2010 Newspaper Articles
Posted 25 July 2010 - 11:59 AM
Reviews - The Ultimate School Musical
By Sam Downing
A hundred and fifty kids vie for fame in this new Idol-meets-High-School-Musical reality series.
In the premiere episode of The Ultimate School Musical, you-either-love-her-or-hate-her host Ruby Rose descends on Melbourne's Essendon Keilor College during Monday morning assembly and announces that the school has been chosen to stage a production of Fame, with cameras following every twist and turn.
But where most school musicals are directed by ambitious teachers from the drama/music department, this one will be overseen by pros: Shane Warne the Musical's Eddie Perfect will direct, Anthony Callea will offer singing tips, and even the crew of the "real" stage production of Fame get involved, including So You Think You Can Dance choreographer Kelley Abbey.
One-hundred-and-fifty kids turn out to audition, revealing some surprising talent and personalities who will no doubt emerge as stars of the show. The series already feels like a clever mash-up of Dance and Australian Idol, only populated by an endearing mix of gawky, emotional teens.
Foxtel has a pretty good record with home-grown reality TV: the super-trashy Australia's Next Top Model, the blokey The Contender, and now The Ultimate School Musical ? which isn't as slickly made as its forebears but which stands out because it's an original format.
This isn't just TV for teens with dreams of fame and glory. If you're a sucker for High School Musical or Glee, or if you experienced first-hand the heady rush of starring in a school musical during your adolescent years, you'll gobble this series up.
The Ultimate School Musical premieres on FOX8 on Tuesday, April 20, at 7:35pm.
Posted 25 July 2010 - 12:00 PM
Ultimate School Musical (1.01)
By Alicia Malone
Our Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Airing: Tuesday April 20, 2010, 7:30pm
Cast: Ruby Rose, Anthony Callea, Eddie Perfect
Genre: Reality Series
It?s Australian Idol meets So You Think You Can Dance in this new Fox8 series, which aims to put on a production of the musical Fame with school kids from an average high school.
The series kicks off with host Ruby Rose revealing to the excited students of Essendon Keilor College in Melbourne that their school has been chosen. From there, judges Anthony Callea, Eddie Perfect, Kelly Aykers and Ruby put the students through their paces in a few rounds of auditions.
First up are the singing auditions, and it?s the usual mix of the amazingly talented and the not so talented; screams of joy from the ones who make it through to the next round, and tears from the ones who don?t. The focus is mainly on the successful auditions, which is a good thing, because it does seem slightly cruel when they show a young kid who can?t sing and is positively shaking with nerves.
The ones that are successful go through to the next round - the dance auditions. Here the kids learn some choreography and show off their favourite moves in freestyle. There are some talented teens in the bunch, I?m always amazed whenever I see someone so young who can sing and dance!
The judges take it all so seriously, and speak about how much of a ?challenge? this musical is going to be. From their interviews, you would think they were casting for a huge Broadway production, rather than just making a fun high school musical.
This first episode of Ultimate School Musical is nothing we haven?t seen before in pretty much any other talent based reality show, but it should get more interesting once the musical gets underway and we get to know the personalities of the kids involved.
Posted 25 July 2010 - 12:03 PM
Star Power for Ultimate School Musical
By David Knox
And here is your first look at the team who head up Ultimate School Musical: Fame for FOX8.
The series, to air later this month, follows Years 7 to 12 students from Essendon Keilor College as they rehearse a production of Fame for public performance.
The production is directed by talented cabaret performer Eddie Perfect with Australian Idol discovery Anthony Callea as Vocal Coach and Kelly Aykers as Choreographer. Aykers, who has sa long history as a music theatre performer, runs Ministry of Dance studio with So You Think You Can Dance Australia?s Jason Coleman.
Ruby Rose is the show?s host.
The series, based on a UK format, premieres 7:30pm Tuesday April 20, five days after the stage production of Fame opens at Melbourne?s Regent Theatre.
Others from the stage production, including producer John Frost and Director Kelley Abbey, are expected to make appearances across the ten episodes.
Posted 25 July 2010 - 12:04 PM
Risking It All for Fame
Sydney Morning Herald
Star power ... Ruby Rose, Anthony Callea and Eddie Perfect in Ultimate School Musical: Fame.
