Gig&Tell: New Huntington Theatre/Supper Club

  • 09/20/2012  10:07am

    I have not personally worked for them, but I have friends who have. From what I remember them saying, it was a whole lot of music to learn in a short period of time but an overall good experience. At least, I never heard about anyone being mistreated. That's not much, but hopefully that helps in your decision!

    Thanks for your interest in The Huntington Supper Club! We noticed the post here on Audition Update from the member who had heard it is a lot of music to learn and wanted to take a moment to clarify about the music workload for everyone "straight from the horses mouth" :)

    We always post in our breakdowns and casting notices that the job is a "high responsibility" job with a "heavy music workload." The shows DO have a lot of music in them - about 22 to 24 songs each. They are musical revue format and are full two hour long shows - so there is quite a bit of music to learn. Because of this we tend to hire folks who have been through a music program in college and who have great sight-reading and musical skills. We do our best to get the sheet music and guide recordings out to the performers as soon as possible prior to rehearsals starting so that they can become familiar with all of the music and work on it in the same way as you would work on a script prior to rehearsals beginning.

    Our music rehearsals focus on choosing the right keys for the lead singer for a song (each key is chosen to feature the singer best and the arrangements are adjusted to feature the performer the best) and to teaching the harmonies to the backups for each song. We spend several days on music this way and then continue to have musical rehearsals throughout the staging process in order to clean, clarify, and tighten all the music throughout the process.

    Again, thanks for your interest - if you have any questions please feel free to contact us at casting@thenewhuntington.com or post here in the thread. (It might take us a day or two to respond to the thread, direct email will be quicker probably :) Another resource that we make available to our potential performers is a list of past performers to call and get candid information on their experience from. When we offer someone a position we always give them a few names of folks to call who we believe will be honest with them and let them know the ups and downs of the job. Every job has ups and downs and we believe in being as honest about them as possible right from the beginning!

    09/20/2012  5:55pm

    I had the pleasure of working at the Supper Club for a summer season of 3 shows. It was a fantastic summer, I had an amazing cast--both talented and genuine--and got about a million videos for my promotional materials.

    When you do the summer season, you learn three shows in succession. There are usually around 22 songs in each show and most of them tend to feature heavy backup vocals. Not only is there a lot of music to learn, but often you're singing something in almost every number. Because you're learning three shows, you will often be performing show 1 at night while rehearsing show 2 during the day, which make for a lot of 10/12s. You need to be solid about both learning your music (the more you can have memorized before you get there of your solos and duets, the better off you will be) and knowing how your vocal health works. I have always felt my vocal technique was solid, and there were times where I was very vocally tired. It's absolutely doable, but you need to know yourself very well, because they will let you work full-voice if they don't know that you're tired. And you also shouldn't be the type of person that is ALWAYS so vocally tired that you can't sing full-voice.

    I was incredibly proud of the work my cast and I did. The producers want you to look and sound great because it makes their product great, so they're often willing to go the extra mile and work with you to find the right songs that fit into the genre of the show, the right keys for your vocal range, the right dress and jewelry, etc. They love theater and they've created a nice little atmosphere in a small town.

    And the town is VERY small. Everybody knows everybody, and even though you don't know anybody, they will know who you are. Because you're new, and you look like you're from New York, and they've seen a promotional picture of you on the producers' blog, or they've already seen you in one of the shows at the Supper Club. And if they've already seen you, they will feel like they know you. Basically, you can't hide, which means you have to be on your best behavior all the time when you're out, or it will get back to the producers.

    Truly, this is one of my favorite experiences in a theater. I learned a lot about being present at all times onstage in an intimate space, I got to sing pieces I never would have had the opportunity to sing, and I got to work with great people. My paychecks were always prompt and accurate and I was fully reimbursed for the materials I purchased for performances. It's a challenging atmosphere, in both positive and not-as-positive ways, but I would work there again in a heartbeat.

