Andrew Lyndaker, 11, of Newcastle, was surprised by a call from his theatrical manager two weeks ago. He was asked to come to New York City to audition for a role in the new Broadway musical “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” based on the beloved tale by Roald Dahl.
His mother, Amy Lyndaker, put out a half-hearted request on Facebook for “a ride to New York” for her enthusiastic son. It seemed like a long journey for an audition. Andrew’s enthusiasm prevailed and his father, Luke Lyndaker, decided to take a day as an adventure with his son. The two made the round trip in one long day.
“The audition was fun,” said Andrew. “There were only three people there watching and I sang a song and read a scene.” Unlike many local auditions, professional auditions are closed with only the casting team watching.
“Andrew really enjoys auditioning,” said mother Amy, “and it is wonderful experience.” On Monday, April 19, another call came requesting that Andrew attend a coveted second audition. Andrew was invited to audition for the title role of Charlie in the final phase of auditions.
Andrew was delighted about his upcoming adventure last Monday. He recalled his recent role in “Elf: The Musical,” when he was away from home for nearly three months. “It was so fun and I am in touch with lots of the actors from the show,” he said. “Having my mom be my teacher was interesting,” he said, “because we both hate math.”
“Three months was a long time to be away,” said Amy. “Many people don’t understand how hard he works or that it is work. The rehearsals take hours daily, then there are days with two performances.” Both Lyndakers missed having the holidays at home from October until after New Year’s.
His parents are totally supportive of the young actor, but decided long ago that they wanted their son to live in Maine. “If we have to make adjustments we can,” said Amy. “We want the healthy life we have here as his foundation.”
It may be that the Maine upbringing is part of the reason Andrew is in demand. Last summer, when he was at the Maine State Music Theater, the stage manager said, “Andrew is a real professional but he is an actual kid, not affected and not spoiled. He works hard and does everything without complaint.”
Both parents accompanied Andrew to New York City on Wednesday, April 20. “It’s school vacation,” said Amy, “so we decided to stay overnight. His friends, the three Tolley girls, were there and they were able to hang out.”
While there, Lyndaker also had an audition for “Fun Home,” the groundbreaking musical which won the Tony for Best Musical in 2015.
Andrew and his family are all aware that the call-back audition was an honor. They are aware that the competition is fierce, especially for a leading role in a new Broadway show. “But I got to be there and be part of it,” said Andrew. “That all alone is really cool.”
It will be months before Andrew hears the result of his two Broadway auditions.
The young actor is presently appearing in Heartwood’s “Our Town,” which opens this week. At Saturday’s run-through, he was still excited about how things went at the audition. “I really learn a lot each time I audition,” he said. “I went prepared and did my best. This time there were about 10 people listening to me. Now we wait.”