The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - SUZANNE SIMONOT

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.

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