Phantom of the opera

I recently attended the Melbourne media call for Phantom of the Opera (now playing at the arts centre) ahead of opening night. And Melbourne let me just say that your honestly in for a real treat. I had goose bumps and tears and it wasn’t even the full show. But don’t take my word as you’ll see by these sneak peaks that it’s a show not to be missed.

x Steph

Josh Piterman talks Phantom and his inspirations growing up
Music of the night (Josh Piterman and Amy Manford)
All I ask of you (Amy Manford and Blake Bowden)
Masquerade (Full company of Phantom Of The Opera)

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

I very recently had the great joy & privilege of attending the media call for Charlie & the chocolate factory ahead of their season here in Melbourne. Naturally, I was beyond thrilled, but I have a confession to make, I didn’t know what to expect as it was my first big major one (yes I know) but I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly & professionally it was handled. Once greeted & escorted into the theatre of her majesty’s, we were greeted by the show’s director who introduced each of the three numbers the cast performed & also gave us a good insight into the show/cast as a whole. My little theatre heart was right at home taking videos & photos of the jazzy numbers, all the while not being able to wipe the smile off my face. 

After the proceedings, we then were invited to meet some of the lead cast & given the opportunity of short interviews. The cast were all so down to earth & generous with their time. But due to being pushed for time I was grouped with another two people to do the interviews. I only managed to ask one question each to the cast members as the others were quite pushy in getting in their bit. So I apologize for that, as I would have liked to have done more. But I hope you enjoy all the media call content none the less.  

x Steph

Elijah Slavinskis (Charlie Bucket)

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Paul Slade Smith as Willy Wonka
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The Secret Garden Media Call

Yesterday’s media call was a dream and if I’m honest one of those pinch me moments. I so love being apart of this industry (even if it’s at times small) I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

x Steph

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Principal cast of the 25th Australian production Alinta Chidzey, Robert Mcdougall (Dr Neville Craven) Georgina Hopson (Lily) Anthony Warlow (Archibald Craven) Rowena Wallace (Mrs Medlock) and Rodney Dobson
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Anthony Warlow (Archibald Craven)

Georgina Hopson (Lily)

Chicago Media Call

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Alinta Chidzey (Velma Kelly) and Natalie Bassingthwaighte (Roxie)

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Casey Donovan (Mama Morton) and Jason Donovan (Billy Flynn)
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Full cast and ensemble of Chicago
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Principal cast of Chicago

Come from away

First media call back since covid19 shut down theatre across Melbourne. Oh how very special this morning was.

x Steph

Full company of Come From Away

Zoe Gertz as Beverley and the Come From Away company

Kellie Rode as Bonnie

Kelly Rode talks Come From Away and being back in theatre

Fun home media call

Another day another Media Call today it was for Melbourne’s Theatre Company’s Production of Fun Home. Always count myself so blessed to be able to do what I do and support such amazing people.

x Steph

Raincoat Of Love Performed by the full company of Fun Home

Adam Murphy talks Fun Home and what audiences can expect

Courtney Monsma interview ‘In the light’ album release

I recently had the honour and pleasure of chatting with Queensland musical theatre star Courtney Monsma on her debut album release ‘In the light’ The debut album features nine covers that musical theatre lovers will adore and also one original that was written during Frozen’s Covid shutdown in Melbourne last year. Listeners will recognise several of the cover tracks including Sara Barellies ‘She Used To Be Mine’ from Waitress and Jason Robert Brown’s ‘I’m Not Afraid of Anything’ from Songs For A New World. The Album also features two very special tracks from Frozen The Musical ‘True Love’ and ‘I Can’t Lose You’ a heart felt duet with Courtney’s co-star Jemma Rix who plays Elsa in the hit Broadway show. ‘In The Light’ is now available to purchase in cd form from courtneymonsma.com and available to stream on Itunes and spotify

Welcome to That theatre life Courtney and congratulations on your debut album ‘In The Light’ it is devine. What was it that sparked your interest in performing initially? specially in musical theatre

I remember I was eight years old and I watched my older sister perform in the musical Annie and I remember sitting there and hearing the orchestra and watching the show and realising how amazing theatre was. And that was the moment where I knew I wanted to pursue it.

