Thanks to everyone who came along to our info session today. It was great to see so many new faces, as well as lots of old friends. Find the information pack here. Further audition resources will be available upon booking your audition. To book and audition, call Kimbra on 0458 847 484 between 4-9pm.
An information session for those wishing to audition for Devonport Choral Society’s 2022 production of Disney’s FREAKY FRIDAY will be held at Forth Primary School Performing Arts Centre, Wilmot Road on Sunday 14 November. The session will start at 4pm.
The information session will be a great opportunity to meet
the Production Team, find out more about the show and get some tips on what the
Team will be looking for at auditions.
The production will be directed by Maree Brodzinski, with musical direction by Petrina Jahnz, and choreography by Elizabeth Viney and Taylor Rand.
FREAKY FRIDAY is the story of an overworked mother and her teenage daughter who magically swap bodies. They have just 24 hours before Mum’s big wedding to put things right again. FREAKY FRIDAY, a new musical comedy based on the celebrated novel by Mary Rodgers (1972) and the hit Disney films (1976, 1995, 2003), is an hilarious, contemporary update of the classic story, in which a mother and daughter see what it means to be a family while experiencing each other’s lives first hand, if only for a day.
FREAKY FRIDAY will require a musically-talented cast of 25 players to act out multiple roles for all ages. The youngest character is 10 years old, while the older characters in the story are 60+ years of age, with every age group in between. Anyone thinking of auditioning or wishing to find out more should attend.
No bookings for auditions will be taken prior to the information session and additional information is not available until then. Auditions will be held 26 – 28 November. Auditions are by appointment only.
FREAKY FRIDAY will be performed at the paranaple arts centre (Town Hall Theatre) in May 2022.
The Devonport Choral Society has just enjoyed a hugely successful season of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story at the paranaple arts centre, with the addition of a performance to the initial 10 show run, and full houses across the board.
At the closing night celebrations with cast, band and crew, Director of Buddy, Sid Sidebottom, and President of the Society, Maree Brodzinski presented the Life Members and Patrons Bursary. “The generous DCS Life Member Bursaries recognise outstanding contributions to a production and are granted to further the recipients’ skills and interests in theatre and the Arts. Past recipients have gone on to attain professional qualifications and roles in acting, singing, musicianship, composing, and theatre production. The Coast has a long tradition of nurturing musical theatre and these bursaries help to encourage and reinforce this important regional cultural trend”, said Mr Sidebottom.
“This year, because a Bursary was not awarded in 2020, we were able to offer four Bursaries, going to some very deserving cast members”, said Ms Brodzinski. Ezra Shelverton, who played Buddy Holly in the show, received the major award, with Lucas Hodge, Zac Weeks, and Taylor Rand also receiving recognition for their contributions.
Mr Sidebottom said of the recipients, “These four talented, first-rate young adults who, along with their fellow singers and musicians, shared special chemistry on stage to create a very special Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.”
“We are now turning our attention to future projects including our major show for next year, Disney’s Freaky Friday”, said Ms Brodzinski. “Buddy will certainly be a hard act to follow, but we know we have the talent in our community and a strong team to make this Tasmanian premiere another smash hit. Audition announcements will be made after the Society’s September AGM and work has already begun behind the scenes.”
Don McLean’s 1971 song, ‘American Pie’ refers to the tragic death of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper as ‘The Day the Music Died’. Well, little did he account for Sid Sidebottom and his Devonport Choral Society’s 2021 cast, because if you visit the Town Hall over the next few weeks, it will be very clear that Buddy’s legacy and music is far from dead!
Jam-packed with twenty five of the 1950’s most iconic musical numbers, we can be excused for perhaps losing sight of the minimalistic story-line. That said, what a clever choice by the Dev Choral to select this deliberate concert-style show, safeguarding any unforeseen interruptions by Covid19. This tight, well-rehearsed ensemble of twelve, lead by Ezra Shelverton in the title role of Buddy Holly, spend one hundred long minutes returning energy and colour to the stage of the paranaple arts centre.
