September 17, 2008
Neumann Leathers is an old warehouse that is used for artists' studios, right at the southern border of Hoboken, near the tracks. Last night there was a call-back audition for The Flora Dora Girls, a play by Louis La Russo II, a Hoboken native who knew whereof he wrote.
I went to the first audition with a one-minute monologue from The Subject Was Roses, a speech where Nettie, the mother, describes her first dates with the Irish salesman-type who was to become her husband. They had asked for a monologue, the script was handy, and the character seemed to be similar to the descriptions in the play. The only thing that had worried me was the accent. I rehearsed it at home, trying on a Hoboken accent, and was amazed. With that accent, suddenly Nettie made more sense to me than she ever had. I found I could do something close to the right sounds, which amazed me even more. To see me at work on this monologue, click here.
I read with apparent ease the first time, struggling in my mind only with the accent, and was called back to the big audition last night.
The play is scheduled to be done as a staged reading, put together by a group known as gaia Studio, working out of the Neumann Leathers building. Here is their description of the play:
Flora Dora Girls is about a group of blue-collar Hoboken women, in the 60's, who come together for a weekly sewing circle. It's the one place where they don't have to be "ladies." They sew, gossip, drink coffee, laugh, cry, ask big questions, tell great stories, but most of all bond~like a fist!
We are looking for an amazingly special group of women for the original cast.
This wonderful play, will be read and work-shopped for the very first time at the Hoboken Museum and Cultural Center, part of the Hoboken Studio Artists Tour on October 19th, 2008.
There are ten women in the play, every one a strong, dynamic character, ranging in age from 15 to somewhere in their sixties. At the audition I was surrounded by such women, New York actress all, most looking to be Italian, all with instantly recognizable trained Broadway-belter voices. The script is bawdy and hilarious, and just being there was wicked fun. The people of Hoboken will love this. I can't wait to see what happens--and don't worry, if I don't get a part, I'll be in the audience!