When Chloe Dallimore belted out the song When You’ve Got It, Flaunt It as Ulla in the musical The Producers, the leggy former chorus dancer turned the comedy role into a star-making turn.
Once part of the dancing line, Dallimore found herself with a new status as the show’s leading lady, winning the Helpmann Award for Best Actress in the process.
Now that she’s earned her place among the divas of Australian theatre, Dallimore is about to test her talent in a tougher arena than a big-budget Broadway musical. She is to tackle the intimacy and intricacies of the cabaret stage with her debut next week at the Statement Lounge Bar.
In her one-woman show, Dalli In Hollywood, Dallimore pays tribute to the Astaire and Rogers musicals of Hollywood’s golden era, as well as an eclectic range of other song standards by such composers as Vonda Shepherd, Kander & Ebb and William Finn.
I have spent years watching different performers and working out what I love and what talks to me, and I suppose the time was right for me in terms of my own confidence, Dallimore says.
You are up there, all alone and bearing all, so you really can’t hide. This really is the next challenge I wanted to give myself.
Dallimore has been dancing her way across the musical stage for the past decade in such hit shows as Sweet Charity, Crazy For You, Shout! and Oliver!
It was during the long-running season of Chicago, when she was moved out of the chorus and into the leading role of Roxie Hart, that theatre producers first took note of the 1.78m blonde with the big voice.
Since The Producers and the Helpmann Award, Dallimore now finds herself in a different league.
She has just been announced for the star role of Millie in the Australian premiere production of Thoroughly Modern Millie to open in Melbourne in October, and she recently filmed a role of a tap-dancing Swedish UN ambassador in the new penguin movie, Happy Feet.
Best of all, she says, is that tap-dancing is part of both the new movie and stage role.
I tap danced in the movie, because it is about a penguin who captures the world’s attention by tap dancing, and of course I tap in Millie as well, she says.
I really love to tap as it does something strange to people -“ both to the performers and the people watching. It seems to bring something out of people, a joy and a happiness. That is just gorgeous to be part of.
Dalli In Hollywood plays 4-13 May at the Statement Lounge Bar, 49 Market St, Sydney. Bookings on 1300 136 122 or at the Ticketmaster website.