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WAAPA’s 42nd Street dazzles on opening night

Thursday, 18 June 2009

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Hundreds of people packed the Regal Theatre in Subiaco last night for the opening of WAAPAs 42nd Street.

Performers dazzled the crowd with high-energy song and dance routines, bringing a Broadway favourite to life.

A number of VIP guests joined the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kerry Cox including the Honourable John Day MLA, Minister for Culture and the Arts, his wife Mrs Nikki Day, the US Consul-General, Dr Ken Chern and Mrs Ronni Chern.

WA's Chief Scientist, Professor Lyn Beazley, and her husband, Dr Richard Tarala also joined the Vice-Chancellor, along with ECU Council member and Chair of the WAAPA Board, the Honourable Justice Rene LeMiere and his daughter Lucy.

Set in Depression-era New York, 42nd Street spins the classic showbiz tale of a young hopeful who wishes to join the cast of her first Broadway show. When fading star Dorothy Brock breaks her leg onstage, director Julian Marsh plucks young Peggy Sawyer out of the ensemble and makes her a star.

More than 100 WAAPA performers, musicians, technicians and designers worked on the show under the direction of the highly-respected Melbourne-based director Terence O'Connell.

Professor Cox said he thoroughly enjoyed the show and is very proud of the talent and professionalism displayed by the students involved, and of the ECU staff who inspire their students to such high levels of achievement.

Second-year Music Theatre student James Bryers was awarded the prestigious Bill Warnock Scholarship following the preview performance on Tuesday, 16 June.

The Bill Warnock Scholarship is awarded to the most promising second-year music theatre student, in honour of Bill Warnock's love of WAAPA performances and his passion for the WA performing arts community.

The award, nicknamed the 'golden billy' was presented by Bill's wife Diana.

In accepting the award, James said he has always loved music theatre and hopes the award is the beginning of a great future in the industry.

42nd Street runs at the Regal Theatre until Saturday, 20 June, tickets are available through Ticketek.

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