IT is considered one of the hottest tickets in town among theatre lovers – the WAAPA mid-year musical.
The much-anticipated cultural calendar event gives the revered performing arts institution’s second and third-year music theatre students a chance to shine on the stage, and punters a rare opportunity to witness the next generation of talent before they graduate and get snapped up by touring companies.
For native Sydneysider Emily Hart – who moved to Perth three years ago after securing a coveted place at WAAPA – playing the titular lead role in this year’s Thoroughly Modern Millie is the realisation of a dream.
“When you come to WAAPA, these big flashy musicals are what you dream of doing,” Hart told Community.
“I watched it (Crazy For You) in my first year and was blown away and then featured in the ensemble the year after (in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying) and now to get to be the lead in my final year, it’s an absolute dream come true.”
Helmed by seasoned director Crispin Taylor and based on the 1967 film of the same name starring showbiz legend Julie Andrews, Thoroughly Modern Millie debuted on Broadway in 2002 and became a multiple Tony Award-winner.
Set in the roaring 1920s, it tells the story of naïve young woman Millie Dillmount, who finds herself in the midst of a series of madcap adventures when sets her sights on marrying her wealthy boss.
“Millie comes to the big city of New York from a small town of Kansas and has so much pluck and charisma,” Hart said.
“She will stop at nothing to get what she wants and I see that in myself, as I really want to make this industry work for me.”
Hart’s earliest theatre memory was watching Annie as a seven-year-old, but it wasn’t until she was cast as Sandy Olsson in her year 11 high school production of Grease that she “fell head over heels” with musical theatre.
The 21-year-old hopes to emulate one of WAAPA’s many success stories, which includes stage starlet Lucy Durack and Hollywood heartthrob Hugh Jackman.
“I’ve seen two years of graduates leave and the success that are having really empowers me.”
Thoroughly Modern Millie
Where: Regal Theatre, Subiaco
When: June 15-22 at 7.30pm (June 15 and 22 matinees at 2pm)
Bookings: 1300 795 012 or ticketek.com.au