Victorian Seniors Festival Reimagined 2020

Maureen Andrew - Week 7

Tristan Meecham

The minute she walked in the joint, I could see she was a real big spender. The Victorian Seniors Festival is thrilled to welcome a triple treat. She can act, she can sing, she can dance. Maureen Andrew, what can’t you do?

Maureen Andrew

I can do anything, actually. I was never really good at karate. I was – I loved doing judo and karate but I hate hitting people.

Tristan Meecham

This week, the theme is all about peace and place. Would you agree that your place is on the stage?

Maureen Andrew

I’m a dichotomy. I find it really interesting since I moved up to Daylesford. People will come and see me do a show and I’m all dressed up. I’ve got wigs and everything else on but then, during the day, I’ve got my paint-stained pants, my old shirt, my Blundstones, my hair pulled back, no make-up. I’m very comfortable on the stage but I’m as equally as comfortable up a tree or with a whipper snipper or with a chainsaw in my hands.

Tristan Meecham

Speaking of this week’s    other theme of peace, is it true that you were in the original production of Hair?

Maureen Andrew

That changed my life because it really made me aware. That was in 1971 and I had never really really understood – and I remember the young boys in the office, waiting for their birth date to roll out of the barrell and these kids were like 18-19 and, if their number turned up, they were whooshed up to war and I had already an inkling about how uncomfortable and how frightening it was for the young men. Then when I did Hair and it was about a tribe of people amongst whom one had been conscripted and they all didn’t want him to go, they wanted peace, they wanted to be together and there was a song we used to sing with a big chain around us, we would all push against it. 3500 and that was about diminishing a human being to being just a number. The nude scene – what did it matter? But, I remember there were people in the audience who would watch the whole show and we used to run into the audience at the end and I remember one night, one man whacking me with his coat and I thought, but you stayed for the whole show and how you’re getting angry about it all. So, I know there were a lot of people who got what it was about and there were a lot of people, as it still is today, who didn’t want to understand what it was about but it was about human beings caring for each other.

Tristan Meecham

You have played many famous divas. Who were some of your favourites?

Maureen Andrew

I loved Norma Desmond from Sunset Boulevard. She was just caught in an era. Even though we get older, there’s a part inside most of us, if we remain healthy – I still think I’m 18. I’m biologically and mentally a younger age. Not an older age and that is what Norma Desmond was but then Madame Giry in Phantom of the Opera – bitter and twisted and wanted all the dancers to do her things her way and terrified of the Phantom. Les Mis – “master of the house. Isn’t worth me spit. Comforter philosopher and life long shit”. Two people married together who absolutely hated each other but made lots of money out of all of that.

Tristan Meecham

It is so evident, your love for theatre and for musical theatre. Can you name some of the artistic collaborators who you have loved working with throughout your career?

Maureen Andrew

Oh, look, they’ve all been fabulous. I think because it’s recent, one of the best and loveliest people to work with was Hugh Jackman. He’s big, he’s big an energy and all that sort of thing. Lovely, lovely, lovely man and our wonderful choreographer, Kenny Ortega, who did the Boy from Oz tour. He worked with Madonna, Cher, just so many fabulous – Michael Jackson. He was on Michael Jackson’s last tour and he was the kindest, most efficient, most heart-warming gentleman to work with. Todd McKenny, you know, so many great Australian performers. I was also the oldest Kylie Minogue backing dancer. I think - what was that? 2016.

Tristan Meecham

I think during these times, we realise how the arts contribute to people’s peace and place. What is it about the Victorian Seniors Festival, Maureen, that you love so much?

Maureen Andrew

We tend to assume our seniors have lost it. Well, honey, let me tell you they have not lost it. They still got it. They might do it in a different way but the energy still comes out and the passion and the love and the seniors festival, for me, honours all of that and gets all those people together and they just go in and they just party and they have a great time and that’s exactly how it should be.

Tristan Meecham

For your performance here on In the groove, you’re going to embody the one and only Shirley Bassey. What is it about this show diva that inspires audiences and fills them with joy?

Maureen Andrew

She’s ballsy, she attacks it all, she has sass and drive but the interesting thing with all these stars, when you go through the list of songs that they do, they’re all about pain, about grief, about loss of love. So, even though they’re dynamic when they’re performing, what the audience relates to, is those songs.

[Singing]

This is for all you big spenders out there

Yeah! The minute you walked in the joint

I could see you are someone of distinction

A real big spender

Good looking and so refined

Wouldn’t you like to know what’s going in my mind

So let me get right to the point

I don't pop my cork for every man I see

HEY Big Spender

Spend a little time with me

 

Wouldn't you like to have fun?

How's about a few laughs?

I can show you a good time

Let me show you a good time

 

The minute you walked in the joint

I could see you were a man of distinction

A real Big Spender

Good looking and so refined

Say, wouldn't you like to know what's going on in my mind?

So let me get right to the point

I don't pop my cork for every man I see

HEY Big Spender

HEY Big spender

HEY Big spender

Spend a little time with me. Me

 

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"All generations need a greater acceptance that so many mature age people are dynamite." And instead of bemoaning the lack of opportunities for older performers, Maureen Andrew harnesses her performance expertise to write her own shows.

 

Visit Maureen Andrew's website: www.facebook.com/maureen.andrew2

 

Read Maureen's Performer Profile.

