The Charleston Light Opera Guild will conduct auditions for its next stage show, “Paradise Park The Musical,” over two days next week on the capital city’s West Side.
“Paradise Park The Musical” is based on the cult classic film by West Virginia filmmaker and film director Daniel Boyd. Boyd adapted the film for the stage, and former “Mountain Stage” host and musician Larry Groce wrote a new score for the production.
The musical contains themes familiar to many generations of West Virginians: poverty, religion, hopes and dreams. It centers on people caring for other people through hard times, through natural disasters and through everyday life.
“Paradise Park The Musical” tells the story of an elderly woman in a West Virginia trailer park who dreams that God will come to her community and grant its residents all a wish. The musical premiered in 2018, presented by Theatre West Virginia players at Grandview State Park’s Cliffside Amphitheatre, reprised there in 2019.
CLOG will present “Paradise Park The Musical” at its theater on Jan. 28-30 and Feb. 4-6.
Auditions will be held at the theater, 411 Tennessee Ave. in Charleston. Based on present health conditions in the state and Kanawha County and current guidance by the CDC, all those auditioning must show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to be considered.
Reading and singing auditions will begin on Monday, Nov. 15. At 6 p.m., auditions will take place for ages 12 to 15, including small 12-year-olds to play the younger characters Skipper and Wesley Jr. (Auditions for the roles of Belle and Frankie will be held at a later date.) Auditions for applicants ages 15 to adult will get underway at 7 p.m.
Those auditioning should prepare a vocal selection and bring sheet music for the accompanist. Reading material for speaking roles will be provided.
Dance auditions for ages 15 and older will start at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16. Musical theater dance combinations will be taught; those auditioning should dress to dance.
Available roles and character descriptions include:
• Marlon: Late 20s-mid-30s; educated, but unpretentious; unofficial leader of the park; love interest to Libby and later Caroline; strong actor/singer (movement skills a benefit)
• Casey: 16-year-old high school dropout; jaded; the show’s storyteller; can be male or female
• Nada: Elderly female; eccentric; has a heart of gold
• Libby: Late 20s; mother of Belle and Frankie; love interest of Marlon until the return of her estranged and ne’er-do-well husband, Kendall; singer with movement or dance skills
• Caroline: Late 20s-mid-30s; African-American; unexpected love of Marlon; singer who moves well
• Clifford: Mid-20s-late 30s; irreverent; gear monkey; love interest of Ramona; strong singer
• Ramona: Clifford’s live-in and equally wild mate, sexy; singer with movement skills
• Skipper: Ages 10-early teens; sweet, autistic boy; son of Evelyn
• Evelyn: Late 20s-30s; mother of Skipper; never over the abandonment of her husband, Harley; lives in self-exile behind her trailer park door
• Man Will Work: Ageless; single thread of pride broken man
• Man Will Work Son: Ages 10-early teens
• Avis: African-American; uses his misguided faith to fuel his personal anger; strong singer
• Belle: 5-7 years old (can be played by small 7- to 9-year- old); youngest daughter of Libby; sings
• Frankie: 6-8 years old (can be played by small 7- to 9-year old); oldest daughter of Libby; sings
• Earl: Older retired miner
• Shorty: Large, out-of-work miner; best friend of Earl
• Joyce: Older lady, trailer park resident; de facto leader of older gals in park; headlines one of the songs
• Gov. Harless: 50s-70s; country flamboyant politician
• Governor’s Aide: 20s-30s; politico, governor’s carny pitch man
• Madame Alice C. Duverack: Over-the-top, slick but sensual huckster; Queen Latifah type with the looks and panache; strong, show-stopping singer
• Rawhide: Joyce’s husband, recently out of jail; embittered; constantly cleans his rifle on his trailer porch
• Caroline’s Ex, Jerk Boyfriend: Relevant age to Caroline
• Kendall: Late 20s-early 30s; Libby’s ne’er-do-well returned husband; irresponsible, misguided dreamer
• Wesley: Late 20s; Nada’s grandson; believes that he is driven by concern for his elderly grandmother, but he is really fueled by his guilt for betraying his past; doesn’t live at the trailer park
• Marsha: Wesley’s wife
• Wesley Jr.: Young son of Wesley and his wife
• Deputy Johnnie Morton: Park antagonist; bad dude, but with reason for his “badness”
• Alice C. Harley: Evelyn’s abandoned husband; Skipper’s father; road-worn
• Paul: Lonely Hearts Bar proprietor/bartender
• Additional cast to portray elitist snobs, Deputy #2 and park residents — singers.
• Dancers (singing an asset): Male and female trained dancers; fun musical comedy production pieces
Most of the cast members will sing in the production. Characters’ ages above are suggested and will be adapted to production needs. Actors of all ages, races and skill sets will be considered. Some cast members will have multiple roles.
For more information, contact show director Nina Denton Pasinetti at 304-545-6945.