Luigi Lucente: Rob Guest Endowment Finalist 2011

 On Monday 10 October, the 3rd annual Rob Guest Endowment Concert will take place at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne. For the last week, AussieTheatre.com have been featuring a short interview with each of the six Rob Guest Endowment finalists and today is the final instalment in the Finalist Series. 

 Luigi LucenteOn Monday 10 October, the 3rd annual Rob Guest Endowment Concert will take place at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne. For the last week, AussieTheatre.com have been featuring a short interview with each of the six Rob Guest Endowment finalists and today is the final instalment in the Finalist Series. AussieTheatre.com’s Cassie Tongue asks each finalist 10 quick questions about life, the industry and their pre-performance rituals.  The 6 finalists who will battle it out for their chance to win $10,000 in prize money to further develop their careers in the Music Theatre industry are: Gretel Scarlett and Jamie WardAshlea PykeBlake BowdenKirby Lunn and today’s featured finalist; Luigi Lucente who is currently appearing in the musical Jersey Boys.   1. When did you know you wanted to be a performer?It would have been my early teens when I suddenly seemed to be disinterested in everything else  and felt myself drawn to this world of cast recordings, ballet classes and anything theatrical. I remember the day vividly saying to my parents this is what I’m going to do, there wasn’t any question of it.
2. What do you hope to achieve from the Rob Guest Endowment process?It’s a fantastic initiative for young performers to have a night to be celebrated and showcased, sharing in this special night alongside so many other talented young people is in itself the greatest achievement. That, and with so many industry representatives present, a fantastic panel of judges and the chance to take home some scholarship prize money also makes this experience invaluable.
3. When you found out you were a finalist, what was the first thing you did?I shouted out to my girlfriend who was in the other room while texting my agent and dialling my parents on the phone, it was all simultaneous and exciting!
4. What is the most exciting thing about music theatre in Australia?I’d have to say the amount of talented people there are in this relatively small country is astounding. We are at the cutting edge of skill and talent in all areas of performance, writing and design; you only need step foot into any of our productions to see that. I’d really love to see more locally created and produced works finding themselves showcased on a larger scale, Australian musicals excite me a lot!
5. If you could play any role (regardless of criteria such as age, gender, etc) what would it be?Hardest question to answer ever! There are so many roles, across so many genres of musicals that I would relish!!! Maybe Mama Rose in Gypsy? Haha But more realistically John Wilkes Booth in Assassins, or Leo Frank in Parade. Frank Abagnale in Catch Me If You Can also would be fun. 6. What’s your go-to, belt-it-out-in-the-shower song?I do a pretty mean version of ‘Poor Wanderin One’ from The Pirates of Penzance…. in the original key.
7. How are you preparing for the upcoming concert?Practicing and dissecting my songs but also not trying to over-rehearse them, I want the performance to be fresh and story driven and not too stale. Also working out what to wear at these events is always a challenge, forget what you’re singing hey… you gotta look good! 🙂
8. Do you have any pre-performance rituals that you follow?I usually pray for it to go well. 
9. What’s the best piece of theatrical advice that you have been given?A great mentor once used the words : Need, Courage & Discipline. Interpret them as you will… everyday they mean something new to me and I assume that’s what he would have wanted them to mean.
10 Where do you hope to be in 5 years time? On a stage or screen somewhere in the world, perhaps belting out a showtune, a ball-change and having a blast! 

More About Luigi 

 Luigi has spent the last two years performing in the Melbourne and Sydney seasons of Jersey Boys. As a swing in the show, he’s enjoyed playing a wide variety of roles, none bigger than his chance to perform as Four Season member Bob Gaudio. Prior to this he made his major musical theatre debut in the star-studded Donmar/Ambassador production of Guys And Dolls, in where he played Society Max and Joey Biltmore and also understudied Benny Southstreet. Other notable theatre credits include The History Boys, Opera Australia’s Brundibar, Bryant and Frank’s The Silver Donkey and Anthony Crowley’s The Wild Blue. Luigi was also a guest artist with EMMY award-winning songwriter Lance Horne in his Melbourne concerts. On screen Luigi played Carlo Basilone in the HBO mini-series The Pacific and has also appeared in a number of other Australian television productions. An enthusiastic musician and songwriter, last year also saw the release of his first original CD. Luigi is utterly thrilled to be named a finalist in this year’s Rob Guest Endowment, and wishes to thank his family, friends, agents, mentors and many teachers for their support and belief.  More information on the Rob Guest Endowment: Rob Guest Endowment: Ticket Giveaway Winners Announced  Triple Threat? Be our guest Gretel Scarlett: Rob Guest Endowment Finalist 2011 Jamie Ward: Rob Guest Endowment Finalist 2011  Blake Bowden: Rob Guest Endowment Finalist 2011  Kirby Lunn: Rob Guest Endowment Finalist 2011  2011 Rob Guest Endowment Finalists Announced  

Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and is the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

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