Last summer I was offered the opportunity to host a talent search for a young girl to play a character named Dorothy in a show entitled WiZaRD. WiZaRD's "Dot" wasn't the standard Wizard of Oz Dorothy, rather, a character by the same name in a musical celebrating the music of OZ composer Harold Arlen. Arlen's songs include, "Get Happy," "Stormy Weather", and all the songs from 1939's Oz. The show -- had it gone as scheduled -- was supposed to run last December at Lincoln Center in NYC. The talent search took place in eleven shopping malls across the US. Our first city was LA, our last NY. I took the gig, rented a large RV, a driver, two cameramen, brought along two friends and my dachshunds Susie and Jack. (click on his name for my recent obituary on our marvelous companion)
From our first stop turnout for the talent search was surprisingly light. Even though we didn't have lines of hopefuls, those who did show up to audition were the best each city had to offer. Competition was stiff. The girls were inspiring if not remarkable. At each city, we'd set up our camera capturing the unfolding talent. On my website, GregoryWayTV.com you can watch each episode. We're releasing one every Friday. Our current episode is Denver -- our third stop.
In Denver our local winner was Jenna Anne Bainbridge. Jenna is physically challenged but it's evident her talent and tenacity never let it get in her way. Her rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was the best since Garland. She was a winner from the first note. Jenna explained she is a member of a Denver-area theatre group called PHAMALY. PHAMALY was formed back in 1989 out of a desire to give opportunities to actors who might otherwise be overlooked due to their challenges. When you meet Jenna you know any company would be lucky to cast her. Her audition was spectacular.
Worth more than just noting was a young lady in Las Vegas, who was not our local winner -- but Andy, my cameraman, and I thought she was spectacular.
At GregoryWayTV.com I am blogging in an attempt to decode this mysterious thing called life. It's a webisode that looks like reality, but reality has little to do with TV. I hope you enjoy the site.