Kelsey Casting Call: “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris”

jacques

Pierrot Productions has announced auditions for their 2017 Kelsey Theatre  production of Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. Wanna audition? Good! Here is everything you need to know!


READ MORE: “Babes in Toyland” Set to Open at The Kelsey Theatre


This is a non-union, non-paid production.

About the Show

With music by Jacques Brel and English lyrics by Eric Blau and Mort Shuman, this is the cabaret-style musical revue that first introduced the songs of Jacques Brel to the English-speaking world almost 50 years ago, and has run for record-breaking periods in productions around the world.

Audition Dates

Auditions and callbacks will be held in the Communications (CM) building adjacent to Kelsey Theatre. (On the campus of Mercer County Community College – 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor, NJ)

  • Saturday, November 5th at 1pm
  • Tuesday, November 8th at 7pm

Production Company & Creative Team

  • Presented by Pierrot Productions
  • Directed by Pete Labriola
  • Music Direction by Erica Silver

Performance Dates & Location

  • All performances will take place inside The Kelsey Theatre at Mercer County Community College
  • Performance Dates:
    • Friday, January 6 at 8pm
    • Saturday, January 7 at 8pm
    • Sunday, January 8 at 2pm
    • Friday, January 13 at 8pm
    • Saturday, January 14 at 8pm
    • Sunday, January 15 at 2pm

Rehearsal Information

Rehearsals will start as soon as casting has been completed, and scheduled in accordance wit the availability of those who have been cast. As we respect everyone’s family traditions, there will be a reduced rehearsal schedule during the holidays.

How To Sign-up

  • To make an audition appointment, please send your name, email address, cell phone number, date you’d like to attend and time frame (actual appointment slots will be assigned in the order that requests are received) to pierrotatkelsey@gmail.com.

Audition Prep

  • Auditioners are asked to sing 16-32 bars from music they feel is appropriate for cabaret entertainment (a Brel song is not necessary).
  • Bring sheet music in the appropriate key; an accompanist will be present.
  • While there is no dancing in the show, there is a fair amount of stage movement, so we will be looking for candidates who are comfortable in their own bodies.
  • Should you wish to get comfortable with the songs in the show, every number is available on YouTube – simply search “Jacques Brel is alive” and you’ll find them.

Casting

There will be 4 people in the cast, 2 men and 2 women.  The major selection criteria are the ability to interpret songs to the audience, and to blend within the group.  Reasonably strong voices are an asset, there are occasional close harmonies, and the melodies are variously vivacious, haunting, tender, dramatic, “gutsy” or combinations of all of the above. Candidates should read to a character age of 21 or above.

  • Woman 1: Soprano, middle C to E.
  • Woman 2: Soprano or alto, D to D.
  • Man 1: Baritone, D to E.
  • Man 2: Tenor, G to F#.

The vocal ranges are quite narrow, with solos always being “within the staff” and group numbers only a little wider.

For the women, a vocal sound tending towards a French cabaret singer (which sometimes can be quite light with sopranos) would be an asset – as opposed to an amplified American Idol sound.  No French accents will be used (the songs are all in English except for one which is in Flemish – we will provide coaching for that).

How To Sign-up

  • To make an audition appointment, please send your name, email address, cell phone number, date you’d like to attend and time frame (actual appointment slots will be assigned in the order that requests are received) to pierrotatkelsey@gmail.com.

Historical Notes

Jacques Brel was born in Belgium (hence the Flemish in “Marieke”) to an upper-middle-class family, and was expected to take over his father’s cardboard box business, but he lacked any interest in doing so. At the age of 20, and with limited means, he moved with his wife and two small children to Paris to make his career as a songwriter, much like an American counterpart might do today in Nashville. He soon realized that instant stardom was not his to be had, so he spent the next few years crisscrossing France, singing his own songs in hundreds of cabarets and one-night concert stands. His reputation was actually built by that, paving the way for his permanent return to Paris for the latter part of his life.

Brel was the leading French singer-songwriter during the 1950-1970’s. His songs explored facets of love, life, human foibles, war, and death. His work, though, was relatively unknown in America except to people in the music business. Two of these, Blau and Shuman, felt it should be introduced to audiences on this side of the Atlantic, so “Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well and Living in Paris” was born on January 22, 1968 at the Village Gate Theater in New York’s Greenwich Village.  It was advertised as the first “libretto-less” musical and featured 25 of Brel’s songs, translated. It ran there for over four years to packed houses, after which it enjoyed strong receptions at such places as Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, and a number of capital cities around the world. Sadly, Brel died at 48, only 10 years after the NY opening.

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3 thoughts on “Kelsey Casting Call: “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris”

  1. Have you cast the show yet?

    Like

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