The Chase Brock Experience performing "Splendor we only partially imagined" (Kyle Froman, courtesy Rayn or Shine PR)
For many musical theater dancers, joining Actors' Equity—the union that represents theater performers—is one of the biggest milestones in their career. All Broadway shows fall under Equity, as do many off-Broadway shows, regional productions, and national tours. However, while getting your card can be great, it can also hinder—"especially if you're just coming into the business," says dancer Travante S. Baker, who's performed in the West Side Story international tour. "A lot of theaters have to conserve money and they can't always hire Equity performers because their rates are too expensive." So, is it better to go for your card right away, or try to book lots of jobs in smaller, regional theaters first? And if you are working toward a card, how do you make the most of the process?
Kelli O'Hara as Kate/Lilli Vanessi with the cast of the Kiss Me, Kate revival (courtesy Polk & Co.)
The classic Cole Porter musical Kiss Me, Kate dazzled audiences when it first opened on The Great White Way in 1948. It went on to win the very first Tony Award for Best Musical, and it's seen London and NYC revivals almost every decade since. Tomorrow (Valentine's Day!), previews begin for its latest Broadway revival, this time by Roundabout Theatre Company. The high-energy romantic comedy based on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew features iconic tunes, including "Too Darn Hot," "So In Love," and "Another Op'nin, Another Show," and the revival will star Broadway veteran Kelli O'Hara as Kate/Lilli Vanessi, Will Chase as Petruchio/Fred Graham, and Corbin Bleu as Lucentio/Bill Calhoun. There will also be brand-new choreography by Warren Carlyle. Dance Spirit got the inside scoop on the production from dancer Christine Cornish Smith, who will also be understudying the role of Lois Lane/Bianca.
Jan Horvath with vocal students at Steps on Broadway in NYC (courtesy Horvath)
You've been perfecting your technique for years, and now you're thinking about auditioning for musicals—but how are you supposed to conquer acting and singing, too? While dance may be your number-one strength, that doesn't mean you can't bring some serious skill to the table with your vocals and your ability to portray a character. We asked singing and acting coaches about some of the most common challenges dancers face—and their tips for tackling them.
Broadway vet Cameron Adams, dancing Warren Carlyle's choreo from "She Loves Me" (screenshot via YouTube)
Okay, y'all: It's time to call it like it is. You've now been home from school for several days. You've spent some QT with the fam, gorged on all of the holiday goodies, and are finally starting to get just the sliiiiiiiiiightest bit tired of staring into space doing *~nothing~*. You've entered the little-understood (but super-prevalent) state called Winter Break Boredom. This calls for a boredom buster—and boy, do we have a great one for you.
Well, we knew on an abstract level that Broadway's-golden-age guru Warren Carlyle would produce incredible choreo for the upcoming Broadway revival of Kiss Me, Kate! We just didn't know it would be THIS incredible.