Attorney happy to pay the price of fame
‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’
Bailiwick Chicago Theater, Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago.
Previews are 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28 and Wednesday, Jan. 30; regular run is 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31-Feb. 2. $20 previews ($15 ages 12 and under), $45-$55 regular run.
(773) 969-6201; bailiwickchicago.com.
Paula Goedert has had some of the best roles on stage that money can buy.
That’s because the Oak Park resident is an annual participant in the Chicago Casting Auction. It’s an opportunity for nonprofessionals to be in a professionally-directed and staged theater production by bidding on parts. This year, Goedert will play Joseph’s brother Simeon in Bailiwick Chicago Theater’s production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
“We hate Joseph. We’re jealous of him,” Goedert said, immediately slipping into character. “The thing about this show is that it proves that human emotions have not evolved in 6,000 years. It’s about sibling rivalry and the fact that jealousy breeds hatred. We brothers first try to kill Joseph. Then we sell him into slavery.”
The role is a challenge for Goedert because of her fondness for the actor cast in the lead. “That’s hard for me because I love the guy and I don’t like throwing him in a pit and then selling him into slavery,” she said. “As a famous actor once said, ‘It’s called acting.’”
This is Goedert’s seventh Chicago Casting Auction role.
“I had always loved singing and performing but it’s not easy to find a chance to do it — a low-level amateur like me,” she joked. Besides, Goedert does have a day job that keeps her kind of busy.
“I’m an attorney,” she said. “So I have no background in performance other than the fact that attorneys are always ‘on’ and are typically made of 100 percent pure ham.”
Goedert’s first Auction role was as Cowgirl Number 6 in “Annie Get Your Gun.” “Walking onstage to the Irving Berlin music of ‘There’s no Business Like Show Business,’ was a transforming experience,” she recalled. “When you get a little older, most of the surprises that life hands you are not good ones. People get sick, the older generation dies, your kids have problems. To find a fantasy Broadway camp — which is what this really is — was where you can have fun doing things you love to do without performance pressure because the audience for our show is typically our friends and family.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean that every family member is thrilled to see them on the stage. Goedert insisted that her two sons, ages 22 and 30, “would like to sink through the floor” when they see her perform. She joked that she has made them see her in every show “totally against their will.”
Goedert’s largest role was as a member of the baseball team in last year’s production of “Damn Yankees.”
Her latest role is the third time that Goedert has played a male onstage. It doesn’t bother her because “I live in a male-dominated world — the world of law,” she said. “It’s fun for me to cross-dress and play the part of a male.”
It’s also fun for Goedert to meet new people and forge new friendships through the shows. “My best friend in the cast is a heavy equipment operator — a fantastic guy,” she noted. “I wouldn’t meet him in the normal course of my life. Through these rehearsals, we get to be friends.”
Goedert concluded that the Chicago Casting Audition is the perfect outlet for her yen to be onstage. “I don’t have the most talent,” she laughingly admitted. “But I’ve managed to buy a part for myself in every performance.”