Hewett casts her spell on cast and audience

Australian pop star Colleen Hewett joins the cast for the encore of last night’s premiere of Newstead College’s production of Godspell.  Picture: SCOTT GELSTON

Australian pop star Colleen Hewett joins the cast for the encore of last night’s premiere of Newstead College’s production of Godspell. Picture: SCOTT GELSTON

THE golden girl of Australian pop music, Colleen Hewett, has won a whole new fan base after taking to the stage at Launceston’s Princess Theatre last night during a revival performance of Godspell, the musical that rocketed her to national fame back in the ’70s.

Last night, Hewett was special guest for the premiere of Newstead College’s production of the gospel musical, where she heard Ayla Harvey reprise Day By Day, the song that had earned her a gold record award for sales of more than 50,000 copies.

In a surprise move, Hewett then joined the excited cast – and audience – for its well-deserved encore and delivered a rose to every lead.

Crowned best female artist in 1972, Hewett first become a household name on Nine Network’s Bandstand, winning best female newcomer of the year in 1970. In 1973, she scored another first when she played a leading role in the Australian arena production of The Who’s Tommy.

Hewett said she was getting a lot of flashbacks while watching the performance.

‘‘What talent, and here you have about 70 on stage where we had only 10, there’s so much action happening on stage, it’s great,’’ she said.

Achieving Hewett’s presence last night came about, according to Godspell director Chris Cabalzar, by being ‘‘a bit cheeky’’.

‘‘We made a spur-of-the-moment call to her manager and almost immediately an answer came back that ‘yes, Colleen would love to see the show’.

‘‘Apparently in all these years, she has rarely received such an invitation.

‘‘That seems incredible, but we’re over the moon that she could be with us tonight.

‘‘And she has been so kind and generous with the students, she’s a real star in our eyes.’’

ARTY FACTS:

WHAT: Godspell, presented by Newstead College.

WHERE: Princess Theatre, Launceston.

WHEN: Tonight and tomorrow, 7.30pm.

TICKETS: $29.95 for adults, $19.95 for children.

BOOKINGS: 6323 3666, the Princess Theatre box office, or visit www.theatrenorth.com.au

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