AussieTheatre’s Emily Paddon-Brown, currently performing in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, writes about an upcoming charity event for the Victorian Actor’s Benevolent Trust and Australian Children’s Music Foundation in Melbourne.
Recently I have had the joy of sharing a dressing room with the striking Jen Vuletic.
If you’ve never met or seen her, she’s the tall one with impeccable comic timing and a killer voice currently starring as the Baroness in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Jen has starred in the musicals Mamma Mia!, Menopause the Musical and Jerry Springer the Opera. Her last venture was with the Malthouse/Sydney Theatre Company in the play The Histrionic. Recently Jen has been putting in some serious overtime to help organise ‘A Celebration Concert’ and she spared some of her precious time to do an interview with Aussie Theatre.
A Celebration Concert is a charity concert raising funds for the Victorian Actor’s Benevolent Trust (VABT) and the Australian Children’s Music Foundation (ACMF). If you’ve never heard of VABT, Jen describes them as such:
“Unless you’ve banked up millions over the years with your feature film career, you’re probably going to need the Actors Benevolent Trust at some stage.”
Since 1958, VABT has been providing emergency financial assistance to those in the entertainment industry who, through poor health or ill fortune, find themselves with nowhere else to turn.
Rachel Beck, who stars alongside Jen in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and who will perform at ‘A Celebration Concert’, is ambassador for the charity ACMF. The ACMF is a charity that provides free music education and instruments to disadvantaged and Indigenous children and youth at risk.
[pull_left]Unless you’ve banked up millions over the years with your feature film career, you’re probably going to need the Actors Benevolent Trust at some stage[/pull_left]
‘A Celebration Concert’ will be hosted by the charismatic Jen and cheeky George Kapiniaris. It will feature the stars of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Jersey Boys and King Kong.
When asked what makes a good variety concert Jen is quick to quip “I’m just gonna put this out there Emily and say, Variety”
This concert promises plenty of variety with Queenie Van De Zandt appearing as the hilarious Jan Van De Stool, a Tap number by Three Feet of Beat, the cast of Chitty performing some ensemble numbers – including a choral piece with the Seaford Primary school choir.
There will be a mandolin piece, a Tango number, an ensemble number from the cast of Jersey Boys and we’ll have a song or two from the delightful David Hobson- to name but a few of the varied acts.
There are hundreds of people involved in this one night only performance, only half of which you will see on stage. When asked what motivates Jen to put her time into a charity performance like ‘A Celebration Performance’ Jen candidly replies.
“It’s always a wonderful and exciting thing to draw together these strands of incredibly talented people from afar afield as you can. I won’t lie to you, it’s a series of headaches getting it all together, but ultimately when it happens it’s enormously rewarding. Certainly from my past experience that’s been the case.”
“When you find out at the end the total of money that you’ve raised it’s a really, really great feeling”.
I’m sure audiences will share that great feeling with both a chance to watch a bevy of talent and simultaneously support two great charities.
Jen ensures me that “Audiences are guaranteed of a wonderful time” and, as this is the case, it’s best you get your tickets sorted ASAP!
The show is on Sunday the 17 March beginning at 7:30pm at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne.
Tickets are only $30 from Ticketek. Call 1300 795 012
For more information visit ACMF website