Pupils bring pop icon to life

Stage stars: Wakatipu High School pupils and cast members, from left, Greta Balfour, Tyrone Henderson, Isobella Morrison, Jordan McVicar and Adriana Cala

The story of a pop icon is coming to Queenstown.

Eighty Wakatipu High School pupils are busy preparing for the school’s latest production, Dusty: The Original Pop Diva, which tells the autobiographical tale of singer Dusty Springfield.

Director and drama teacher Jake Hansen says the show stemmed from one of late drama teacher Kate Moetaua’s “brilliant ideas”.

“As my first school musical it’s had some challenges, but luckily the support from the community and staff has been incredible.

“The show itself has important messages for all of us, still relevant today, mixed in with a few tugs at the heart strings and songs that will have you grooving in your seat.”

Year 13 pupil Izzy Morrison will play the legendary singer, while fellow Year 13 Adriana Calabrese plays her long-time friend, Reno.

“We see how Dusty grows and the struggles she faces with her family,” Adriana says.

“They don’t support her in her passions, so the show follows her ups and downs.We see a bit of her downfall, but then it finishes with Dusty at the peak of her powers.”

The musical will feature some of Springfield’s biggest hits, including Song of a Preacher Man

Year 13 pupil Jordan McVicar plays a young Dusty, then called Mary O’Brien.

“I really enjoy playing some-one my age – a bit naive maybe and unsure about what the future holds.”

Originally penned by Australian writers John-Michael Howson, David Mitchell and Melvyn Morrow, the musical debuted in Melbourne in 2006 to critical acclaim.

The musical will run from April 3 to 6, 7.15pm, Queenstown Memorial Centre.

Tickets available from Eventfinda or at the high school, adults $30, pupils $15.

Rated R12.