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Stage Might

An Audition for Actors With Extraordinary Day Jobs

March 11, 2001|HENRY FENWICK

THEY'RE LINED UP IN LEGGINGS AND LEOTARDS, sweatshirts and jeans, short shorts and tight tops, signing in for auditions for a new musical show. They're not all buff, but the great equalizer among these 85 eager contenders is that none of them really need this job.

These folks are the big machers in Orange County. Among them are venture capitalist Chuck Martin and philanthropist John Crean. Explaining the fund-raising process for newcomers is Sandy Segerstrom-Daniels, of the South Coast Plaza Segerstroms. All of them know that, if cast for CHOC Follies V--STAGESTRUCK!, a stage benefit for The Children's Hospital of Orange County, they'll have to generate donations worth $500, though it's hard to imagine any of them selling tickets door to door.

The previous four shows have generated $800,000 for the hospital, and the fifth, to be staged March 30 and 31 at the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, should push donations above the $1-million mark.

Director John Vaughan and choreographer Lee Martino are looking for about 100 people who can ideally sing, dance and act. They begin by putting the prospects through their paces. Martino notes that she sees "very few triple threats."

Then, a surprise. It turns out that Martin has a noteworthy bass voice and an itch to perform. When he launches into "They Call the Wind Maria," the director knows he has a definite cast member. And, out of the blue, attorney John Igarashi gets the director's attention with his intense rendition of a song from "Miss Saigon." Vaughan's quick look at Igarashi's audition resume reveals break-dancing and hip-hop among his talents. Triple threat! "This is what I wish for all year long," sighs the happy director.

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