She started accompanying at 15, is a member of the Itasca Music Club, the National & Minnesota Federation of Music Clubs, and is in the Itasca Community Chorus. In New Mexico, she worked in the Aztec District Music Department with youth choirs, soloists, and ensemble groups.

She was accompanist for the Greenway High School Choirs and for solos and ensemble groups for years.  She has also taught music and choir at the Cloverdale Christian School. She has worked with the Grand Rapids Players as a rehearsal pianist, is the music director at her church, and gives private piano lessons in the Lawrence Lake area and at The Edge Center in conjunction with the Bigfork School.

Cris says, “ I come with years of experience directing music, spent too many hours to count accompanying vocalists and instrumentalists, as well as coaching, teaching, and preparing them for performances, contests, and judging. This is something that I absolutely love. It gives me great pleasure to be able to work with the wonderful talented people that we have in our communities. I am looking forward to this great Broadway Musical production.”

Above poster from the Broadway revival


For those who audition and live in the Grand Rapids/Greenway areas, we will make arrangements for rehearsals there, saving the drive time to Bigfork. Dress rehearsals, lighting and sound checks, etc. will need to be at the Edge a few days before the performances. For those in the Bigfork area, rehearsals will be arranged individually with each performer or group.

Above original cast recording


The music in the concert will depend on what the performer likes and what they can do. You might want to consider songs from one of these or other Broadway musicals to audition with: Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Annie, Lion King, Mamma Mia, Wicked, Chicago, Rent, Fiddler on the Roof, Finian's Rainbow, Bye Bye Birdie, Applause, Guys and Dolls, Into the Woods, Annie Get Your Gun, The Sound of Music, or Chicago. Cris adds, “This is meant to be an exciting experience, so we will keep it that way and make sure the music you perform is appropriately fun, touching or heart warming for the performers and the audience.  Please come and try out.”

Above poster from the Broadway production

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