Our Queensland Correspondent, Bobbi-Lea, caught up with A Chorus Line ‘newbie’ Deone Zanotto, during preparations for the Brisbane leg of the professional touring production which opens at QPAC on Friday night.
TML's A Chorus Line has already enjoyed successful seasons in cities across the country and although Deone Zanotto only stepped into the role of Cassie for the recent Perth season of the Australian tour, she is already a veteran of the musical.
Incredibly, Deone has performed or understudied most of the female roles in A Chorus Line during her stints in overseas productions of the show, including the roles of Maggie, Dianna, Judy, Connie, Cassie, and Christine. Deone said the previous experience has helped immensely as she, along with eight other new cast members – or ‘newbies’ as they call them – had nine days to step into their dance shoes.
“It’s always tricky coming in as a new person, especially at the end of the run, but this cast is the best late come-in I’ve ever had”, she explained.
“They’re so super-supportive and beautiful and patient … I think it’s good for old cast members to have new blood on the stage as well, as it makes everyone lift their game.”
[pull_left]A Chorus Line is really like doing an audition every night[/pull_left]Deone is one of the lucky ones who got her Broadway break while she was living in London with her husband, performing in We Will Rock You on the West End. Her mother called saying she had received an important letter – she had won the Greencard lottery. Within three weeks they were in New York, and a few weeks later she was in an audition “along with a thousand other girls” for A Chorus Line on Broadway.
“It was insane”, she recalled. “They put you through the mill when you do those auditions!”
“There were a lot of call-backs and there were a lot of girls. I think doing the show is every dancer’s dream a
nd to do A Chorus Line in New York is a big deal and it’s really special. You had to do that opening combination a billion times. I couldn’t walk the next day after the audition. I was wondering how I would do it if I got a call back.”
Talk about life imitating art. Deone pointed out that the only difference between A Chorus Line and real life auditions is that you don’t audition every aspect in front of other auditionees:
“You sing and read by yourself these days, but A Chorus Line is really like doing an audition every night. You may fall out of a turn and you try to do your best every night and sometimes you get things and sometimes you don’t.”
As Cassie, Deone plays opposite Josh Horner (most well known to the general public as one of Australia's Dancing With the Stars judges), who plays Zac the Director in the show. When asked about performing with Josh, Deone says;
“He is amazing. He is a very dear friend of mine. We were lucky enough to do Dirty Dancing together and then we were both in London at the same time as well, and the next time we saw each other was on Broadway and then we were both playing opposites in this wonderful show, which I adore doing the scenes with him every night. He’s a dream. He’s such a hard worker and it’s like playing these parts with your best friend, which is what Cassie and Zac are. They used to be lovers but they’re not anymore. They’re like best friends but they still love each other. It’s very special. It’s like a gift.”
The Brisbane season opens this Friday 16 November at the Lyric Theatre in QPAC and runs untill 2 December.