Strictly Ballroom the Musical comes to QPAC next week!
This joyous production, based on the much-loved Australian film, has audiences dancing in the aisles in a kaleidoscope of colour and fun.
Directed by Baz Luhrmann, Strictly Ballroom the Musical features classic songs from the film including Love is in the Air and Time after Time, as well as some wonderful new songs by artists such as Eddie Perfect and Sia.
The cast includes Thomas Lacey and Phoebe Panaretos as Scott Hastings and Fran with Bob Baines, Darren Gilshenan, Natalie Gamsu, Robert Grubb, Fernando Mira, Heather Mitchell and Mark Owen-Taylor leading an ensemble of over 40 performers.
I took Ellie Ferguson (Year 10 at Matthew Flinders Anglican College) on her birthday to meet Nadia Coote at The Big Pineapple recently. Nadia is Tina Sparkle, the ambitious ballroom dancer made famous in the film by Sonia Kruger. Nadia took some time out from teaching her Heavenly Pineapples dance routine to local cheerleaders to chat with Ellie about her performing arts training and the joys of touring a show. Happy birthday, Ellie!
“I kinda’ fell into theatre and I don’t want to stop – it’s a real passion of mine”, Nadia told Ellie. Winning the role of Penny in the original touring production of Dirty Dancing was the step Nadia needed to get off the cruise ship circuit and into musical theatre. Now she wouldn’t do anything else.
“We have an eight show week and tech rehearsal and cover rehearsals…outside of the show I keep up my singing training. I keep up with my singing lessons every week. We get one day off a week…so you don’t get a whole lot of time (outside of the show) but I love it, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s so much fun.”
Ellie asked Nadia about her role in the show and learned that Nadia feels more comfortable when she is acting. “I’m lucky. In Strictly Ballroom I do have one song by myself but it’s a comedy song. So I love singing when it’s more about the acting.”
The conversation turned to the demands of the industry on performers to continually train as “triple threats” (actors, singers and dancers). “In theatre you’ve gotta’ push yourself in all areas – there’s so much competition”, explained Nadia.
And what’s Nadia’s advice for Ellie and other aspiring triple threats? “Keep at it. The more you can do, even if you feel like it’s not working, do it. The more you do the better you’ll get at it.”
Nadia was so generous with her time, talking with Ellie and teaching the local “Sharks” cheerleading team. And I finally got to catch up with QPAC Publicity extraordinaire, Inga Tracey!
Strictly Ballroom the Musical opens at QPAC, Brisbane, Thursday September 9. Book here.
An audio described performance is available on Wednesday 7 October 2015 at 1pm & Friday 9 October 2015 at 7.30pm. There will be an Auslan Interpreted performance on Sunday 11 October at 3pm.