Pellissippi State puts out cast call for ‘Robber Bridegroom’ bluegrass musical

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Bring your musical instruments and singing voices to Pellissippi State Community College. Community-wide auditions get under way the end of this month for “The Robber Bridegroom,” Broadway’s hit bluegrass musical.

Auditions are open to everyone. They take place 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 28-29, in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus.

“The Robber Bridegroom” will be presented “Doyle style,” with actors playing instruments and singing throughout. For auditions, performers should bring their own instruments, if possible, to accompany their vocal tryouts.

The play is told in “story theatre” fashion—in a style that lies somewhere between storytelling and an acted-out play. Nine principal actors will appear on a unit set, thus providing extreme flexibility in staging and production and allowing each actor his or her moment to shine. The musical includes a score by composer Robert Waldman to be played by a small onstage band.

Rehearsals are Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 7-10:30 p.m., as well as occasional Wednesday evenings.

“The Robber Bridegroom” is a rousing, bawdy Southern fairy tale set in 18th-century Mississippi. The play tells the story of Rosamund, the only daughter of the richest planter in the county, and her courting by rascally robber Jamie Lockhart.

Affairs go awry by way of an unconventional case of double-mistaken identity, compounded by the machinations of an evil stepmother intent on Rosamund’s demise, a pea-brained henchman and a hostile talking head in a trunk.

The play includes one of the first genuine bluegrass scores ever heard in a Broadway musical, giving this unusual tale a distinctive sound reminiscent of the Natchez Trace Band. “The Robber Bridegroom” book and lyrics are by Alfred Uhry, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Driving Miss Daisy.” The story is based on a 1942 novella of the same name by Eudora Welty.

Pellissippi State presents “The Robber Bridegroom” at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 1-2 and 8-9. Additional performances are set for 2 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 3 and 10.

For more information, call (865) 694-6400.