Las Vegas actors will be getting big breaks if the CBS cop sitcom "The Odds," starring "Scrubs" regular Donald Faison, gets picked up this fall.
All exterior shooting for the series will take place in Las Vegas, while Albuquerque, N.M., will be home to interior filming.
Two days of auditions, involving about 100 actors, end today at Remington Talent Agency and Lenz Agency.
In a welcome break from Hollywood tradition, the Las Vegas auditions are for principal roles.
"There's an incredible opportunity for recurring characters and series regulars," said Dave Brown, director for Remington Talent Agency in Henderson.
"Hopefully, this is the dawning of a new era," he said.
Albuquerque has risen as a preferred film location because New Mexico has an incentive program that allows film companies to recoup 40 percent of their expenses. That means the state cuts a check for $400,000 for every million spent.
Faison, who has played Dr. Christopher Turk in 180 "Scrubs" episodes since the show started in 2001, will be lead homicide detective Tyler LaSalley.
I got invited to the audition to play a reporter who asks Faison's character: "Lt. LaSalley, you said 72 hours or less and you did it -- how does it feel to be the new sheriff in town?"
Local drama coach Gerald Gordon, whose teaching portfolio includes Oscar winner Adrien Brody, is hell-bent to make a splash on Broadway with a new musical called "Santo: A Priest in Purgatory."
Gordon, who will produce and direct the fall show, said the lead will be Italian tenor Alessandro Safina. It will be Safina's Broadway debut. He recently performed a concert in the Netherlands with Jose Carreras of The Three Tenors.
The composer was Bruce Buckingham, who is well-known in the Los Angeles music scene.
It is the story of a priest who falls in love with a member of his parish, is murdered by her girlfriend and is in purgatory awaiting the Lord's decision on whether he should be punished for breaking his vows to God and the church.
Full disclosure: Buckingham happens to be from my hometown, Terry, Mont.
Justin Timberlake, dining at Tao (Venetian) and partying with friends and business associates at Lavo (Palazzo) on Tuesday. ... Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, fresh from his annual Oscar soiree, treated 10 members of his executive management team to a dinner prepared by chef Paul Bartolotta at Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare (Wynn) on Tuesday night. ... Four-time Super Bowl champion Joe Montana, dining at N9NE Steakhouse (Palms) on Tuesday. ... "Saturday Night Live" icon Dan Aykroyd, delivering some of his Conehead lines from the 1970s during a signing appearance at Albertsons in Summerlin on Tuesday while hawking his Crystal Head vodka. Someone even brought him the top of a Conehead slot machine to sign. ... "Let It Rock" singer Kevin Rudolf, singing his hit "I Made It" at Blush Boutique Nightclub (Wynn) on Tuesday night. ... Jon Bon Jovi, taking a sentimental visit to Graceland Wedding Chapel last Friday about 5 p.m. with his children. Bon Jovi married his high school sweetheart, Dorothea Hurley, at the chapel on April 29, 1989, during a sidetrip to Las Vegas on the "New Jersey" tour. Bon Jovi was with two of his four children.
THE PUNCH LINE
"Two years ago this week, former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned. Luckily, we had a qualified backup to step right in, so everything is fine now." -- David Letterman