Marcia Hines has a career in the entertainment industry that has spanned four decades. While she admits that may seem like a long time she feels much better when she considers the Bee Gees have recently celebrated sixty years in the industry.
Hines moved to Sydney from Boston, USA, to star in the Australian production of Hair. She was just 16 years old and pregnant at the time with her daughter, Deni. She had lied about her age and in doing so, became the youngest person in the world to star in Hair. The role of Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar followed.
Despite the early success in musical theatre, music was her true love and theatre was the stepping stone to gain access into the music industry. Hines seized opportunities as they presented.
“I didn’t have a plan!” admitted Hines, adding, “I’ve been blessed.”
Marcia Hines released her debut album in 1975, Marcia Shines, which became the biggest selling album by an Australian female artist. She was also the first Australian female artist to have seven consecutive Top 20 album releases. Her success was rewarded by being crowned the Queen of Pop for three consecutive years from 1976 and then being inducted into the Aria Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2009 she was awarded an AM in the Australia Day Honours, for services to the entertainment industry and to the community through her charitable work.
Hines was a judge and mentor on every season of Australian Idol from 2003 to 2009 and was known best for being the “nice judge”.
Now, Marcia Hines returns to the world of theatre, in Velvet, a show described as “a raucous fusion of disco, dance, burlesque and circus!”
“What brings me back is the ensemble piece. I do love the camaraderie you find in an ensemble piece,” said Hines. “I just love what I do for a living.”
Hines says it’s important to accept work that allows her to stay true to herself as a performer.
“When certain things are presented to me I talk to my manager and whether it’s right or not.”
Initially, the cast first started rehearsals for Velvet in Sydney before moving to Adelaide to premiere at the Fringe Festival.
“We knew we loved the show, but when we did it in front of an audience we knew it was good,” explained Hines.
Indeed, it is very good. Velvet has received great critical acclaim at both the 2015 Edinburgh and Adelaide Fringe Festivals. The five star reviews have continued with the Melbourne season.
Hines believes part of the success of the show is the songs that audiences will already be quite familiar with.
“Maybe the vibe of the show is different, but everyone knows a disco song or two,” said Hines.
Hines has been impressed with how well the cast care for each other in their physically demanding roles.
“This is physical theatre and something I haven’t done before.”
When asked to describe Velvet, Hines admits she finds it difficult to describe.
“It’s based loosely on Studio 54. A young man walks into a club and he’s not quite sure who he is or what he wants to do. He encounters all these unusual people, and all this great music, and by the end of the show he’s worked out who he is and what he wants to do. My role is to guide him along. I don’t tell him – I just guide him,” explained Hines.
The show contains some great crowd favourites.
“They love ‘Turn The Beat Around’, ‘It’s Raining Men’, ‘Last Dance’, ‘Boogie Wonderland’ … but they love all the songs,” said Hines.
Indeed, on opening night of the Melbourne season of Velvet, audience members were not only singing along, but some were dancing in the aisles and then singing and dancing as they exited the theatre.
“Basically, every song is a crowd favourite and you hear the oohs and ahhs,” commented Hines. “People even sing along – you can’t help it.”
Hines says Velvet is a show that appeals to the generation who grew up with these songs as a soundtrack to their lives and also the younger generation whose parents have driven them crazy playing it!
No matter what your age, Velvet is a show unlike any other and it’s hard not to have a great night out.
“I would encourage anyone to come along,” said Hines. “Get a bunch of friends along and come along ready to boogie. There’s eye candy and there’s ear candy!”
Velvet is playing at the Coopers Malthouse until April 17th before moving to the QPAC in Brisbane.
For tickets and more information http://velvettheshow.com/