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'Contact' cast shows off some moves

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The cast of “Contact” gave a public demonstration of the rehearsal process Thursday night for the Tony Award-winning musical that opens the Asolo Repertory Theatre season Oct. 23. The production is a joint venture with the Sarasota Ballet, which hosted a talk about the show in the Historic Asolo Theater.

Rather than just talk about the show, director and choreographer Tomé Cousin decided to show the audience how the musical comes together.

He and associate choreographer Leanna Smith, both veterans of the musical created by Susan Stroman and John Weidman, taught cast members a portion of one of the swing dances that make up the third section of the three-part show.

Tome Cousin, director and choreographer of "Contact," talks about the show with some of his cast members. HERALD-TRIBUNE PHOTO / JAY HANDELMAN

Tome Cousin, director and choreographer of "Contact," talks about the show with some of his cast members. HERALD-TRIBUNE PHOTO / JAY HANDELMAN

Within a few minutes, all the cast members gathered on stage had the steps down and performed them to the song “Sweet Lorraine.”

The cast includes numerous Broadway and musical theater veterans along with seven members of the ballet company, most of whom are adjusting to a different type of dance style.

Cousin and Smith have worked together on several regional productions of “Contact” in the last few years. The Sarasota production is the first in the country to be produced by both a theater and a ballet company.

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Jay Handelman

Jay Handelman is the theater and television critic for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, where he has worked since 1984. He also is President of the Foundation of the American Theatre Critics Association and a two-time past chairman of the association's executive committee. He can be reached by email or call (941) 361-4931. Follow him at @jayhandelman on Twitter. Make sure to "Like" Arts Sarasota on Facebook for news and reviews of the arts.
Last modified: August 18, 2011
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