ECHUCA’S Lewis Beer (pictured above) has landed his first major break — in GFO’s production of The Wizard of Oz.
The 22-year-old will be part of the ensemble in his professional musical theatre debut.
‘‘I’m so ridiculously excited,’’ he said.
Lewis will start rehearsals in Sydney next month in time to open for audiences in Brisbane in November and Sydney in December.
‘‘I’ll be popping up in Munchkinland, The Emerald City and The West — home of the Wicked Witch performed by Wicked’s Jemma Rix,’’ he said.
The former St Joseph’s College student, who also trained in jazz, tap and ballet at Suzanne’s School of Dance, said the audition process was extensive, spanning over four days.
‘‘It was quite mentally and physically exhausting and trying to fall asleep on the night before your final callback with lyrics, choreography and scripts running through your mind is extremely challenging,’’ he said.
Lewis said it was an honour to be involved in such a classic musical and especially significant.
‘‘The Wizard of Oz was my first production with Echuca-Moama Musical Theatre Company when I was seven, the first professional production I saw at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne in 2002 and my first ballet recital with Suzanne’s School of Ballet. So making my professional debut in this show is truly humbling as I’m coming full circle,’’ he said.
Lewis will be performing alongside Anthony Warlow (Professor Marvel and The Wizard) and Lucy Durack (Glinda).
‘‘I grew up listening to Anthony Warlow’s albums and watching him live ... and Wicked was one of those shows that really made me want to pursue a career in this industry. So knowing I will be performing on stage with Jemma Rix and Lucy Durack, the stars of Wicked, is incredibly daunting but feels like some amazing reward for all the work I’ve put into making this my unbelievable reality,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m still trying to accept it as a reality because it all feels surreal.’’
The Wizard of Oz will open in Adelaide in April 2018 and Melbourne in May 2018.