BY SONALEI AMADOR
The College of the Desert musical production, Victor/Victoria, will be performed at the McCallum Theatre April 28 – 30, and May 1, 2016.
Show times vary and each show lasts roughly two hours and 30 minutes. Admission is $20- $35.
Rehearsals are in progress under the direction of director/choreographer Randy Slovacek and music director/conductor Darlene Romano.
Written and directed by Blake Edwards, Victor/Victoria is a comedic play about an out-of-work singer named Victoria who pretends to be a man impersonating a woman. After meeting a man named Toddy, Victoria disguises herself as “Victor” who performs as a female impersonator known as “Victoria.” Complications arise when a masculine Chicago gangster finds himself attracted to “Victor.”
This unique and loved play featuring issues of gender and equality originally started out as a movie in 1982, which starred academy award-winning actress Julie Andrews playing the role of “Victoria.” The original Broadway production of the musical was in 1995, again starring the talented Julie Andrews.
Slovacek has been directing and choreographing theatre for 32 years, starting when he was a sophomore in college. He staged nine productions of Hello, Dolly! He was also the director and choreographer for productions such as Sweet Charity and Bye Bye Birdie. He has performed numerous times on Broadway musicals including Hello, Dolly! and Chicago. Slovacek said he has performed many times at the McCallum but this is his first time directing a show for it.
Slovacek dedicated weeks of preparation coming up with dance numbers for the show. “I would go to a studio by myself, lock myself in the room, turn on the music, and dance for a couple of hours waiting for some inspiration to come to me,” he said.
He also explained the importance of collaborating with the actors and dancers instead of having a concrete vision. “You come in here with an idea and then you get to know the dancers or you get to know the actors playing the roles and you adjust,” Slovacek said.
The previous person who was going to direct the show, Sha Newman, passed away in early December 2015 due to cancer. Newman directed and choreographed over 70 award-winning shows and had been involved with directing and choreographing theatre productions at COD for many years.
Newman hired Slovacek as an actor several times for her shows. “I’m really honored to be doing this for Sha and I’m dedicating this show to her,” said Slovacek.
For tickets, call 760-340-ARTS or visit www.mccallumtheatre.com. For more information, call 760-773-2574.