Soldier Show on its way to Army bases in Europe
Stars and Stripes May 13, 2004
Troops yearning for a shot in the spotlight should check out this year’s Soldier Show, now making its way to Army bases in Europe.
Director Victor Hurtado is looking for talent for future productions and will hold informal auditions before or after performances on post.
“It gives me a chance to identify the talent and know where they are,” Hurtado said. “More formal auditions are later in the year.”
In the past, the Army sent out mass audition requests to troops. Hurtado takes a more hands-on approach, he said, which pinpoints candidates. During the impromptu auditions, he asks the soldier to sing for 90 seconds a cappella. From that, he can gauge their experience.
The tour’s first European dates were Sunday in Stuttgart, Germany, followed by Tuesday evening’s performance at Heidelberg’s Patrick Henry Village housing area.
Hundreds of soldiers and their families packed the Village Pavilion ballroom for the free show. Lt. Gen. William E. Ward, deputy commander of U.S. Army Europe, kicked off the 90-minute variety show “The Heart of a Soldier.”
Before the show Tuesday, Pfc. Joe Rochel of V Corps took his best shot. He sang an a cappella version of Beethoven’s “Ode To Joy,” singing in German, followed by a country song.
Rochel, 27, of Manhasset, N.Y., showed Hurtado his portfolio, with pictures showing him playing characters such as the Grinch and the Tin Man, from “The Wizard of Oz.”
While Hurtado made no promises during the brief meeting, he encouraged Rochel to follow through with the formal application process, which involves a videotaped performance.
“It was kind of a ‘we’ll find a way to get you involved,’ ” Rochel said. “If a role comes along, maybe I’ll get a call. Just to be in the loop is exciting.”
The schedule ...
Darmstadt, Germany — Friday, AAFES Theater, Cambrai-Fritsch Casern, 7 p.m.
Hanau, Germany — Sunday, Fliegerhorst Fitness Center, 7 p.m.
Kaiserslautern, Germany — Tuesday, Galaxy Theater, Vogelweh, 7 p.m.
Baumholder, Germany — May 21, Wagon Wheel Theater, 7 p.m.
Wiesbaden, Germany — May 23, Taunus Theater, 7 p.m.
Würzburg, Germany — May 26, Leighton Barracks Physical Fitness Center, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Ansbach/Illesheim, Germany — May 28, Storck Barracks, 8 p.m.
Grafenwöhr, Germany — May 31, Tower Theater, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Bamberg, Germany — June 2, BASICS Building, 7 p.m.
Vicenza, Italy — June 5, Caserma Ederle Fest Tent, 9 p.m.