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The Classics are sending off the summer with a dose of Broadway

The City of Stonnington is sending off the summer in style with a series of shows that marry Broadway, opera and symphony across three exciting nights with The Classics.

Opening the series with Opera, the next installment, Broadway is sure to entertain, with a show dedicated to the heroines, divas and vixens of musical theatre. They’ve enlisted some big guns in the musical theatre game with Silvie Paladino, Anne Wood, Alinta Chidzey and Melissa Langton with Andrew Patterson as Musical Director and celebrated Artistic Director Gary Young taking the helm.
 
We spoke with Young to find out what he has in store for us with Broadway, and what wooed him towards the bright lights of the stage.
 
“The concept of storytelling through music has always been a potent force and it remains so. It is that moment when music takes you beyond the spoken word to create an emotion or feeling, or to enhance an element of the story,” Young says.
 
Knowing early that his career would be in theatre, Young explains how emotions are stirred in the journey that musical theatre takes you on. “Music in theatre and opera can take you into the land of spine chilling and hair raising moments, it can thrill, it can devastate, it can soar, and of course it can also be downright entertaining.”
 
With a variety of big and small shows under his belt the likes of Georgy Girl, The Mousetrap and Mamma Mia to name only a few, Young explains that his favourite productions to work on have been Les Miserables and Sideshow Alley.
 
“Mainly because in some particular way they were groundbreaking and both were strong narratives filled with great characters. One an epic novel brought to life, the other a potent Australian story about discovering identity. Both were challenging and filled with wonderful creative rewards,” he says.
 
“Creating from scratch is of course where the challenge lies and it is the preferred choice nowadays. Blueprint imports are not so enticing and I tend to search out projects now where one can have one’s say and create something new, or put a new slant on something well loved.”
 
And while he has a penchant towards his creative flare, sometimes you do have to draw the line.
 
“I have a tendency to respect the aim of the writers and sometimes that is about relishing their concept rather than turning it on its head for the sake of ego and novelty.”
 
With this year marking the tenth year that Young has conceived and produced one of these showcases for Stonnington Council, he has made sure to be involved in all areas of development such as the casting, believing it is incredibly important to get the right person for the job. “Casting for a show or concert is a crucial part of the process. It is something that you have to get right.”
 
Without giving too much away, Young says that this show has been a year in the making and guarantees that “In terms of an outdoor concert, this is a terrific event. Everything is done properly with a lot of attention to the details to make it a pleasant and entertaining night.”
 
“If Broadway is your thing, and even if its not and you just like quality performances, great music and a chicken leg by the light of the moon, this is a great way to spend an evening with family and friends. Come and enjoy some Broadway classics sung by some of the best voices in Australia and with musicians that can only be described as hot. I promise you entertainment.”
 
By Asha Collins

The Classics: Broadway will come to Ardrie Park, Malvern East on Saturday February 11.