Top of the Pops

Kelly Morris, Alexandra Macdonald and Ashlea Sampson star in the joint school production of Popstars! IMAGE: Nancy Nicholson

The next jukebox musical to hit Townsville will have audiences flashing back to button-down track pants, tazos and Girl Power when students from St Margaret Mary’s, Ignatius Park, and St Patrick’s Colleges join forces to stage Popstars! – a musical ode to the 90s.

St Margaret Mary’s year 12 student Alexandra Macdonald said the show was a thrilling throwback to some of the biggest hits that rounded out the 20th Century.

“When you’re tackling one of the classic musicals, there’s normally one or two songs the audience knows well. But with a jukebox musical like Popstars! there’s a good chance you know all the songs, and will be loving every moment,” Alexandra said.

“My character Shannon dumps her boyfriend to become famous, because boys are ‘total career killers.’ She dumps him so she can focus on a talent show that her band has entered, but seeking revenge, he enters a band of his own in the show – and Shannon does everything she can to stop him.”

Alexandra is no stranger to the stage, involved in both school and community productions from a young age.

“I’ve always loved doing things in front of people – as a child I’d sing and dance for whoever would watch, so mum was sort of like ‘alright, let’s get you a stage.’ My first musical was The Sound of Music (2013) with the Townsville Choral Society and ever since then, I knew it was what I really enjoyed doing.

“It’s not just the performance but the build-up to it with the hair, makeup and mic pack being fitted. Then stepping out seeing all these people on the edge of their seat waiting to see what you’ll do or say – because they don’t know, and it’s really exciting!

“It’s really become part of who I am: in real life I’m not super confident, but then I walk on stage and I am the character.”

Co-star Teal Warner said school productions were an exciting look at what was to come on Townsville stages.

“School productions are a glimpse of what Townsville’s future has to offer in terms of musical theatre; you get to see these new people coming through. [Alexandra] and I are seniors now and are already looking ahead at continuing performing with groups like NQOMT and the Townsville Choral Society – but it’s so great to see younger grades stepping up to fill the bigger roles in shows, it’s a great feeling,” Teal said.

“The school musicals mean a lot to me. I started with Peter Pan in grade nine as this tiny scared little girl, but over the years they’ve really brought out my character and who I am as a person – that sounds so cringy, I hate that I said that!

“I’m definitely the person I am today because of these musicals and I met people through the school shows, found out that I can sing and act, and that’s really become a part of me. People are like ‘you were the one that played that cat,’ or ‘you were the opera singer in Pirates.’ It’s really fun meeting new people.”

Catch the joint school production of Popstars! A 90s Musical at Riverway Arts Centre from 31 May – 2 June, with tickets available through Townsville TicketShop.

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