There’s no business like Octomom business.
Christian Voltaire, a relatively unknown character actor, decided to write a musical about Nadya Suleman, the California multi-mother known as Octomom.
About 1,000 actors e-mailed asking to be part of the show before they even knew the plot, he says. More than 100 — many with the lung power to belt out a grand old Broadway show tune — showed up at auditions earlier this week.
If all goes well, “Octomom the Musical” will debut in Los Angeles June 19.
The title role is still open.
“We’re looking for a great singer, pole dancer and child-rearing comedienne,” says Voltaire. And it would help “if they looked a little like Angelina Jolie.”
Most important, he adds, “we want someone who is not going to prejudge the Octomom. We intend to portray her as an American patriot who’s doing her best to stimulate the economy the only way she knows how.”
Suleman, who gave birth to eight babies last January, has no connection with the musical. And Voltaire says he has not heard from her or her lawyer.
“They have left us alone,” he says. “Besides, we don’t mention her real name in the show. She’s a metaphor for what we consider news these days, like the ShamWow guy, Captain Sully or Bernie Madoff.”
And if the real Octomom decided she wanted to play the part herself?
“That would be incredible.”
Voltaire helped stage a protest at a Paris Hilton book signing a few years ago. He counts among his credits nine episodes playing “Boz Bishop” (under the name Christian Meoli) on the CBS series “Nash Bridges.” He has also appeared in small roles on “Dollhouse” (Thug No. 1), “Eli Stone” (Janitor) and “Everybody Hates Chris” (Monte Dealer).
“Octomom” will be his first musical, although he has produced other events in Los Angeles. He is impressed with the talents of those who have auditioned so far.
Babies flying over the audience
The show’s producers say they are looking for a women in her 20s or 30s to play the part. (Suleman is 33.)
The official casting notice requires her to be “Funny, whimsical, but not too charactery. She should be able to command authority, play broad range of facial expressions plus physical comedy. Sketch and improv experience a plus. Likable, energetic and at the same time able to be emotionally expressive and believable. Can handle musical theatre and pop styles a plus. Actress who can move.”
Did Voltaire encounter anyone like that at the auditions?
“One actress was very committed. She brought eight baby dolls with her that she pulled out of her belly as she sang,” he notes.
As for the real Octomom, Suleman is downplaying reports that police and child welfare workers visited her home this week to investigate an allegation of neglect. Her 4-year-old son Aidan (one of her six children besides the octuplets) was seen sporting a black eye and a bite mark on his back.
Suleman says one of her 2-year-old twins was responsible for the bite during a bit of harmless play. She also claims that Aidan gave himself a black eye by hitting his head on a desk.
While she is not involved in the Octomom musical, Suleman is hoping for a book deal and a television documentary series.
And she would like to continue her identification as “Octomom” — Suleman filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on April 10 to gain possession of the term when it comes to selling disposable diapers, pants, dresses, shirts and television programs.
“She’s the icon du jour,” says Voltaire. “There’s a fascination mixed with rage when it comes to why people still pay attention to her. It’s almost like watching a high-wire act.”
And what, in particular, fascinates Voltaire about his muse?
“Someone told me yesterday she got a tattoo,” he says. “She’s got 14 kids! Where does she find the time?”
“Octomom the Musical” begins performances on Fridays and Saturdays starting June 19 at the Bang Studio, 457 N. Fairfax Ave. in Los Angeles. Advance tickets cost $20. For more information: www.octomomthemusical.com.