Rachael Beck and Michael Cormick at Arts Centre Melbourne

Two of Australia’s much-loved theatre icons, Rachael Beck and Michael Cormick, reunite on the Hamer Hall stage to celebrate the songs of Broadway. Both have played leading roles in musicals here in Australia and around the world, including Beauty and the Beast, Cats, Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, Grease, Singin’ in the Rain, Cabaretand Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Carly spoke with Rachael and Michael about their illustrious careers and how those careers have led them here. 

Check out the full interview below:

Rachael Beck and Michael Cormick

It’s certainly exciting to see you taking to the stage together again to have a sing and share some stories – what can audiences expect from this show and what has inspired you to reunite and take to the stage together again?

 

MC: Rachael and I have been best friends ever since Beauty and the Beast - 22 years ago. In fact, I am Godfather to her daughters Talulah and Roxy. We love to perform together, as there is a connection. Both vocally and emotionally. Audiences can expect a lot of fun as we regale many personal stories from our lives in the theatre.

RB: We love working with each other. We are best friends so we feel very safe onstage together; we can’t get enough of performing together.

How have you gone about selecting songs to sing for the show? Have you picked some all time favourites? Or songs you have sung before that you are looking forward to taking on again? Or both…

 

MC: We have chosen songs from our past, present and future. From roles we have played, roles we are currently playing, and those yet to come.

Also, songs from people who have inspired us.

RB: The songs we have chosen are a mix of our favourites and roles we have always wanted to play. Also parts we will never play!

Both of you have certainly had illustrious careers in musical theatre – I’d love to know from each of you, what has been your career highlight and why?

 

MC: It’s never easy to choose one highlight.  There are so many. I suppose performing for HRH on two occasions would have to be up there. Also, concert tours through Italy.

RB: Working with Michael on Beauty and the Beast. Really, I’ve had many highlights but to name a few, Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Beauty and the Beast, Next to Normal for Black Swan.
 

Of the songs you’ll be singing, which is your favourite to perform and why? And when you go about putting on a show such as this, how do you set about choosing songs to sing together or to sing solo? What is a requirement for you in order that a song make the set?

 

MC: I suppose Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourites, as it brings back so many wonderful memories. We like to try to put the show together with a variety of different moods. It’s always difficult choosing, as some of your loved songs don’t make it.

RB: I choose songs that move me. My favourite is Jason Robert Brown’s “Stars and Moon”.

Having both achieved so much in this industry already, what would you still like to do or who would you still like to perform? Is there a dream list?

 

MC: I would love to play Sweeney Todd and Jekyll and Hyde. I love those dramatic meaty roles. Also, I’d love to do more film work.

 

RB: I think the answer to this last question is that my dream list will be something that hasn’t been written yet!! I’m waiting for something new written by an Australian.
 

RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS

 

Favourite production you have ever seen?

MC: Beauty and the Beast

RB: Bondi Public Schools’ Beauty and The Beast. My daughter Tahlula was Cogsworth.

You’re getting on a plane tomorrow and you can go anywhere in the world, where do you go?

MC: Spain

RB: Buenos Aires  

Dream role to perform?

MC: Sweeney Todd

RB: It’s yet to be written

Plays or musicals?

MC: Plays

RB: Both -alternating

What’s next for you after this show?

MC: I have just recorded a new Album and will be touring.

RB: The musical Barnum with Todd McKenny.

Rachael and Michael will be performing at Arts Centre Melbourne on February 11th. You can get your tickets here.

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