“Grand Hotel” to premiere at the Festival Playhouse

Kristina Thomas, Features Writer

WSU’s Theatre Department will present the Broadway Musical “Grand Hotel.” The story is set in Berlin during the golden age just before the infamous crash of the New York stock exchange. It’s based on the 1929 Vicki Baum novel and play, “Menschen im Hotel” (People in a Hotel) and a 1932 feature film.

“The ‘Grand Hotel’ debuted on Broadway in 1989 and was the first American musical since Big River to run over 1,000 performances,” Assistant Professor in acting and Musical Theatre Marya Spring Cordes said. “In its opening year, it was nominated for 12 Tony Awards, winning five.”

“Of the very talented and successful large cast of original actors and replacements during the run, the most commercially recognizable names are Jane Krakowski, Michael Jeter and John Schneider,” Cordes said.

This is the first time the theatre department has performed this musical at WSU.

Any Wright State student may audition. Students interested will sign up for an audition time and come prepared with the audition requirements. For a musical, there is always a singing component (prepared song), an acting component (a memorized monologue) and a dance audition.

Once the general call is complete, the artistic team decides which actors they need to see in a callback environment, generally in the next few days. Currently there are 30 student performers and three State Management students. Some of the cast includes: Riley Able, Justin King, Taryn Lemmons, Mathys Herbert and Andrew Quiett.

“Due to the fully integrated nature of the piece, the rehearsal process has been a constant moment to moment collaboration between the Music Director, Scott Wolley, the choreographer Suzanne Winland and myself to bring the piece to life with the talented students,” Cordes said. “This is what I look forward to every day walking into our rehearsal space.”

The preview for this production will be March 13 at 7 p.m., and performances are March 14, 20, 21, 28 at 7 p.m., March 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30 at 8 p.m. and March 17, 23, 24, 30, 31 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $18 for students and seniors.

“What I enjoy is its fully integrated dialogue, music, dancing and staging makes it grand in every sense,” Cordes said.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the Box Office at 775-2500.

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