Foxtel's new reality show lets high school kids live out their musical dreams, writes Paul Kalina.
The words "high school musical" and "reality show" were enough for Eddie Perfect. When Fremantle Media approached him to direct the musical that would be the subject of Ultimate School Musical, he thought it was the worst idea he'd heard in his life.
But after watching the British version, part of a franchise created in the wake of Disney's hugely successful High School Musical, Perfect was sold. The rising musical theatre star (Shane Warne: the Musical; Keating! the Musical) realised it wasn't about the director or choreographer of the show-within-the-show. Rather, it was about high school students embracing the arts, pushing their boundaries and emerging at the other end brimming with confidence and self-awareness.
"What's great about teenagers is they take massive risks that adults don't," Perfect says. "They'll put themselves in really scary situations time and time again." He's not kidding. In just two weeks, the 35 students ranging from 13 to 17 will perform Fame to an audience of more than 2000.
As a musical about high school students with naive but lofty dreams of seeing their names in lights, Fame mirrors what the students endure during the 10-part series.
"A lot of kids came along wanting to be on television and famous," Perfect says. "But through this process, which is a very real theatre process, they discover that there are elements of putting on a show that are boring, repetitive, confronting and sometimes humiliating because you're faced with all your own inabilities and failings."
Like his charges, Perfect took part in high school musicals but disliked being condescended to "and treated like a kid". Here, he says, designer Adam Gardnir, lighting designer Paul Lim, choreographer Kelly Aykers and voice coach Anthony Callea treated it like a professional production. "We were very clear that we wanted the students to rise to that, that they should earn their place on stage rather than just feel it's a given," Perfect says.
The 35 performers were chosen from 150 students who auditioned before Perfect, host Ruby Rose and the various coaches. There was more than one contender for every role. For Perfect, it was more important for the actor to identify with their character rather than resemble a preconceived idea of that character's shape or physique.
"It's a risk that you hope will pay off," he says. Student Logan Pereira came to the audition saying he was perfect for the part of Tyrone, Perfect recalls. Like Tyrone, he's dyslexic and suffers ADHD.
"No one's gotten involved in this to do a safe version. It's not actually about us, it's about the kids being given a chance to find out what it's like to relate to a character and explore that. With Fame it's great because everyone's so different; you have all the introverts and extroverts, people who are earnest, people who are slack and [people] from all different ethnic backgrounds."
Rose says she was attracted to the empowering nature of the project. "I had a really bad time at school, so when I heard about this format I was like, 'I want to do it because I want to bring confidence out of kids to believe in themselves'."
Rose arranged for Jessica and Lisa Origliasso, aka the Veronicas, to appear on the show as mentors. "I got a couple of the kids who struggle with stage fright to sing in front of them because I thought if they can sing in front of people they idolise it might make it that step easier when they're [singing] in front of 2000 people."
Perfect says working with teenagers was not without its challenges. "They like the idea of being on stage but they don't understand it in terms of work," he says. "There's a level of chatter among high school kids that is endless and says nothing."
He says the ever-present cameras helped. "They understand the notion of reality TV and that they're being portrayed. That has some advantages for crowd control."
Perfect is unequivocal about the show's purpose and message. "If you can take risks on stage they're going to spill over to your real life, so I think it's important for every high school student to do performing arts. It creates empathy, strength and happy, confident, risk-taking people. Singing, dancing and acting are joyful things to do."
Ultimate School Musical: Fame begins on FOX8 on Tuesday at 7.30pm.
Posted 25 July 2010 - 12:06 PM
Anthony Callea in Harmony for Ultimate School Musical: Fame
by David Knox
TV.com Staff Writer
Ultimate School Musical's host Ruby Rose and vocal coach Anthony Callea.
He may have ARIA Awards and platinum record sales but the former Australian Idol finds himself a singing teacher all over again, for a good cause.
When he was asked to be the vocal coach for Ultimate School Musical: Fame, Anthony Callea had to dig deep to recall his days as a singing teacher.
The former Australian Idol star was about to face the students of Essendon-Keilor College in Melbourne, to prepare them for a stage production of the musical Fame.
"When I was 18, 19 or 20, I was teaching a bit of singing, but I'm 27 now and I haven't done it for quite a while," he admits.
"So getting back to basics I had to think, 'How do I do this now?' Because when you do something for so long you just do it, you don't really think about it.
