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L.A. Beat

Hatrix Theatre holding auditions for Jitters and Evil Dead: The Musical

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Hatrix Theatre is getting the Jitters this spring and preparing for the Evil Dead: The Musical to come to Lethbridge in the fall.

 The new, southern Alberta Theatre group are holding auditions, Jan, 18-19 at Westminster School for the popular David French play, which runs May 23-25 at the Moose Lodge
“It’s a two act comedy. It’s a twist on any community theatre performance,” summarized  Brian Quinn, who will be holding auditions for director Caroline Harker, who is on vacation.

 “The people in the show are all part of a  play called “For the Care and Treatment of Roses.  And not to spoil anything, but the play starts as a rehearsal for ‘Care and Treatment of Roses’ for about 15 minutes when they break character and begin ‘Jitters,” he enthused.
 Everything goes wrong in the play as chaos and a lot of laughs result.
 They need six men and three women— one woman needs to be a more mature 40 plus actress to play the aging diva who is hoping to make a comeback, her leading man — a local celebrity who resents her haughtiness.

“ And we want the male lead to be 40 or 50 plus. We don’t want to  dress up a high school student and dress them up to make her look older for those parts,” he said.

 But there are a variety of other colourful characters including  a veteran character actor who can not remember his lines, a male juvenile who attends a wedding the night before and shows up drunk, a tyrannical stage manager and an overly diplomatic director and a novice playwright radiating quiet desperation.
 While  Jitters is widely considered to be French’s most commercial work, Evil Dead the musical is completely different.


 While Quinn is  working on getting the performance  rights for it,  the plan is to premiere it  on Halloween. While it is a comedy more along the lines of Scary Movie rather than the Shining, it is not for the faint of hearty or queazy of stomach.
“It is focussed on  the 18-25  college aged,” Quinn said, adding the first three rows of the audience will be a “splash zone,” as the blood starts to fly.

“It is a cult favourite It had a successful run in Toronto for two years and even made it to Broadway though it didn’t do as well there,” he said.

“It’s about five college age kids who go camping and nobody knows where they are. It is more Scary Movie than  naturally scary,” he said. And while it is a musical, it is more  rock and roll than Phantom of the Opera.
“It’s pure entertainment,” he said.

“There’s a scene where one character’s hand turns against him and his only solution is to cut it off with a chainsaw, but it is still alive. The hand makes an appearance throughout the play in various locations. And two of the characters met at the ‘S-Mart,’ and they sing a beautiful ballad about it,” he continued.

 While this week will be the first auditions for Evil Dead the Musical — further auditions will be likely held at a later date.
 Auditions for both productions take place, at 6:30 p.m. at the Westminster School on the North side, off 5th Ave and 10th Street, in the art room. You may bring a prepared piece or do a cold read.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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