Last week I joined the team in New York for the auditions for Chicago: The Musical. They have been on the road for several weeks, as they did the first round of auditions in Chicago, and then London. I joined them in New York for the final stop. Mary Ann, Christi, Paul, Robert, Sarah, and Loren were still going strong. (Lots of Starbucks)
This is a very unique opportunity and challenge for our brand, as our team that will be selecting the actors, singers, and dancers is being joined by the actual casting director from the Chicago Broadway team, so we both have to agree on the selections. This is really playing in the big leagues!
Our other challenge is the majority of the people we select also have to be right for Blue Planet, our new aerial acrobatic show and second show on Allure of the Seas, so it is a very complex process. The good news is even if someone wasn’t perfect for Chicago, but was an amazing singer or dancer, we are able to cast them in other shows across the fleet. So it was a great opportunity for us to gain additional talent for our other ships as well.
Overall, we found some amazingly talented Roxies and Velmas and the rest of the cast. A good balance of the cast will come from London and New York and even some who have performed Chicago on the West End and National Tour. It will be so interesting to see them perform on Allure after witnessing them audition and see them go through the entire process. Unfortunately Richard Gere did not make an appearance for me.
Of course we did have some giggles with some of the folks that showed up to sing. It was a little bit like being on American Idol, although our teams are much nicer than Simon. We simply thanked them for coming and said we had heard all we needed to hear for that day.
Now that we have identified the cast, we will bring them to our Hollywood Studios for rehearsals and costume fittings during the summer. We will then join Allure in October and install the show during the crossing. We will be ready to unveil Chicago: The Musical when Allure arrives in Ft. Lauderdale in November. I look forward to welcoming you all aboard what is undoubtedly the ship of 2010 and what we refer to as the “entertainment ship.”