So it's like 'OK, I need to explain breathing. I need to explain how to open your mouth.' I actually have to think about it. How do I do this? How do I express to these kids how it's meant to be done and at the same time teach them a show?
"But we didn't have time to sit there and go 'technically this is how you have to sing'.
We didn't have the luxury of time to teach them from scratch and put on a show."
In the FOX8 reality series he is joined by Eddie Perfect as director, Kelly Aykers as choreographer and Ruby Rose as host. The four give the students a crash course in the performing arts, leading up to a public performance of the musical at the prestigious Regent Theatre in Melbourne.
Callea admits it was such a frenetic gig there were times he was pulling his hair out.
"I had many students cry on me! I had one running out of the room! I think I had one that air kicked me!" he recalls.
"So it was a bit emotional at times for the kids. It is something that you have to be quite sensitive about, because the sound that they are producing is actually coming out of them. You have to be quite sensitive about it because they are kids at the end of the day, and you don't want to hurt their feelings."
Almost without exception the students had never set foot on a stage before, so to tackle the singing, dancing and acting of Fame in a short time-frame proved tricky to students and teachers alike.
"It was hard on these kids and it is a big ask," says Callea. "But you know what, we found some great gems and there were quite a few kids that actually surprised us and stood out. We walked away from it going 'I'm so glad we've got that guy, and we're glad we got this girl because they're going to make our job a lot easier.'
"The thing about this whole show really is about giving these kids some sort of experience that they would never have come across in their school life. It's about encouraging these kids and giving them an opportunity."
Ultimate School Musical: Fame airs 7:30pm Tuesdays on FOX8.
Posted 25 July 2010 - 12:08 PM
School for Stars
By David Knox
If anyone knows about rejection it?s Anthony Callea.
He lost Australian Idol to Casey Donovan in front of more than 4 million people. In fact he very nearly didn?t even make the 2004 Top 12 finalists. After lucking out in his Semi Final he got a lifeline in the show?s Wildcard episode. Yet, after daring to sing The Prayer, he would eventually eke out a career with the fastest selling Australian single of all time.
Now on the other side of the audition panel for FOX8?s reality series Ultimate School Musical: Fame, he knows what it?s like having to let people down gently.
?It was a bit weird,? he tells TV Tonight. ?I sat on panel and auditioned about 160 kids. So for me that was a first and I actually felt a little bit sorry for them. Obviously I know what it?s like to stand on that side of the desk. I?m usually on the other side, not sitting there judging.?
Callea serves as Vocal Coach on the series which leads a group of high school students through an intensive series of singing, dancing and acting classes, culminating in a public performance of the musical Fame.
?With the first few kids that came to the audition I actually said to myself, ?How on earth am I going to get through this??
?It killed me, it totally killed me because I had to say ?No? to most of them, and I don?t like getting a ?No? myself when I go to an audition,? he says.
?But at the end of the day we did have to remember they are kids. They are 12 to 18 year olds who never actually went to school and said ?I wanna be on stage at the Regent Theatre.? We actually invaded their school and said ?You?re the school that we?ve chosen to put on a musical, so now come to us and audition for us and we?ll tell you if you are good enough.??
The students in the series come from Essendon-Keilor College in northern Melbourne. Most of the students come from working class and multicultural families.
?It was a lot harder than what I expected it to be. It was great working with the kids but this is not a performing arts school. This is just an everyday school in Essendon and we?re working with kids who had never walked on a stage before,? says Callea.
?They?d never sung before, had never acted before, had never danced before. So they were totally raw and within a few weeks we needed to put on a full blown stage musical at the Regent Theatre. So how were we going to do this??
Joining him for the task were performer-writer Eddie Perfect (Shane Warne: The Musical, Keating: The Musical) as Director, choregrapher Kelly Aykers (So You Think You Can Dance Australia) and host Ruby Rose (MTV, The 7PM Project).
The stage musical Fame, currently playing in Melbourne, is based on the 1980 movie which in turn inspired the hit television series of the same name. It features former Dance contestants Talia Fowler, ?Timomatic?, Marko Panzic, and BJ Rork, plus actors Andrew McFarlane and Brian Wenzel. Creatives from the production, including director Kelley Abbey and producer John Frost will appear across the FOX8 series.
