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Sonoma Arts Live to hold open auditions for ‘Jeeves Intervenes’

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Sonoma Arts Live is holding auditions for the comedy ‘Jeeves Intervenes,’ directed by James Jandak Wood (“Chaotic Art of Life”) from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 6, at the Theater School, 19485 Sonoma Highway Suite E.

The premise of the “Jeeves” series of stories, written by P.G. Wodehouse, is that the brilliant valet is firmly in control of his rich and foppish young employer’s life. Jeeves becomes Bertie Wooster’s guardian and all-purpose problem solver, devising subtle plans to save Bertie and his friends from boring social obligations, demanding relatives, issues with the law and, above all, problems involving women. Wodehouse derives much comic effect from having Bertie, his narrator, remain blissfully unaware of Jeeves’s machinations until, like all good stories, it is eventually revealed.

“Jeeves Intervenes” is set in 1920s British high society. London is thrown into chaos by hapless playboy Bertie Wooster, this time in cahoots with his old school chum Eustace Bassington-Bassington. The two hatch a brilliant plan to dupe their meddling relatives in order to save Bertie from an undesired marriage and Eustace from an unwanted job in India. The Chicago Sun Times called the play “a champagne cocktail of a show, as bright and engaging as a garden party in May.”

James Jandak Wood is back in the directing chair at Sonoma Arts Live, most recently having presented his original work, “The Chaotic Art of Life.”

“We are excited to have James’ vision back this spring,” says Artistic Director Jaime Love. “We can’t wait to see what he brings to life with “Jeeves Intervenes.’”

To audition for the show, actors should visit sonomaartslive.org, click on coming attractions, and follow the prompts to sign up.

The available roles include:

Bertram Wilberforce Wooster (“Bertie”), male, early 30s, a sustainable, believable upper crust English accent is critical for this character.

Spry, charming, foolish, carefree bachelor. Confident in his assumptions, which are almost always wrong. Assertive with his friend Bassy, sheepish with women, somewhat confident but always deferential with Jeeves.

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Eustace Bassington-Bassington (“Bassy”), male, early 30s, sustainable, believable upper crust English accent is critical for this character.

An old school chum of Bertie’s. Bassy falls in love easily. Defensive, bumbling, insecure, but sometimes combative with Bertie.

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Jeeves, male, late 50s to 60s, sustainable, believable upper crust English accent is critical for this character. Bertie’s valet. Strong-willed, but modest. Strong voiced, but deferential to Bertie. Always the smartest man in the room. Unflappable, serene, polished, erect, always impeccably attired and groomed. Solves every problem he encounters helping everyone, particularly Bertie, navigate life and society.

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Agatha Spencer-Gregson, female, late 50s to 60s, sustainable, believable upper crust English accent is critical for this character.

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Bertie’s aunt. Very strong willed, insensitive, loud, and bossy. Expects everyone to do exactly as she says. The only person with whom she softens is Sir Rupert, with whom it is intimated she had an affair many years ago.

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Sir Rupert Watlington, male, late 50s to 60s, sustainable, believable Scottish (preferred) or upper crust English accent is critical for this character. Sir Rupert is an ex-military man. Full of bluster, overly confident, intolerant, easily angered. Dominates the room when he enters with a booming voice and an overpowering personality.

“Jeeves Intervenes” will run May 11 to 27 at the Sonoma Community Center.