A group of lucky Queensland musical theatre students will be mentored by acclaimed Broadway performer Liz Callaway before she takes to the stage in Brisbane for the very first time.
Liz made her Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim’s “Merrily We Roll Along” in 1981, and has since performed in shows like “Cats” and the original production of “Miss Saigon”.
The setlist for next month’s An Evening With Liz Callaway will showcase the singer’s beautiful vocals and span songs from her Broadway roles, her Oscar-nominated song from the animated film Anastasia, as well as classics from Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Sondheim, Jimmy Webb, Rodgers and Hammerstein and more.
“I take a long time deciding not only what I’ll sing, but in what order, and what stories I’ll tell. There is a real craft to putting together a show like this, which is something I hope to teach the students I’ll be working with,” Liz explained.
“I’ll be joined by my wonderful musical director and pianist Alex Rybeck, so we’ll work together to make a wonderful evening for the audiences.”
Ahead of her two Brisbane concerts, Liz Callaway will take the time to mentor musical theatre students from the Queensland Conservatorium in a week of masterclasses and workshops.
“I’ll work with the students on how to create a cabaret show, everything from choosing songs that have meaning to them, learning how to write patter, to developing a rapport with their audience. I’m going to share my philosophy that singing is storytelling,” she said.
“I do a nice amount of mentoring and it’s incredibly rewarding. There’s nothing better than having a student I’ve worked with say to me years later how something I said to them gave them great confidence to be themselves on stage.
“I think we never stop learning, and I learn from the students I work with too.”
The students will deliver a special performance of cabaret and musical theatre in the Cremorne Theatre on October 12, before two students are selected to be guest performers before Liz’s shows the following evening.
Last year, Liz was among the music and stage stars to record a cover of “What the World Needs Now is Love” and perform the “From Broadway With Love” benefit concert to raise money for the victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre.
“I remember we all felt so helpless after the horrible event and it was wonderful to do something that could actually help people. The song really took off,” she said.
“When I found out there was going to be a benefit concert in Orlando, I canceled another commitment I had – with their blessing – and happily took part.
“It was an incredible, moving and healing evening of music for both the audience and the performers and I’ll never forget it.”
Liz Callaway will perform in the Cremorne Theatre at QPAC on October 13 and 14. For tickets, visit the QPAC website.