RED BANK – Have you ever wanted to do-be-do-be-do to an audience of Strangers in the Night?
The Sinatra Birthday Bash, an annual musical celebration of Frank Sinatra in honor of his birthday, will be held this year on Dec. 7 at the Count Basie Theatre. The audition period for eight to 10 of New Jersey’s finest saloon singers, selected specifically for this show, is now open. Those chosen will perform at the historic theater that night backed by the 17-piece Red Bank Jazz Orchestra under the musical direction of Joe Muccioli.
The Sinatra Birthday Bash is not a costume-and-wig show. It’s a sincere, respectful tribute in song to one of New Jersey’s most famous sons, who on Dec. 12 would have been 97 years old.
Each year a brand new cast of featured vocalists, plus a possible back-up singing group that are called the Sinatra Guys and Dolls, is selected for the show. Males, females, small vocal ensembles and talented performers of all ages are encouraged to apply.
The theater is not necessarily interested in Sinatra imitators, but is more interested in finding singers who can sing in the Sinatra style, and interpret the great songs of the American Songbook, the tunes associated with Sinatra, in their own way.
Each featured vocalist will perform two songs, one on each set, with the band, and participate in the opening number and the finale. Performers must attend rehearsals with the musical director as needed, be in attendance at a cast staging rehearsal with piano accompaniment on a date to be announced, attend the dress rehearsal at 2 p.m. Dec. 7 and participate in the 8 p.m. show that night.
Featured vocalists will receive an honorarium of $250 per singer or ensemble. Backup singers will receive $100 per singer.
Those interested in auditioning must do so by CD, no in-person auditions will be held. Interested singers are asked to send a resume, head shot, and an audio CD with recordings of three songs of their voice in the Sinatra style to: Numa Saisselin, CEO, Count Basie Theatre, 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, NJ 07701.
The deadline for submissions is July 1. Those auditioning must be sure to include their name, address, phone number and email address.
Those who burn their own CDs are asked to be sure it plays in a standard CD player. It is suggested that the CD contain offbeat selections from the Sinatra and American Songbook canons.
Those auditioning have a better chance of standing out if their recording is not the 45th version of Summer Wind being heard.
Singers selected for the show will perform with a band; a cappella. Recordings are not encouraged as audition material. Due to the large volume of submissions, materials will not be returned.
The Sinatra Birthday Bash is a gala event co-produced annually by Jazz Arts Project, Inc. and Count Basie Theatre, Inc., both nonprofit organizations. Visit them on the web at jazzartsproject.org and countbasietheatre.org.