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Audition Xtra: HOLIDAY INN ECC

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 in Audition Xtra|0 comments
Well audition season really is upon us and as the Audition Calendar  fills up, it's a pretty exciting month. This article we are focusing on the ECC and EPA auditions for Irving Berlin's, Holiday Inn. So from what to wear and the history of the show, to who you will be auditioning for, we've scoured our resources and racked our brains to give you all the information you could possibly need to walk into the audition feeling confident and prepared to succeed.

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The original stage adaptation at Goodspeed musicals


In this Irving Berlin musical, Jim and Lila are members of a performing trio who plan to quit and run a country hotel. When Lila says she has fallen in love with the dancer in the act, Ted, Jim leaves town with a broken heart. After turning the inn into a holidays-only live entertainment venue, Jim winds up booking -- and falling for -- Linda. But when Ted shows up at the place after being dumped by Lila, he too sets his sights on beautiful Linda.
It was adapted for the stage at Goodspeed musicals and you can get lots of information from them on the History and background of Holiday Inn by clicking here

The book for the stage adaptation is by Gordon Greenberg & Chad Hodge.


Director: Gordon Greenberg. Not only did he co-write the book, he also directed the original production at Goodspeed Musicals in 2014 and will direct the Broadway show.

Here is a video from that original production:

And there's more here from Gordon on what inspired him to adapt the film for the stage, and his vision from the show: 

Like many families, mine delighted in watching the film Holiday Inn whenever it showed up on television. Whatever the time of year, it suddenly felt like a holiday. And there was nothing unusual about getting up and dancing along with Fred. We called him Fred because we thought of him as a pal. Indeed, the film itself was a loyal friend that had become not only a part of our traditions but an integral part of American culture. It explores quintessentially American ideas: ambition and its impact on friendship, reality versus its reflection on screen, and the value of personal gumption. Most important of all—at least to the ten year old me—it celebrates show business and the joys of live performance. In fact, Irving Berlin first conceived Holiday Inn as a live stage show and wrote many songs that were not ultimately used in the film. So the concept of adapting it as a musical for the stage seemed like a natural. Of course, the theatrical version of Holiday Inn has to function as its own entity, while still enthralling those of us who love the film. Although many elements of the film remain, we’ve taken liberties to enhance the experience of watching the show live on stage. The basic idea was to amplify everything we loved about the movie, which meant more songs and more big production numbers. That’s very good news for fans of big musical theatre! We also made narrative adjustments, looking at characters and their humanity through a contemporary lens, while keeping it all firmly rooted in the glorious period in which it was written. The look, feel, and energy of the show are all as fresh and vibrant as if we were stepping right into 1946. And we do, when the theatre itself becomes the Inn! "

Choreographer: Denis Jones was also on the original production. In the video below, from his work on Damn Yankees, Denis talks about his approach to choreographing and Christopher Charles Whiteley and Nancy Anderson give us insight into what it's like to work with him.

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Stephen Kopel
Casting Company: Stephen Kopel from Jim Carnahan . You can find out about Jim Carnaham in our recent Audition Xtra for Matilda. Stephen Kopel has cast a multitude of Broadway shows including Once, Cabaret, The Winslow Boy, Beautiful, Spring Awakening and The Glass Menagerie. 

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What To Sing: Appropriate songs would be from Irving Berlin shows of the same period- for example Annie Get Your Gun, Top Hat, Ziegfeld Follies. Check out Virtually Vocal for handy audition room songs. For more information on the musical development of Irving Berlin's career you can read this really great article

What To Wear: Primarily, you will need tap shoes and character dance shoes. Besides being comfortable moving, it would be a great idea to add something period suggestive. Girls could wear a high waisted short or skirt, men could wear a shirt tucked in. Hair can be period appropriate- think Victory Rolls and men should think Fred Astaire!
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Victory Rolls, 1940s Style

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So there you have it. Now go be you, audition well and audition smart. If you have any more questions then please drop me an email, And remember, full details on this audition can be found on our Audition Calendar.

Until next time, 

Mandie Black

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