Thursday I was called in for GUYS AND DOLLS to be done this summer at the Hollywood Bowl. Richard Jay Alexander, Kevin Stites and Donna McKechnie are in the helm for this production to star Jessica Biel, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Scott Bakula, John Mahoney, Ruth Williamson and some cool speculations for the role of Adeleide (which if true are glorious, as I LOVE HER)

Anyway, Richard and Kevin were the director and musical director last summer  when I was lucky enough to be in Les Miserables again. It was a huge hit, thus they are bringing this team back. The new addition is Donna McKechnie..and dancing!!!!!!!!

At my audition I ran into alot of Les Miz friends, and other actors I hadn’t seen in awhile.. I love that. And when it was my turn to go in..Richard Jay was there with open arms, as well as Kevin Stites and from that moment on they set the scene for me to thrive. Richards memory is amazing. He was quoting an audition song I used for my original Les Miserables audition back in 1987 ? He also praised me and listed the shows I did, the funny I can do,,,and I finally just asked him to be my agent..for he seemed to know me better than my own family!!.

I sang I’M IN LOVE WITH A WONDERFUL GUY, and it just felt fun,free and like NY again..WHere there’s a whole room of creative people in a huge room all cheering you on, and wanting to be entertained, or touched or blown away. If you hit one you can walk away feeling you did your job. ANd I did feel like it went great and it was fun and I was riding high. ANd than RJA asked me to come back for the dance call at 2. Now in the old days, I’d lose about a pound or 2 just running to the bathroom in anticipation of the scary unknown of this world called dance. I might look like I can dance when I’m in a show, but believe me , it’s after many hours spent in my room making it my own. I think I’m dyslexic when it comes to learning a routine.

So at 2 I came back with the usual suspects and than some awesome female and male dancers that looked like they were from the set of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, DANCING WITH THE STARS.It was like the set of a Twilight Zone episode, at least in my head. We were learning this routine along with these pros…and they picked it up after 1 try…There were many times I wanted to run and hide, or cry or just fly away…but I didnt. I could feel the beat and I could see what it was supposed to look like, and I got a few moves, but some I just guessed..

When we finally had to do it in front of the creative team, I just ran out full of joy and big question marks, with a partner who I didn’t know from Adam.. and we did a few times, and after 3 hours of a good workout we got to leave.My friend Michele who played a lead in Les Miz last year, and I compared notes that day, and the next morning of where we were sore.

DOnna McKechnie and her assistant James? were so kind and full of humor and patience. She ,by the way, is beautiful!!! and open and generous. It was just a great experience all around. FEar, joy,victory, zeal and than you wait. Anyway just thought I’d share that with you all. It was an amazing day, and than i joined my good friend Tricia to celebrate her bday/life and it truly was a day of celebrations.. out for now..xox

9 Comments so far

  1. Wanda on April 6th, 2009

    Ah Jen, another well written piece where I could experience every moment with you—I could feel everything you mentioned here as I went along on this ride with you! So amazing! What a wonderful time you had! I so hope you get this part! Yes, Donna McKechnie is gorgeous and totally amazing on stage. How awesome it would be to work with her! You certainly looked like you could dance while in JB, I know how much you had to work at it, but still, you can do it! You just bring so much more to everything you do, the dancing will fall into place with all that hard work. Prayers and good vibes coming your way! Can’t wait to hear!! Hey, see you in 4 weeks!!! xoxo Wanda

  2. Zanna on April 6th, 2009

    Fabulous blog. What can I say, “Break a leg!?”
    Donna McK can write too, loved her book.

  3. Gayle Kamen-Weinstein on April 6th, 2009

    Wow! What a day! I was thinking of you and sending you good vibes. This would be a great short story for any musical theatre student and for us living vicariously!

  4. Pamela on April 6th, 2009

    Awesome, Jen!! I could feel your energy and excitement just reading this post. Of course, the creative team for G/D loves you and are cheering. You are the best!! Sure you nailed the audition.I can just picture (wish I could hear!!) you singing that wonderful song from South Pacific. And how great that Donna M will be part of the production. She is beautiful and so talented as well. My fingers are crossed for you, girl!!! XOX

  5. Howard on April 8th, 2009

    We found the actress again,
    To be in the gambling den,
    And her name is Jen,
    And she starred with Sebastien……

    Sorry, best I could come up with, Jennifer, on such short notice. Wow, you’d be terrific in G&D, but we need to update the script to the new millenium and Adelaide needs to get with the program.

    Maybe now that he’s on the West Coast a lot, how about suggesting Christian Hoff for Sky Masterson? And Ruth Williamson would be great in a female version of Nicely-Nicely Johnson, unless Rosie O’Donnell is available!!

    Pam and I are planning to see Tituss Burgess in G&D in early May on Broadway…he’s already been warned not to sneak out the front after the show, which he tends to do when he expects a star-struck fan waiting at the stage door.

    Small world too…Donna McKechnie was in A Chorus Line with my high school classmate Nancy Lane (whom I’ll see at my upcoming 40th HS reunion). Meeting Donna has now been bumped to my #3 Broadway experience after meeting you and after being told by an AW concession attendant that the JB T-shirts run very small. (I was buying an XL for a friend and she thought it was for me!!)

  6. newjerseylasagna on April 10th, 2009

    Great news!…99.9% sure that you will be performing 4 the second time @ the Hollywood Bowl…already have tix 4 Guys & Dolls Fri/Sat/Sun…also plan to catch Natalie Cole & Faith Hill…love this outdoor venue & can’t wait!
    Happy Easter to the Naimos!

  7. Amanda on April 10th, 2009

    Glad to hear the audition went well! I’ll look forward to seeing you in Guys and Dolls this summer!

    Hope all is well with you.


  8. Doreen Shulman on April 13th, 2009

    OK, Jen, we all know you have the “triple threat”. In the words of another famous show, God, I hope YOU get it! Reading your blog, I could just imagine you singing that song and absolutely nailing it!
    Keep us posted…… :o )

    P.S. My daughter Allie has the part of Rusty in her senior high school musical, Footloose! (she’s really a highly ranked tennis player, but decided to try out on a whim since she has singing and dance training). Who knew? She gets it all from me……….. ha!

  9. Lulu Thompson on April 21st, 2009

    I was tired just reading about your audition! How do you do it? Oh, yeah, that’s right…you’ve got an “adorable” little boy who gives you a workout everyday!

    Really enjoyed the newsy post that gives a backstage look at the auditioning process…thanks!