Callea wouldn?t be drawn on what cross-promo deals, if any, were at play between Foxtel and the Melbourne musical, but admits he didn?t have much say in the choice of material.
?We didn?t have any say in the show that we were doing. It worked obviously because John Frost is doing it, they teamed it in with a musical which is currently going to happen. So it makes sense because it actually had some relevance to why the kids were doing it. But we didn?t really have any say in what musical we were doing,? he says.
Having already watched the UK version of the show, Callea says he walked into this production with a fresh approach. Amongst the group that was selected to comprise the Fame company, the former singing teacher says they uncovered some budding talent.
?We did find a couple of singers in there. So it did make my job a little easier when it came to some of the leads. Still, it was a bit of task for me and something that I haven?t really done before.
?At the end of it all they really appreciated us going to their school and spending time with them and giving them this opportunity. You could tell they appreciated it. They were really good kids, all of them. To have a group of 20 something kids to work with, and all of them be appreciative, it was great,? he says.
?It never really felt like a chore.?
Ultimate School Musical: Fame airs 7:30pm tonight on FOX8.
Posted 25 July 2010 - 12:21 PM
|The series takes ordinary high school students and, under the tutorage of Aussie music giants such as Delta Goodrem, Anthony Callea and Kelley Abbey, turns them into musical stage stars.|
But Australia is set to see an entirely different side to Ms Rose ? that of friend and mentor to an eclectic bunch of high school students at Essendon Keilor College in Melbourne.
She is the host of the new FOX8 show Ultimate School Musical, premiering on April 20, which will follow the students? journey as they attempt to stage a production of Fame: The Musical to a professional standard in just six weeks. Along the way, they will receive guidance from industry heavies such as John Frost, Kelley Abbey, Eddie Perfect and Anthony Callea.
Posted 25 July 2010 - 12:23 PM
With thanks Lea
David Knox for Citysearch
http://citysearch.co... back to school
David Knox talks to Anthony Callea about being vocal coach on Ultimate School Musical.
You just know you're getting on when teenagers have never heard of Fame.
The 1980 movie spawned several hit songs, a television series and a stage musical.
At 27, Anthony Callea admits he was surprised to find that a group of high school students weren't familiar with the show. But they soon will be, after FOX8 finishes putting them through their paces for Ultimate School Musical: Fame.
The former Australian Idol star is Vocal Coach for the new series, joining Eddie Perfect as Director, Kelly Aykers as Choreographer and Ruby Rose as host.
"It was funny because you'll be talking to these kids and a lot of the kids had never seen the show or even watched the movie, and you don't really want to tell them to go and watch the movie because it's completely different to the actual stage show," he says.
But the performing arts training that is given to the students of Essendon-Keilor College in Melbourne brought many kids out of their shell.
"There was one kid in particular, I did not hear him speak for the first two weeks. I didn't know what he sounded like, the only time I ever had him speak was when he came in and sang. He wasn't the strongest singer but he seemed to be a good little actor so we put him through.
"At the end of the performance I remember him coming up to me and giving me a hug saying 'Thank you so much, I've had the best time of my life'. It was just great to see that personal journey rather than worrying about whether he could sing well or dance well. That was quite irrelevant at the end of it all."
The series culminates in a public performance of Fame for friends and family at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne. Callea says it was a great opportunity for the students, many of whom came from working class and multicultural families.
"Not to take anything away from the school but it's not your private, grammar school with state-of-the-art facilities. They're just normal kids who go to a normal school and come from normal families and a lot of their families didn't have the money to send them to extra-curriculum.
"So with this opportunity that comes to their school, they have totally embraced it."
Ultimate School Musical: Fame airs 7:30pm Tuesdays on FOX8.
Posted 25 July 2010 - 12:31 PM
Celebrity Mother's Day, Crown
By SUZANNE CARBONE
Model son and his mother to mix with celebs.
NICK Bracks is usually referred to as ''the son of former premier Steve Bracks'' who was caught drink-driving but ''model'' was added to his resume when he signed with Chadwicks.
Now the photogenic lad has soared to ''A-lister'' with mum Terry because they're invited to today's Celebrity Mother's Day lunch at Crown. Ann Peacock, hosting the 15th lunch, has assembled Livinia Nixon, Diane ''Dee Dee'' Dunleavy and others. Anthony Callea, who's bringing mamma Santina, will serenade diners.
