Fame the Musical
, the epic dance musical that celebrates all things eighties, from neon lycra and pop hits to baggy sweats and hip hop, is storming into Perth this year, showing at Crown Theatre from Saturday, April 16 to Sunday, April 24. The show features a stellar line-up of performers, including Paul Merciadez, member of Aussie dance troupe Justice crew, and back up dancer to some of music’s biggest names, who is ready to take on the triple threat challenge of musical theatre. MELISSA MANN spoke to Paul Merciadez to find out how he’s embracing the experience and can’t wait to get on stage.

As part of Justice Crew, Paul Merciadez has been lighting up the stage and screen since the group rose to fame in 2010 as winners of the fourth season of Australia’s Got Talent.

So why the shift to add acting to his repertoire? Merciadez explained that “all members of Justice Crew like to try other things,” including DJing and music production. “One even became a Wiggle,” he said.

Musical theatre has been a “whole new type of dance” for Merciadez. He’s had to learn how to “stay in character while dancing, and to consider how that character would move.” Still a dancer first and foremost, his favourite number in the show is a big dance scene – Dancing on the Sidewalk.

Fame, the story of young people dreaming of a career in the arts, resonates with every young performer who has faced endless auditions and rehearsals. Merciadez said he “connected with Tyrone [for whom he is the understudy] through his story of academic troubles and school frustrations.”

“I also favoured the physical and sport parts of school, and could use the memories and experiences” he said.

Fame, the original 80s movie, was a dark and gritty insight into show business. Paul reassured those bringing kids that the stage show is a lighter version, “with a little more humour, and cleaned up” for younger audiences. Fame is still an honest portrayal of an industry where we often only see the best parts.

Merciadez’s extensive dance touring experience, with the likes of One Direction and Chris Brown, connected with (Fame character) Carmen’s experience. He shared about “the loneliness of being on tour, the isolation from family” – that are just as valid part of the arts career experience as the bright lights and cheering crowds.

When asked about his career highlight so far, Paul has no hesitation – “Janet Jackson.” Starting out as a young boy watching Janet and Michael Jackson, Paul admits to being star struck upon first meeting her.

Fame the Musical hits Crown Theatre from Saturday, April 16 to Sunday, April 24, 2022. For more info and to buy tickets head to ticketmaster.com.au

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