By Cam Lucadou-Wells
It’s been a long time coming for Doveton superstar Michael Cormick.
He is about to perform for the first time in Dandenong since shooting to international stardom.
The lead in numerous West End musicals in London, Cormick is set to perform songs from his extensive repertoire at his show Feelin’ Good.
Accompanied by David Cameron on piano and guitar, the show draws from Cormick’s just-recorded new solo album.
He will perform a mix of musical theatre and other classic songs, as well as tell stories of extraordinary shows, composers and collaborators.
It all began singing at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Dandenong as a boy. Often he sang facing the wall.
“I used to hide and not want to be seen by anybody,” he says.
“I was just too shy.”
His memories of Doveton are that it was “pretty rough”. His five older brothers tended to “protect” him.
At 14, he appeared at a local St John’s talent quest. He won – and then his career went “bang”.
His parents “tricked” him into appearing on TV’s New Faces.
“I think once they saw the talent, they thought OK this is what you’ve got to do.”
There were winning appearances on the heats and final. For the first time, he was feeling the power of a microphone backed by a live band.
“There was a power and an energy. It was quite amazing.”
By 15 he was performing on cruise ships – though with a chaperone.
He became a regular on New Faces and TV variety shows hosted by Don Lane, Mike Walsh and Bert Newton.
In a whirlwind, he was starring Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals in London. Cormick stood out from thousands of auditioners to impress Lloyd Webber. “He loved the tone of my voice.”
He had at first reluctant to audition for his first, CATS – he wanted to be a pop star.
But EMI studio sat on the demos that he recorded for two years, while the musical theatre roles kept rolling in.
His blazing list of credits include Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Beauty and The Beast, Mamma Mia and Annie.
Cormick has trod the most acclaimed concert halls in Europe and performed for Queen Elizabeth II in two Royal Command performances.
Feelin’ Good is on Thursday 21 February 10.30am at Drum Theatre, cnr Walker and Lonsdale streets, Dandenong.