• Broadway Beat

Actor Underestimates Movement Callback, Dies

by James Neufield. @jamesneuf.

NEW YORK, NY – Stage actor Curtis Callahan, 26, of Aurora, Colorado passed away Wednesday morning while attending a movement callback, that turned out actually to be full-on choreographed dancing, for The 121st Street Players' production of “Sunday in the Park with George,” sources confirmed.


"We were in the 58th measure of the 144 measure routine when I just heard a scream and several bones cracking, followed by a big thump as his head hit the floor," accompanist Gerald Gillespie recalled. "Our Movement Captain, Sue, rushed over to check on him but it was already too late. Another fallen actor who thought they didn’t need several years of intense dance training and conditioning for a role with very little dancing. It’s a tale told far too often."


Movement Captain Sue Schenectady was wary of Callahan partaking in the callback in the first place.


"I could tell from the moment I laid eyes on the boy that this was going to be too much for him. He walked in wearing some old New Balance sneakers and red mesh basketball shorts. No movement shoes, no leotard like the rest of the performers. He just looked so out of place!"


Callahan's mother, Carol, a former actor, was devastated by the news, but not necessarily surprised.


"I talked to Curtis Tuesday night and warned him that 'movement' actually means dance and that he better make sure he stretches, hydrates, and takes a few advances classes beforehand. He always had an incredible singing voice but could never dance a lick. He said to me 'Mama, it's for Sunday in the Park, the characters that I'm called back for are all pretty much immobile parts of a painting, how much dancing could there be?' My son was a fool."


Services for Callahan will take place at St. Ferguson's Anglican Church in Aurora. Tickets for Sunday in the Park with George are available now on the 121st Street Players' website. Use promo code RIPCURTIS for $3 off.