Dancer ‘ac­ci­den­tally’ wins 42nd Street role

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Life truly re­flected art when Courtney Hale au­di­tioned for a lo­cal ver­sion of stage show 42nd Street.

The 21-year-old Porirua lo­cal wanted a cho­rus part in the fa­mous mu­si­cal, but in­stead won the lead role – mir­ror­ing the show’s plot, in which a cho­rus girl is cho­sen to star in a Broad­way show.

Hale had not con­tem­plated au­di­tion­ing for the role of Peggy Sawyer.

‘‘I was just think­ing I wouldn’t get it, which I guess is a bad attitude to have. I just wanted to be in the show,’’ she says.

At 157 cen­time­tres she also thought she would be too short. How­ever, she ac­ci­den­tally booked her­self into a solo au­di­tion for the lead, and was cho­sen for the part.

‘‘Ob­vi­ously they saw some­thing about me that they thought ‘this is Peggy Sawyer’.’’

The mu­si­cal is fa­mous for its glitz and glam­our, and Hale is look­ing for­ward to Peggy Sawyer’s wardrobe, in par­tic­u­lar.

‘‘ I’m so ex­cited about the cos­tume fit­tings.’’

The show will have a two-week run in Oc­to­ber. Hale will at­tend re­hearsals three times a week, some up to 12 hours at a time.

‘‘It’s go­ing to be a lot of hard work but I’m ready for that,’’ she says. ‘‘I’m go­ing to get abs!’’ One as­pect of her role will be a breeze. Hale is Amer­i­can-born, so she has no trou­ble with her char­ac­ter’s ac­cent.

An­other sim­i­lar­ity be­tween Hale and Peggy Sawyer is shared am­bi­tions for a stage ca­reer.

Hale has been per­form­ing all her life, and as a five-year-old an­nounced her show­biz in­ten­tions.

‘‘Ap­par­ently I was, like,

‘Mum, I want

42nd Street. to be a star!’ ’’ Her am­bi­tions were en­cour­aged by her mother, who she says wasn’t a pushy stage mum, and her aunt Deb­o­rah Hale, who runs a dance school.

Hale per­formed as a singer while grow­ing up, but has man­aged to mas­ter bal­let, jazz, mod­ern tap and hip-hop dancing, and has a di­ploma from the Per­form­ing Arts School.

While the 42nd Street cast are un­paid am­a­teurs – ‘‘ we do it for the love, it’s worth it,’’ – Hale hopes to be­come a pro­fes­sional mu­si­cals per­former.

Mu­si­cals are not elit­ist and ap­peal to ev­ery­body, she says. ‘‘We sing, dance and act. It’s al­ways very en­ter­tain­ing.’’

Stair­way to star­dom: Porirua per­former Courtney Hale ac­ci­den­tally but suc­cess­fully au­di­tioned for the lead role in a lo­cal ver­sion of Broad­way mu­si­cal

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