Rachel Monamy, who plays Judy Garland in our production of End of the Rainbow this November, is an award winning actress who performs regularly in the Perth theatre scene. Completing the Certificate II in Music Theatre at WAAPA in 2009, Rachel has since performed in many professional, pro-am and community theatre productions including: Chess, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Sound of Music, Company (Marta), Return to the Forbidden Planet (Gloria), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Rona Lisa Perretti), Xanadu (Malpomene), Forbidden Broadway, Oliver! (Mrs Sowerberry), The Boy from Oz (Judy Garland; Plover Award 2011: Best Actress: Musical – won, ITA Robert Finley award 2011 – nomination), Sunset Boulevard (Norma Desmond; Limelight Award 2012: Best Actress: Musical – won, ITA Robert Finley award 2012 – nomination), The Musical of Musicals, The Musical! (Abby: ITA Robert Finley Award Best Actress in a Musical 2015 – won), Monty Python’s Spamalot! (Lady of the Lake; ITA Robert Finley Award – Best Supporting Actress in a Musical 2016 – won), Ruthless (Lita Encore), Chicago (Matron ‘Mama’ Morton: ITA Robert Finley Award – Best Supporting Actress 2017 – nomination) and Stepping Out (Maxine). In 2018, Rachel has performed in the WA premiere of Rock of Ages (Justice) at Koorliny Arts Centre as well as Playlovers’ Side by Side by Sondheim.
We asked Rachel some important questions as rehearsals heat up for our November 9 opening:
What are your 5 favourite Judy Garland songs?
Many of my favourite songs performed by Judy were not necessarily written for her. Here’s a list in no particular order:
- ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’
- ‘The Man That Got Away’
- ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’ (performed with Liza Minnelli)
- ‘Come Rain or Come Shine’
- ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ – I can hardly get through that song without tearing up.
There are a few of these in the show!!
Give us 5 reasons people should come to see End of the Rainbow?
- The writing is incredibly good and very funny
- It is not a well-known show – we should all widen our horizons a little
- It will show audiences a side to Judy they may not know existed
- The music within the show is just fabulous
- My co-stars are a talented bunch of guys.
What are your 5 best theatre memories?
- The opportunity to play a diverse bunch of women on stage
- The people I have had the privilege of working with over the last 10 years, some of whom have become my closest friends
- Bringing theatre to my friends and family (and their friends and families) and opening up that world for them
- Recognising my own growth as a performer
- If I had to choose one specific memory on stage from the hundreds of special moments, it would be performing ‘Class’ in Chicago at Koorliny Arts Centre in 2017 with my closest friend Elethea Sartorelli in our roles as Mama Morton and Velma Kelly. It was just a magical moment on stage where we both felt incredibly connected and made our Musical Director cry (in a good way) every show.
Which 5 shows would you most like to perform in?
- Fun Home
- The Drowsy Chaperone
- I’d love to one day reprise my role as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard.
What are 5 things you have learned about theatre since getting involved?
- Focus on what the script says – everything has been put in there for a reason
- That ‘blocking’ is not just entrances and exits and moving around the stage
- Don’t be afraid to be ugly and raw
- It’s OK not to do anything with your arms and
- Be professional