Peeling the Curtain Back on IDAHO! Auditions

Posted on Friday, April 8, 2016

IDAHO! The Comedy Musical, which premieres at The Smith Center July 6-17, had bushels of performers auditioning in Las Vegas for the Broadway-bound production. This was no coincidence, as co-composer Keith Thompson who is based here (“Jersey Boys” music director), knows about home-grown talent, as well as IDAHO! knows about home-grown potatoes.

The auditions were an open call, which meant that anyone with the talent and guts to audition for Thompson, The Smith Center and the New York casting director and choreographer were welcome. “I’m a big fan of the caliber of talent in Las Vegas,” said Thompson, “and I was pleased to be able to share that talent with the people in New York.”

It was serendipitous that Myron G. Martin, President and CEO of The Smith Center, had been in New York and had heard about readings for the musical there. He arranged to attend one and asked Thompson the key question: What about bringing the show to Las Vegas?

The idea didn’t have to bake for long. Thompson was all for it.

And so the auditions began in front of the creative minds at The Smith Center. The performers who auditioned came from all walks of Las Vegas entertainment; it was their chance to yam it up.

“We were all very surprised and pleased with the amount of turnout that there was,” said Thompson. Generally, casting directors from New York usually expect smaller crowds but word had spread about the appeal of this musical, written by Thompson and his friend, Buddy Sheffield. Sheffield had conceived the musical while brainstorming as he drove from the east coast to west coast.

There will be additional auditions in New York and then the decisions on casting will be finalized, followed by rehearsals in June. And Thompson is optimistic that some of the Las Vegas talent will be represented.

“We can’t skimp on this at all, “says Thompson. “It has to be like as if we’re casting the Broadway show. It has to be good enough for the world.”

Now, that’s not a half-baked idea.

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