Defying Gravity Concert: Amy Lehpamer

The Fame Reporter interviewed Australian performer, Amy Lehpamer starring in the Defying Gravity concert playing at the Concert Hall, QPAC on 8 January.

We know the feeling. That moment you’re sitting in the audience watching your favourite musical, just waiting for that hit song to drop… the one that inspires you, makes you laugh, makes you cry. Every. Single. Time. On 8 January three of Australia’s leading stars of the stage – Caroline O’ConnorAmy Lehpamer and Naomi Price, with special guest Luke Kennedy – will perform these very songs. Musical hit after musical hit. One big moment after the next. Inspired and unexpected solo, duo and treble groupings never before seen on QPAC’s stages.

Will it be O’Connor’s Judy Garland medley, Lehpamer’s Sound of Music reprisal or Price’s epic Evita performance that will grab you by the heart? Perhaps it will be the three ladies opening Act II with Chicago’s “And All That Jazz” that will be your winner. From Les MisérablesMy Fair Lady and Cabaret to Guys & Dolls and Wicked (along with a few extra popular music masterpieces) this is a night of music not to be missed.

We talked to Amy about what enticed her to want to be part of the Defying Gravity Concert, what she hopes for the future of the theatre industry, her new project ‘Stories from Oz’ and more.

Welcome Amy, how did the show Defying Gravity come to fruition and what do you love about performing in Brisbane?
Brisbane is home these days, but I’ve always loved performing here. The audiences are warm and QPAC is such a wonderful venue. The best crew, the best stages. The show came about because producer Phil Bathols wanted to showcase a few of us local songbirds!

What audiences can expect from the Defying Gravity concert at QPAC?
Showtunes! Big notes and big characters and laughs and heart break. Everything we love best about musical theatre.

What has it been like working with Caroline O’Connor, Naomi Price and Luke Kennedy and have you worked with them previously?
Naomi and I were in “Beautiful: the Carole King Musical” together, I was an assistant director on The Boy From Oz a few years back with Caroline as Judy Garland (I had no notes). And I did some backing vocals and violin for Luke’s “From Johnny to Jack” show last year.

We all know each other but it’s a special experience getting to share a bill, seeing each other do what we all do best and also getting to revel in moments on stage together.

Who is your favourite musical theatre playright and composer of all time and why?
I don’t know that I have an out and out favourite! I love the way Rodgers and Hammerstein soars, the wit and complexity of Sondheim, the humour and spark in Eddie Perfect’s work…I tend to fall in love with anything I’m doing, too.

What current musical are you obsessing over right now?
I wouldn’t say I’m much of an obsessor over cast recordings (I always prefer the live show experience), but Sondheim’s death had me going through his immense and wonderful catalogue in recent weeks.

I adored Fangirls when I saw it in Melbourne last year. I haven’t been that excited about a show in a long long time.

As far as original Australian musicals go, do you have a favourite or what are you excited for in terms of new creatives writing their own true blue stage show?
I love the Boy From Oz. I really loved having the chance to work on it (with the Production Company in Melbourne in 2018) and think it’s a special Australian piece. Nick Enright was a special playwright, and I love the cheek and the heart of the show. That said, I’m always excited about the prospect of new stories being told.

Developing musicals takes time and a lot of funding and support, and it’s so so worth it.

Please tell us a little about your role on ‘Stories from Oz’ on ABC and why you wanted to be apart of that show?
It was literally my dream job! Playing a range of characters, singing and dancing on screen with the most wonderful, hilarious writing and immensely talented cast and creatives.

I play a variety of roles through the series, but take the lead in the Schapelle Corby episode.

Do you have any upcomings projects you can reveal?
I’ll be in Tommy with Victorian Opera in February, playing Mrs Walker. It’s the third time the show has been scheduled so we’re so so hoping to make it happen.

What do you hope for the future of the Australian arts industry?
That it grows and strengthens in its diversity of voices, that it continues to inspire new generations to take part, and that it is given the attention and nurturing and audiences it deserves.

Thank-you Amy for joining us at The Fame Reporter and we wish you all the best for ‘Defying Gravity’ Concert at QPAC!

Concert Hall, QPAC
8 January 2022

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