The Australian premiere of Jeanine Tesori’s Broadway smash Violet is heading to Hayes Theatre Co next month starring Steve Danielsen and Samantha Leigh Dodemaide.
Based on the short story The Ugliest Pilgrim by Doris Betts, Violet is the musical premiered off Broadway in 1997 and had its Broadway debut in 2014.
The show tells the story of a young disfigured woman who sets out on a journey by bus from her farm in Spruce Pine, North Carolina, all the way to Tulsa, Oklahoma in order to be healed.
Guest writer Jaz Hendry spoke with Steve Danielsen (Wicked) about Violet, Musical Theatre, cars and more.
What has been your most memorable moment as a performer?
My most memorable moment was playing Fiyero in Wicked for the first preview in Auckland – having Stephen Schwartz in the audience!
If you could transport yourself to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I do love New York!! But right at the moment as I write this – I’d love to transport to Boston Bay in Jamaica
Who is your role model?
Hugh Jackman! The jack of all trades – Music Theatre and Film! And I also have to say my Parents.
What are you dream roles?
Would love to play Elder Price in the Book of Mormon one day!
What is one of the craziest fan moments you have encountered?
Closing night of Wicked in Manila – It was 5-10 people deep behind a steel barrier in a MASSIVE square. Literally the entire audience was there (2000 people) screaming and singing the songs from the show – with interviews, autographs and photos – it took us hours to get home that night.
What are 3 things you could never live without?
1) My Family, 2) My Vocal Cords, 3) My Cars
What is one thing people may not know about you?
Pretty sure people would know this but I’m a complete petrol head, and love motorsport. I also make coffee tables from engine blocks!
What is your go-to post show snack?
Ham and Cheese toasty
What drew you to musical theatre?
I love telling a story through song. And seeing musicals growing up and the way they made me feel – I just really wanted to make people feel something the same way I did.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully working successfully as an actor and potentially starting a family!
When did you first discover Violet the musical?
I heard about the broadway production, and loved the music – but had never actually seen it before. So I’m very excited!
What excites you the most about being a part of Violet?
Tackling a new character challenge
How does it feel to be a part of a completely new production never seen live in Australia before?
It feels great! To showcase such a beautiful show in Australia is a great opportunity, and I think the Australian audiences are going to love it!
We all know you love cars, what is your absolute dream car to own?
Currently it would be 1 of 2 cars! Haha Can I have both!? The McLaren P1 or the Porsche 918 Spider.
Describe musical theatre in 3 words.
Challenging, Rewarding, Exhilarating
If you weren’t a performer, what would you be doing?
When and where can we see your next performance?
So far my next performance will be Monty in Violet!
Tell us one thing we might not know about Violet?
It won a NY Drama Critics Circle award for Best Musical
Steve Danielsen is a graduate of Monash University. His film and television credits include Queen Of The Damned, The Hard Word, Offspring, Tangle, City Homicide, Bogan Pride, Neighbours, The Wedge, Marshall Law, Stingers, Blue Heelers and Saddle Club.
Steve appeared in Legally Blonde the Musical (2012-13) in the role of Pfortzheimer, Xanadu The Musical understudying the lead role of Sonny Malone and the Australian tour of WICKED as Fiyero.