Chadwick will begin promoting Nick, the model, next week now that the printer has dropped off his composite card - that's industry talk for his promotional photos and vital statistics.
Nick is topless in one shot, his shapely pecs part of his 99-centimetre chest. This is vital information if you need to hire a brown-haired model who is 180 centimetres tall and wears size nine shoes.
Posted 25 July 2010 - 12:33 PM
Logies News - Foxtel Comes To The Logie Party
By David Knox
Suggestions that Foxtel might snub the Logies after the event was sponsored by Freeview appear to have been short-lived. Of course, it was actually Brian Walsh who said he wouldn?t be in attendance -not celebrities.
There will be plenty in attendance.
MTV?s Ruby Rose is now confirmed to co-host the Red Carpet Arrivals.
Kat Stewart, Claudia Karvan and Charlotte Dawson will all be presenting awards. Australia?s Next Top Model winner Tahnee Atkinson will be handing out the trophies to winners.
As evidence of Foxtel?s enthusiasm for the event, here is the entire Press Release:
Foxtel is set to shine at the 2010 TV Week Logie Awards at the Crown Palladium in Melbourne this Sunday night, with an impressive line-up of personalities representing subscription television in the Awards? ceremony and on the red carpet.
In a Logies? first, host of FOX8?s Ultimate School Musical, Ruby Rose (from MTV) will join Channel Nine?s Karl Stefanovic, Lisa Wilkinson and Jules Lund on the red carpet to host the all-important arrivals.
Australia?s Next Top Model (FOX8) judge Charlotte Dawson will make her debut as a TV Week Logies presenter. Also presenting are previous Logie winners, Kat Stewart, a Tangle (Showcase) nominee this year, and Claudia Karvan, star of the new Foxtel drama series Spirited (W) premiering in August.
Fresh from this week?s the launch of new channel MTV Classic will be Australian music legend Ian ?Molly? Meldrum, who will present alongside his MTV pal Ruby Rose.
Current winner of the FOX8 smash-hit series Australia?s Next Top Model, Tahnee Atkinson, will also make her TV Week Logie Awards? debut. The gorgeous rising star of Australian modelling will be on stage for the duration of the ceremony as she presents the winners with their Logies.
The new host of Football Superstar (FOX8), model and former professional footballer, Kris Smith will walk the red carpet with his Football Superstar co-host Lee Furlong, just days before filming for season three of the football reality show kicks off.
Tara Moss, Australia?s glamorous queen of crime and host of the upcoming series Tough Nuts (Crime & Investigation Network), will attend the Awards in her first red carpet appearance since joining Foxtel. Tough Nuts will premiere exclusively in June.
The premiere season of Showcase drama series Tangle has received four nominations, including Most Outstanding Drama Series. The hit drama will be represented on the night by Tangle nominees Kat Stewart (Most Outstanding Actress), Justine Clarke (Most Outstanding Actress) and Eva Lazzaro (Graham Kennedy Award for Most Outstanding New Talent), who will be joined by their Tangle co-stars Matt Day, Catherine McClements and Joel Tobeck. Filming of the second season recently wrapped in Melbourne.
Satisfaction (Showcase) star Camille Keenan, who has been nominated for the Graham Kennedy Award for Most Outstanding New Talent, will attend with fellow cast member and former TV Week Logie winner Alison Whyte.
One of New Zealand?s best-loved performers, Robyn Malcolm, from the popular television series Outrageous Fortune (screened exclusively on Foxtel?s Arena), will be at the TV Week Logies for the first time.
Ultimate School Musical?s director Eddie Perfect, vocal coach Anthony Callea and dance coach Kelly Aykers are all set to attend.
Subscription television favourite Brendan Moar from the The LifeStyle Channel will be joined one of the fresh new faces of Lifestyle You, fashion commentator Kate Waterhouse.
Rob Carlton, Charlie Garber and Darren Gilshenan from Movie Network?s Chandon Pictures, which is nominated for Most Outstanding Light Entertainment Program, will be there along with Luke Joseph-Ryan and Wyatt Nixon-Lloyd Nickelodeon?s Camp Orange: The Final Frontier (nominated for Most Outstanding Children?s Program).
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