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Paladino on song for Newcastle return in Superstars

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Versatile entertainer Silvie Paladino didn’t need much convincing to join Marina Prior, Joshua Robson and Chloe Zuel on stage at the Civic Theatre this month.

In fact, the performer known for her outstanding roles in Les Miserables, Mamma Mia, Cats and Chess was keen to return to Newcastle again.

And, on Friday 8 March, she – along with the other three leading lights – will honour the musical genius of Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice in four exclusive shows over one magical weekend.

Silvie Paladino.

Superstars is a stunning two-and-a-half-hour musical journey, with hits from the best-loved musicals of the 20th Century, including Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Starlight Express, Aida, Chess, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Sunset Boulevard, The Phantom of the Opera and many more.

“I can’t wait,” Paladino said.

“I’m arriving a few days early for rehearsals and, maybe, a bit of time at the beach.

“I was last there in 2021, playing Florence Vassy in Chess The Musical, which enjoyed a sold-out season at the Civic Theatre.

“We were originally booked for 2020, however it all got changed because of our dear COVID friend.

“But, I love coming to Newcastle, there’s always a really good vibe, a great crowd.

“I have wonderful friends there, too.”

Paladino adores the Civic Theatre as well, stating it’s “one of the nicest venues in the country”.

“My first visit there was probably 1994 when I played Grizabella in Cats,” she said.

“Quite simply, it’s a brilliant venue.

“It was wonderful back then and it still is now.

“It’s always great to play at the Civic Theatre.

“So, I’m very much looking forward to this weekend with an orchestra and Dan Wilson at the head, a fabulous ensemble cast and my dear friend Marina.”

Supporting Paladino, Prior, Robson and Zuel are local powerhouses Katie Blaxland, Tayla Choice, Thomas James, Jon Murphy, Layla Schillert, Amy Vee, Marty Worrall and Danny Folpp.

They’ll be backed by a 100-voice mass choir and the Hunter Pops Orchestra, conducted by ARIA nominee Wilson.

“It’s actually really nice to be able to be yourself on stage sometimes,” she said.

“I’m fortunate that I get to flip between both being a character and being myself.

“However, I love doing concerts [like Superstars] where I can talk to the audience.

“And, I feel like they get to know me as a person, not just as a singer or performer.

Quite simply, it’s a brilliant venue [Civic Theatre]. It was wonderful back then and it still is now.

Silvie Paladino

“They meet the real Silvie Paladino.

‘So, it’s a really nice thing to do.

“It’s funny, whenever I’ve been in Newcastle before, I’ve always played a character.

“It’ll be good to just be myself for a change.

“Obviously, it’s great working with Australia’s leading lady of musical theatre Marina, that’s always an attraction.

“Plus, the chance to do Lloyd Weber and Rice material, some of which I’ve never done previously, is a treat.

“To do some different stuff, to challenge yourself as an artist, is always wonderful.”

Both Lloyd Webber and Rice have the coveted claim to fame of being EGOTs, winners of the world’s four most prestigious music-related awards – the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards.

Paladino admitted she wasn’t surprised by the popularity of the duo’s work.

“Their music is enduring, with great melodies,” she told the Newcastle Weekly.

“You know, the type of songs that stick in your head even when you don’t want them to.

“Ten days later, you’re still humming the tune.

“They write magnificent songs that just stay with you… you remember the melody long after you’ve left the theatre.

“On top of that, they’re terrific shows with wonderful storylines and lyrics.

“So, it’s a mixture of several different aspects.

“The shows have been around for such a long time, which speaks volumes.

“We all love and adore them.

“For me, I have the opportunity to do material from Sunset Boulevard, too, which I’m about to go into rehearsals for.

“I’m playing Norma Desmond; that’s exciting.

“So, Superstars will be a bit of a rehearsal for me because I’m singing songs that I haven’t done before, but I’m about to.”

Silvie Paladino is returning to Newcastle for Superstars.

Paladino’s first theatrical role was Eponine in the Australasian tour of Les Misérables.

She followed that with Cats, Mamma Mia, Miss Saigon, Fun Home, Cinderella and the lead role of Florence Vassy in Chess The Musical.

However, it’s far cry from her days on Young Talent Time.

“That was many, many years ago,” she said.

“When I was a contestant on the show, I only did it because I enjoyed singing.

“I never thought it would become a career.

“Honestly, I believed I’d be a hairdresser because I wasn’t very good at school.

“In those days, they certainly didn’t cater to your strengths… geography and history weren’t my thing,” she added with a laugh.

“And, I didn’t need a degree to be a hairdresser.

“Singing through Young Talent Time, and winning the grand final, sort of propelled me into this job.

“But, I’m so grateful to have had 35-plus years doing this.

“It’s a long time and I feel very blessed.

“I love the job.

“It’s challenging, it’s hard.

“There are days I wish I was a hairdresser but, generally, I love the fact that I’m doing this.

“After Newcastle, I’ve got a few concerts in Melbourne before I start rehearsals for Sunset Boulevard on 27 March.

“That will take me through to the end of the year, so it’s very exciting times ahead.

“We’ll do Melbourne first, then the Opera House in Sydney.

“Hopefully, people from Newcastle will travel down to see the show.”

Superstars is taking over the Civic Theatre, for four performances only, from 8 to 10 March.

Tickets are available at civictheatrenewcastle.com.au or by phoning 4929 1977.

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