Australian performer Drew Weston (Mary Poppins) has been invited to record an album with some of Broadway's biggest stars, and (not surprisingly) is thrilled at the prospect.
Weston will record a track on the upcoming album by New York based composer Drew Gasparini who was named as one of Playbill's 'Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know', and is set to work on the composition team for NBC's second season of SMASH.
17 songs will be featured on the album entitled I Could Use A Drink with performers from Broadway and the West End lining up to work on the project.
Having already assembled artists like Cassie Levy (Ghost), Jeremy Jordan (Newsies) and other working Broadway artists from Wicked, Addams Family, Godspell and more, Gasparini insisted that Weston join the cast.
“Drew is a perfect fit for this album and this group of performers. His sound is emotive and powerful. This kid can 'sang'. He’s going to sound like sex on this track”, said Gasparini.
Weston explains that it was a whirlwind visit to NYC which scored him the opportunity, set up by Australian producer Dan Benge.
“I first met Drew in June this year while on holiday in NYC at Shelter Studios on West 54th street – the day after I arrived” he said.
After 24 hours in transit, Drew sang for
Gasparini, who according to Weston “would actually have to stop in amazement every now and then to laugh at my accent!” Weston's vocal ability led to him securing a song for the album which will be recorded in Melbourne later this year.
“It's going to be an international album. They are having people record their material in NYC, San Francisco and Melbourne”, Weston told AussieTheatre.
“I'll be singing one track on the album – it's really beautiful and the song itself is an autobiographical event from Drew's life. And thats all I'll say!”
Despite singing a solo track on the album, Weston is keen to meet up with his co-collaborators when the project is officially launched in February next year.
“They are all stupidly talented, and I feel extremly lucky to be the only Aussie on the album. Dan [Benge] and Drew have been incredible supportive and I can't wait to hear the finished product.”
Although Weston sees the opportunity as a privilege, it is also an enormous nod to his talent and professionalism. As the only Australian artist working on this album, Weston is waving the Aussie theatrical flag high – possibly paving the way for many more inter-continental musical collaborations in the future.
According to Dan Benge of The Benge Group, this could be the start of something big.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with a US and Australian team on this project. Bridging the Australian and Broadway music theatre communities is something I am very passionate about. This is most certainly just the beginning.”
So, keep your eyes peeled for our Drew's voice on I Could Use A Drink next year – in his own words:
“Trust me, you are going to love it.”