The Fame Reporter interviewed versatile Queensland performer Stefanie Jones. She is starring as the iconic Monica Geller in the Australian Premiere of ‘Friends – The Musical Parody’ – playing at The Star Gold Coast from 11-14 February 2021 before embarking on their Australian Tour.
The hilarious New York and Las Vegas hit Friends! The Musical Parody is pivoting its way to Australia! Join your six favourite friends at your favourite café for a night of unstoppable laughs with the new musical that lovingly lampoons the beloved NBC sitcom.
Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey and Phoebe navigate love, life, friendship and true unagi, all while reliving your favourite moments from the smash hit TV show.
We talked to Stefanie about what enticed her to want to play Monica Geller, how she feels being in one of the only shows currently performing worldwide, what people can do to support the arts industry and more.
Welcome to The Fame Reporter Stefanie, what enticed you to want to be a part of Friends the Musical Parody?
After such a rough year due to Covid, I felt like being involved in something light and fun. That, plus I’m a huge fan of the TV sitcom!
How much did you love Friends the TV show growing up and how does the musical differ to the TV show?
I loved it so much I can almost quote every line! Of course the musical differs in many ways – it’s even more heightened and exaggerated than the TV show (if that’s possible!), but overall the key word here is ‘parody’. We pluck the best moments from the famous sitcom all whilst lovingly lampooning the show.
It recreates the best moments we all know and love but in a fast-paced, uncensored, musical theatre kind of way.
What do you love about Monica and how alike are you with the character?
I too am obsessively clean, neat and tidy. I can’t concentrate if there’s mess around me! And… I’m also a romantic at heart.
Do you have a role in theatre that you are dying to play?
Mmm… Definitely The Emcee in ‘Cabaret’.
Please describe the music in Friends the Musical Parody for us?
The music in our musical parody will be like an audible tour of the 90s!
There are countless famous 90s bangers scattered throughout our show with ‘new and improved’ lyrics to suit our plot lines!
How do you feel being part of one of only a few shows in the world that are able to perform right now and what did it feel like walking into the first day of rehearsals?
Very lucky indeed. It isn’t lost on any of us how special and momentous it is to do a show right now. Walking into the rehearsal room on Day 1 was equal parts strange and surreal, but also like coming home.
What 3 performers dead or alive would you love to have a dinner party with?
Celine Dion, Julie Andrews and Alan Cumming.
What is your favourite moment of Monica’s during the show and what is your favourite thing about comedic acting?
I’ve loved finding Monica’s voice in as many of the lines as I can. She has such a distinct tone and attack on certain words which has been really fun to play with throughout rehearsals. What I’m most looking forward to is audience reaction. That’s what sets comedic acting apart from other genres – you rarely get as much back from the crowd.
What are you most excited about when performing with this talented cast?
Having people witness this talent! This group of actors are truly so talented and perfectly unique for the show.
What do you love about the brother-sister relationship between Monica and Ross in the show, is it similar to the TV show?
I think what’s nice to witness as a viewer is how their siblingship evolves from intense frustration and childhood hatred, to mutual respect and care as adults. That… and ‘The Routine’.
As a Queenslander what do you love or admire about the Queensland arts or theatre community in particular?
How much it continues to grow! Every time I come home, there’s so much more to see and take in within the night-life culture and arts community. Get it, QLD!!
What can people do to support the arts industry right now?
Buy tickets to shows! Stay informed on updates within our industry as we emerge from the pandemic. Whilst these are unchartered waters for all of us, there’s no denying the arts have been hit hardest and government subsidies do not cater to us in the same way.
Please support us, read the arts column, watch the ABC and treat yourself to a night at the theatre!
Why should audiences come along and see Friends the Musical Parody?
For many reasons I feel as though this is the exact theatre experience we all need right now. ‘Friends’ is in many ways a family that many of us hold so close to our hearts.
To experience that nostalgia and familiarity in a SUPER fun, ridiculous setting is the perfect antidote to the year we’ve all experienced.
Fame Reporter Word Play
So no-one told you life was gonna be this way….
Greece again and again
Favourite mantra when you are down
I will never miss the things that are meant for me.
Any secret talents
My loving mother
The Sound of Music
Savoury or Sweet
One of a kind
Dressing Room necessity
Comedy or Drama
Can’t live without
My partner, Aaron
16 going on 17
Rachael Sarra – Indigenous artist of Goreng Goreng Country.
Favourite song in Friends the Musical Parody
We Were On A Break
Place you want to travel to? (when we can)
TV Show Binge
Finally, favourite thing about performing
Thank-you Stefanie for joining us at The Fame Reporter and best of luck with the Australian Tour of ‘Friends The Musical Parody’!
Friends the Musical Parody
11 – 14 February 2021
The Star, Gold Coast
16 – 19 JUNE 2021
19 – 21 AUGUST 2021
2-4 SEPTEMBER 2021
24 – 25 SEPTEMBER 2021
16 OCTOBER 2021
All photos – Supplied