    The producers have already left a comment, and I would encourage you to get in touch with them if you have more questions. And if you have other questions that you'd want to ask somebody like me who has worked there, I'll let them know I wrote this up and I'm sure they'll gladly put you in touch with me.

    02/10/2013  1:26am

    The town is NOT horrible. Small midwest town, yes. But has all the essentials. And is full of history and wonderful people. And Huntington is less than a half hour from Fort Wayne (2nd biggest city in Indiana) and will have everything you need. As a Huntington native, I will defend this small quirky town!

    02/06/2014  5:54am

    I just finished my first contract at The New Huntington Theatre and I had
    such a lovely experience! Unlike the above reviewers who worked the
    summer season, I was there for their holiday show. It was a quick 6-week
    contract with just one show – 3 weeks rehearsal, and 3 weeks of
    performances. Yes, that does sound like a long rehearsal period, but as
    we were the first cast to perform in their renovated auditorium, they
    scheduled some extra time for tech in the new space. Rehearsals were
    usually 8-9 hours each day (10-7ish), with a 1 or 2-hour lunch break, and
    we had one day off each week (except for the week of Thanksgiving, when
    we had Thursday and Sunday off).

    In regards to the town of Huntington - it is a very small town, its
    highlights being:

    1.) An adorable antique store/soda shoppe where you can get a huge ice
    cream float with any of their 100+ flavored sodas from around the world
    for just $3.50!

    2.) A coffee shop with homemade candies and chocolates

    3.) A few bars and a diner

    4.) The New Huntington Theatre

    So, as there are a few things to do directly in town (walking distance
    from the cast housing), Huntington is not a booming metropolis. However,
    about 5 minutes down the road, there is a Walmart, grocery store, movie
    theatre, Pizza Hut, Bob Evans, Anytime Fitness, and a few other strip
    mall stores and restaurants. Also, Fort Wayne is about a 40-minute drive
    from Huntington and we found PLENTY to do there, including laser tag, a
    trampoline park (seriously), ice-skating, a roller-rink, two large malls
    and some great restaurants. I always enjoy getting out of NYC for a bit,
    so I honestly found Huntington charming and Fort Wayne fun and
    inexpensive (which we all know is a plus!). IF YOU HAVE ACCESS TO A CAR,
    BRING IT! Now, I did NOT have a car during my contract, but one of our
    cast members did, so we were able to get out during our free time. The
    producers will never leave you completely stranded and will always make
    sure you get where you need to go, but having a car will definitely make
    your life much more enjoyable.

    As you will probably have experienced in your audition, the producers are
    very friendly. They do their best to hire actors who they think will work
    hard and get along with each other. They are also extremely generous
    people. When I arrived, they took me and my cast mate out to lunch after
    picking us up at the airport, let us unpack, took us to the grocery store
    to stock up, and then took us out to dinner once the last cast member
    arrived. And that was just the first day! They really went above and
    beyond anything I could have ever expected. A few weeks ago they even
    drove 3 hours to see my touring production in Detroit just to keep in
    touch! Seriously, they're great people!

    Obviously, I had a great experience here and I'm looking forward to
    working with The New Huntington Theatre again soon. I tried my best to
    give the positives and negatives, but I don't really have any negative
    things to say. If you can't stand small towns, this is not the theatre
    for you, but otherwise it's a fantastic place to work! It pays better
    than most summer theaters, it's incredibly professional and they hire
    amazing talent (hopefully you!).

    If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact Joel and Rich, and
    if you'd like, they can put you in touch with me and/or other actors who
    they've worked with in the past.

    02/18/2014  12:36am

    Avoid. Joel Froomkin and Rich Najuich are terrible directors. They constantly meddle in your persona life and stir the pot. They told our stage manager that they "Love cast drama, so see if you can start some or find some out." Who says that? Terrible horrible people. They're apparently moving locations, so no longer in Indiana and maybe they'll resurface under a new name, but please avoid. You will 100% regret it.

    12/28/2014  3:38am