Belinda Gunson and Jenny Slater take us on a trip down memory lane with a finely detailed, era specific set design. Wendy McCrae has matched the pizzaz of performances with equally glamourous costumes, all supporting the audiences transportation into the 50’s. McCrae and Sidebottom have worked creatively to remain culturally sensitive and respectful, yet clever in their character portrayal of sassy, soulful performers at the Apollo, played exquisitely by Tash Turner and Erin Araroa. These ladies welcome us to the Apollo, establish strong audience participation which becomes a pivotal acceleration for the energy that just keeps building from there. The storyline is carried and narrated by the charismatic DJ, Hipockets Duncan, played by Joel King. It’s great to see him returning to his home stage.
A standout moment of intimate contrast was divinely played out by Shelverton and Buddy’s soon-to-be widowed bride, Maria Elena Santiago played convincingly by Taylor Rand. This tender moment occurs in Buddy and Maria’s New York Apartment, away from the bright lights of show biz and beautifully highlights the diverse skills of these two performers.
Joy oozed from the four young men playing the Crickets. Together with Shelverton, Zac Weeks (Joe B. Mauldin), Janzen Reynolds (Jerry Allison) and an incredibly mature performance from fourteen year old new-comer, Lucas Hodge (Niki Sullivan) made us all feel like the Crickets were the coolest band to be around. It’s hard to believe that Reynolds has never played the drums! Serious hours have obviously been invested in some hard-core characterisation and musicianship, backed by the well-honed Buddy Holly Orchestra, conducted competently by David Turner.
The show ends as dramatically as Buddy’s life, but the audience is left alone to briefly reflect before the energy returns, ensuring we leave the theatre feeling as alive as the music we’ve witnessed.
In light of recent local government decisions (not too far from Devonport) to make considerable cuts to community arts projects, I urge our community to support our local theatre companies doing their very best to provide arts experiences that move us, entertain us or challenge our thinking. Netflix screens can’t possibly provide the same amount of enjoyment, nor provide the much-needed injection of culturally rich entertainment for regional communities like ours. Book a restaurant, meet some friends and get along to NOT ONLY celebrate the life and music of Buddy Holly, but the reawakening of live theatre in Devonport.
Dayna Dennison North West Ambassador – National Musical Theatre Festival Theatre Teacher, Don College
Yesterday, the Director of Public Health, Dr Mark Veitch, confirmed that from 1 May 2021, organisers of large, seated gatherings in Tasmania will be able to apply to increase their capacity to 100 per cent.
The ease in restrictions will mean increased capacity at a range of seated venues including theatres, cinemas, concert venues, places of worship, funeral homes, stadiums and arenas. The requirement to use face masks at indoor venues will also be removed.
The new directions will implement recent recommendations made by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and bring Tasmania into line with most other Australian jurisdictions, which now permit 100% capacity at large seated events, subject to a range of COVID-safe measures.
The Devonport Town Hall Theatre has been given the official all clear to stage larger-scale musicals and productions with 75% capacity, defined health and safety provisions around seating distances, the wearing of masks, and entry and exit provisions.
Don’t miss the first musical of the year – Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story.
Buddy is the account of a rock and roll legend, covering the three years from his transition from Country and Western, to his tragic departure from the world’s music scene. Following the rise and rise of Buddy Holly and the Crickets, and then later Buddy as a soloist, this musical tribute contains some 26 classic songs from the late 1950s.
Directed by Sid Sidebottom, with music direction by David Turner and Bronwyn Darvell, Buddyshowcases 25 sensational actors, singers and musicians from across the north of the State.
14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29 May at 7.30pm 22 & 29 May at 1.30pm Town Hall Theatre, paranaple arts centre 145 Rooke Street 03 6420 2900 paranapleartscentre.com.au