This is Your Brain on Musical Theatre – 7 Questions with Michael Falzon


Welcome to "This is your brain on Musical Theatre", a new feature on BroadwayWorld Australia. Each month we will put the same seven questions to a variety of performers who have made their mark on the Australian and International stage. This is your chance to get to know another side of your favourite Musical Theatre stars as they share, amongst other revelations, what they think is the next musical waiting to happen (and whether, like you and me, they still like to sing in the shower!).

This is your brain on Musical Theatre - 7 questions with Michael Falzon

Michael Falzon's break-through role came in 2003 when he was hand-picked by no less than Brian May and Roger Taylor from Queen to star as "Galileo" in the Australian production of WE WILL ROCK YOU - the first production of the hit show to be staged outside of the West End. In 2009 May invited Falzon to star in the UK and European tour of the musical, with the arena version of the show going on to break box office records across the UK.

On Australian shores Falzon played the lead in HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY ITCH to critical aclaim, and in 2011 introduced Australian audiences to a different kind of rock royalty as Stacee Jaxx in ROCK OF AGES, a role that firmly cemented him as one of our best loved musical theatre stars.

Falzon can next be seen as the Arbiter in CHESS for The Production Company in Melbourne, and will be performing a one-night only show at the Sydney Musical Theatre Cabaret Festival in August. From September he will be touring Australia in a new production of SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM before leaving our shores for a UK and European tour of War of the Worlds to round out 2012.

This accomplished singer, actor, songwriter and producer is also our first (game!) guest to give us a glimpse of a mind under the influence of musical theatre … enjoy!

1. Is there a particular show and/or person that first made you feel like 'this is what I want to do'? 

Looking back, perhaps the show that gave me that feeling of "this is what I want to do" was Harry M. Millar's arena version of Jesus Christ Superstar. Both John Farnham and Jon Stevens rocked the musical theatre world in that arena tour - perhaps the first time since the 70's had that rock feeling been merged with theatre so successfully. It definitely resonated with me and since We Will Rock You, I've been able to explore that rock/theatrical union. I'm yet to take a role in JC Superstar, but if it comes back people will have to tie me down to stop me!

2. Can you remember the moment when you first understood that you could sing the way most others can't?

My mother used to love it when I sang around the house, which I'd often do, when helping to clean up (I was a good kid) and I used to sing at school in choir and musicals. So, perhaps I realised back then that I had something. It wasn't until I reached my late twenties and explored different styles, discovering my "true" voice when the big breakthrough came in finding out what I couldn't do rather than what I could. I don't think my voice is any better than anyone else's ... I'm a believer in "less is more" and giving yourself, and an audience, somewhere to go.

3. Is there one night in your career that you would love to go back to and experience over again?

Not really. There are highlights for sure - singing Queen music with them watching and enjoying it; being onstage in front of thousands with Jeff Wayne conducting his music; various (but too few) moments of combining all elements of performance to reach a glimpse getting it right! I've been fortunate, no doubt, but not taking anything away from any of my experiences, I look forward mostly to making more of them. 

4. Is there one role that belongs to the opposite gender or a different age group that you'd secretly love to perform?

Sweeney Todd would be great - I'm maybe not quite old enough yet, but hopefully not far off it ... I just don't think it is a role people might think of me for straight away. But especially after seeing Tim Burton's film - a lovely telling - the role has become very appealing. Maybe as I get older, I just want more meat in a role. As to opposite gender, I've never thought of it!  Hedwig was enough of a mindf*@k to play without exploring gender-bending further.

5. What book/TV show/movie is a musical just waiting to happen?

I think there are heaps and people have been adapting books and films to musicals for ages - A Little Night Music, Les Mis of course (again and again), the upcoming King Kong - which I am very looking forward to seeing - but perhaps the first that springs to mind is Moulin Rouge. That would be fabulous on stage ... amazing arrangements of songs from David Bowie and Elton John with amazing classical voicing. That'd be a beauty!

6. Do you still sing in the shower when you sing for a living?!

 Ha! Well, yes, but it is mostly warming up or cooling down after a performance. Come to think of it, I don't think I ever have really stood in a shower and just sung - maybe I'll try a verse of My Heart Will Go On or Nessun Dorma or something?!

And finally, borrowing from James Lipton via Bernard Pivot:

7. What sound or noise do you love? 

Music!  I love music, of all kinds. But more specifically, busy, dirty, electric guitar. Pretty blokey, I know, but even more so, I love the sound of cars. Not just any cars, special, powerful cars, my car!

 Side by Side by Sondheim, 2012

Image: Michael Falzon with Geraldine Turner, Jessica Rowe & Rachael Beck, Side by Side by Sondheim - Australian Tour, 2012. Photo Credit: Kurt Sneddon/Blueprint Studios.

You can catch Michael Falzon in the following productions in 2012:

CHESS - The Production Company, Melbourne

August 18 - 26, for tickets and further information click here.

Michael Falzon and Trio, Sydney Musical Theatre Cabaret Festival

August 31st, for tickets and further information click here.


Orange - September 13th; Dubbo September 14th; Canberra - September 21st & 22nd, Geelong - November 6th, 7th & 8th.

For more information and to purchase tickets for SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM click here.




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From This Author Jacqueline Bublitz

Jacqueline "Rock" Bublitz is a Melbourne-based writer who saw a local production of Annie aged 5, and was never quite the same. Since that first (read more...)

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