Musical favourite dances on to city stage
THE classic tale of a young maverick who risks his dancing career by choosing to follow his heart and his feet will be performed at the Ipswich Civic Centre this September.
Cast members from Ipswich Musical Theatre Company have begun rehearsing their dance steps and vocal cords for this musical which was inspired by Baz Luhrmann's movie, Strictly Ballroom.
Over six big shows from September 14-23, audiences will relive the magic of the 1992 hit performed by a number of talented locals.
Strictly Ballroom follows the character of Scott Hastings, a champion ballroom dancer who is determined to break all the rules.
With a determination to dance to the beat of his own drum, Hastings upsets the Australian Ballroom Dance Committee when he insists on dancing non-regulated steps with a beginner named Fran at the prestigious Pan Pacific Championships.
The two misfits, while on their quest to prove the committee wrong, rediscover their love of dance and uncover new feelings for one another.
Some familiar faces the audiences will recognise in this upcoming show include Annabelle Harbison and Brendan Dieckmann, who have both played some pretty big roles in other productions showcased by the Ipswich Musical Theatre Company.
In this production, both will be playing the roles of two prominent characters who firmly believe Scott has gone crazy, and that the steps from classic ballroom dances should remain unchanged.
They believe Scott will lose the championships if he is to dance his own steps.
Both have been joining the entire cast for rehearsals four times a week, which they say have been challenging but fun at the same time.
"Being on the stage is fun," Annabelle said. "It's my happy place.
"We rehearse for three hours at a time, and the challenging part has been learning the actual ballroom steps and proper Latin dance steps.
"Every week we get better and more in sync."
Brendan echoed Annabelle's comments, saying "it's been fun because you get to dress up and have a little bit of a sing".
"Being this is a musical, our first month of rehearsals was getting all the songs down.
"But we have also been dancing each week and learning new steps, learning the challenges of dancing with a partner, and learning different styles such as tango, rumba, merengue and ballroom, just to name a few."
The feisty character Barry Fife, who tries to pull Scott into line, saving the Australian Ballroom Dance Committee from embarrassment, is played by Rob Shearer, another big name from the Ipswich Musical Theatre Company.
"This is a really fun and different role," he said. "I keep playing psychopaths, such as playing the Phantom in the Phantom of the Opera, the Wizard when we did Wicked and Jean Valijean in Les Miserables.
"Barry isn't a particularly nice character.
"You have got this whole thing about the power plays within committees and the chairman who has been there for way too long, and who has lost all sight of change - the status quo should not be moved.
"There is some very good one liners in this show and some fun, naughty bits," he said. "It's always great fun to push the boundaries with."
With a spectacular wardrobe, dazzling choreography and world wide hit songs like Time after Time and Love is in the Air, audiences will be sure to be toe tapping and dancing in their seats.
Tickets are $68 for adults, $58 for concession and $35 for children.
If you book with a group of 12 or more people, your seat prices will come down to $58 each, a saving of $10 per seat.
Strictly Ballroom will be performed at the Ipswich Civic Centre at 7.30pm on September 14, 15, 21 and 22, and at 1.30pm on September 16 and 23.
Book your tickets online at www.ipswichciviccentre.com.au or www.ipswichmusicaltheatrecompany.com.au.