Your Album is incredibly moving, what were your musical influences for this album and what was the best thing about recording and creating a body of work compared to someone else’s?

Definitely, I think music itself is very inspiring and it makes you feel a certain way. So I think that was my biggest inspiration was how does this make me feel and how can that be impactful? That came into play a lot when we were recording just to try and make the songs sound a little different, that was really important to me. I’ve got lots of musical influences, all the composers in the songs I was singing are incredible. So they definitely influenced my choices. But I just wanted it to feel a bit more authentic to me. But my favourite part was having the license to play and to play around with the songs. In live performance you do it once. So it was nice to be in that controlled environment. I felt quite calm which was nice.

What was the process like creating the album, choosing the songs, the recording structure and how did you choose the songs you wanted to feature?

So I was actually going to the studio after Frozen shows of a night and also on my day off i’d go so it was a very busy time but also really exciting to do. When it came to picking the songs I started with a very long document. I wanted to try and cover different genres so I had a few options for each and then narrowed it down in terms of what story I would best tell. It was hard but I think I was happy in the end.

Are any of the songs your favourite or hold a special meaning to you?

I honestly think it depends on the day and when I listen to it. One moment I can be like oh that one and then the next no wait its that one. But I do think ‘She Used To Be Mine’ is a very favourite song for me. I always love singing Sarah Barellies music it’s just so beautifully written. And I don’t think I’d be ready to play that role ever. so being able to tell that story on an album is really exciting for me.

Your currently playing Princess Anna in Australia’s Frozen what attracted you to the role and what is it like playing a beloved Disney Princess?

I think it speaks for itself, you know Anna is such a cool character. She’s so quirky and she leads with her heart, she’s courageous. And I just loved all the qualities about her. I also have an older sister, so I was relating to that as well with Anna. Then of course seeing the show on Broadway made me go wow she gets such cool material to sing. So that definitely made me want to play her. It’s amazing to play her but she’s also hard work like she doesn’t stop running around ever, but it’s super rewarding. And if I’m honest with you still a challenge everyday even though we’ve done the show for over a year.

What is it like playing alongside Jemma Rix and having her sing on the album?

It’s a true honour and I mean that, She is one of my favourite people ever and I aspire to be like her. So it’s an honour to work with her on stage. She’s the best Elsa and having her apart of the Album is a really nice thing for me to have and look back at this time shared together.

What three performers dead or alive would you love to have a dinner party with and why?

My ultimate would be Judy Garland, Wizard Of Oz was my favourite film. And I think she had it pretty rough in her career and I would just love to talk to her. I think she is so amazing. I would have to have Jemma Rix there to as I think she’d also love to ask some questions. I’d also love to meet Elvis that would be amazing.

Do you have a role in any musical theatre or theatre straight piece that you are dying to play?

It changes all the time, I actually don’t think I know at the moment. I think Anna is so challenging so I feel very fulfilled in that. But Definitely when I’m older I really want to play Mama Rose in Gypsy or Fanny Bryce in Funny Girl. That would be pretty cool.

Thankyou Courtney for joining me today I wish you all the best for your debut album success and the tour of Frozen the musical.

Six The Musical Media Call

Given the last two years of covid shutdowns any chance I have of doing what I love and supporting melbourne’s theatre industry is a real blessing and privilege. And yesterdays media call for Six was no exception. Enjoy this sneak peak of two numbers from the show.
x Steph

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Six

9 to 5

Another day another media call… Melbourne if 9 to 5 the musical doesn’t put a smile on your face i don’t know what will. I had the joy of attending the media call ahead of opening night and let mw tell you your in for a real treat. hope you enjoy this little sneak peak

x steph

Full company of 9 to 5
Opening number

Casey Donovan, Marina Prior, Caroline O’Conner, Eddie Perfect, Erin Clare

Hairspray

I had the privilege of being at the media call for Hairspray today ahead of opening night on Monday night here in melbourne. And wow let me just say your in for a real treat. Hope you enjoy this sneak peak into the going’s on of today and my chat with Rob Mills.

x Steph

Rob Mills talks Hairspray and his role as Corny Collins
Full company of Hairspray the musical Shane Jacobson, Todd Mckenny, Rob Mills, Rhonda Burchmore, Carmel Rodrigues….