NADIA COOTE TAKES THE LEAD IN BAZ LUHRMANN'S DAZZLING STAGE ROMP
Gold Coast lifeguards can expect to see more of Strictly Ballroom: The Musical dazzler Nadia Coote when the Baz Luhrmann stage romp opens in Queensland next week.
Based on Luhrmann’s much-loved 1992 Aussie film, Strictly Ballroom tells the story of a championship ballroom dancer who defies the rules to follow his heart.
Coote, who grew up in the beachside Sydney suburb of Manly, plays glamazon Tina Sparkle, the character immortalised in the film by Logan dancer turned TV host Sonia Kruger.
“Tina is the ballroom diva, the queen of ballroom and Latin,” Coote says.
While she admits it’s tough stepping into a role created by someone “as gorgeous as Sonia Kruger”, Cootes has stamped her own touch on Tina in the musical’s well-received seasons in Sydney and Melbourne.
“It’s tough,’’ she says. “You’ve got to stay true to such an iconic role but then you’ve got to also have your interpretation of it, so I hope that I portray that and I have a lot of fun doing it.
“Of course, Catherine Martin’s costume design helps. I come out in a mirror ball with Swarovski crystals on my head, so that does help with the sparkle factor.”
Coote’s wonderful wardrobe of feathered and sequined Strictly Ballroom works of art includes one of the film and stage show’s most iconic costumes – the pineapple outfit.
“Tina has the best costumes and her own number, Heavenly Pineapples,” she says.
“One of my costumes weighs 7kg. Everything is big, bright, spectacular.”
Coote, who visited the Gold Coast as a “schoolie”, is looking forward to hitting the beach on her days off when Strictly Ballroom bumps into the Lyric Theatre, at QPAC, from Wednesday – the final stop of the show’s Australian tour.
Best known for her role as Penny in the original Australian and West End productions of Dirty Dancing, Coote was last on the Gold Coast in 2012 as part of the small cast of Eat Pray Laugh! Barry Humphries’ Farewell Tour.
Luhrmann has made changes to Strictly Ballroom since its world premiere season in Sydney last year, including a new opening number written by Eddie Perfect.
Strictly Ballroom: The Musical plays the Lyric Theatre, at QPAC, in Brisbane, from Wednesday to October 4.
Nadia Coote, as Tina Sparkle from Strictly Ballroom: The Musical, meets lifeguard Jayden Jensen on the Gold Coast.