 

While we kindly encourage you to submit your comments, thoughts and experiences below or on our Facebook, we expect that users will not post content that falls into the following categories and reserve the right to remove comments that are:

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An online Festival is completely new for us and we hope you enjoy the performances.

Victorian Seniors Festival Reimagined 2020

Maureen Andrew - Week 7

Tristan Meecham

The minute she walked in the joint, I could see she was a real big spender. The Victorian Seniors Festival is thrilled to welcome a triple treat. She can act, she can sing, she can dance. Maureen Andrew, what can’t you do?

Maureen Andrew

I can do anything, actually. I was never really good at karate. I was – I loved doing judo and karate but I hate hitting people.

Tristan Meecham

This week, the theme is all about peace and place. Would you agree that your place is on the stage?

Maureen Andrew

I’m a dichotomy. I find it really interesting since I moved up to Daylesford. People will come and see me do a show and I’m all dressed up. I’ve got wigs and everything else on but then, during the day, I’ve got my paint-stained pants, my old shirt, my Blundstones, my hair pulled back, no make-up. I’m very comfortable on the stage but I’m as equally as comfortable up a tree or with a whipper snipper or with a chainsaw in my hands.

Tristan Meecham

Speaking of this week’s    other theme of peace, is it true that you were in the original production of Hair?

Maureen Andrew

That changed my life because it really made me aware. That was in 1971 and I had never really really understood – and I remember the young boys in the office, waiting for their birth date to roll out of the barrell and these kids were like 18-19 and, if their number turned up, they were whooshed up to war and I had already an inkling about how uncomfortable and how frightening it was for the young men. Then when I did Hair and it was about a tribe of people amongst whom one had been conscripted and they all didn’t want him to go, they wanted peace, they wanted to be together and there was a song we used to sing with a big chain around us, we would all push against it. 3500 and that was about diminishing a human being to being just a number. The nude scene – what did it matter? But, I remember there were people in the audience who would watch the whole show and we used to run into the audience at the end and I remember one night, one man whacking me with his coat and I thought, but you stayed for the whole show and how you’re getting angry about it all. So, I know there were a lot of people who got what it was about and there were a lot of people, as it still is today, who didn’t want to understand what it was about but it was about human beings caring for each other.

Tristan Meecham

You have played many famous divas. Who were some of your favourites?

Maureen Andrew

I loved Norma Desmond from Sunset Boulevard. She was just caught in an era. Even though we get older, there’s a part inside most of us, if we remain healthy – I still think I’m 18. I’m biologically and mentally a younger age. Not an older age and that is what Norma Desmond was but then Madame Giry in Phantom of the Opera – bitter and twisted and wanted all the dancers to do her things her way and terrified of the Phantom. Les Mis – “master of the house. Isn’t worth me spit. Comforter philosopher and life long shit”. Two people married together who absolutely hated each other but made lots of money out of all of that.

Tristan Meecham

It is so evident, your love for theatre and for musical theatre. Can you name some of the artistic collaborators who you have loved working with throughout your career?

Maureen Andrew

Oh, look, they’ve all been fabulous. I think because it’s recent, one of the best and loveliest people to work with was Hugh Jackman. He’s big, he’s big an energy and all that sort of thing. Lovely, lovely, lovely man and our wonderful choreographer, Kenny Ortega, who did the Boy from Oz tour. He worked with Madonna, Cher, just so many fabulous – Michael Jackson. He was on Michael Jackson’s last tour and he was the kindest, most efficient, most heart-warming gentleman to work with. Todd McKenny, you know, so many great Australian performers. I was also the oldest Kylie Minogue backing dancer. I think - what was that? 2016.

Tristan Meecham

I think during these times, we realise how the arts contribute to people’s peace and place. What is it about the Victorian Seniors Festival, Maureen, that you love so much?

Maureen Andrew

We tend to assume our seniors have lost it. Well, honey, let me tell you they have not lost it. They still got it. They might do it in a different way but the energy still comes out and the passion and the love and the seniors festival, for me, honours all of that and gets all those people together and they just go in and they just party and they have a great time and that’s exactly how it should be.

Tristan Meecham

For your performance here on In the groove, you’re going to embody the one and only Shirley Bassey. What is it about this show diva that inspires audiences and fills them with joy?

Maureen Andrew

She’s ballsy, she attacks it all, she has sass and drive but the interesting thing with all these stars, when you go through the list of songs that they do, they’re all about pain, about grief, about loss of love. So, even though they’re dynamic when they’re performing, what the audience relates to, is those songs.

[Singing]

This is for all you big spenders out there

Yeah! The minute you walked in the joint

I could see you are someone of distinction

A real big spender

Good looking and so refined

Wouldn’t you like to know what’s going in my mind

So let me get right to the point

I don't pop my cork for every man I see

HEY Big Spender

Spend a little time with me

 

Wouldn't you like to have fun?

How's about a few laughs?

I can show you a good time

Let me show you a good time

 

The minute you walked in the joint

I could see you were a man of distinction

A real Big Spender

Good looking and so refined

Say, wouldn't you like to know what's going on in my mind?

So let me get right to the point

I don't pop my cork for every man I see

HEY Big Spender

HEY Big spender

HEY Big spender

Spend a little time with me. Me