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Joe Kalou. Joe Kalou.
21 January 2019 Posted by 

Joe's Coast path to performance stardom

WHEN Joe Kalou was treading the boards in Aladdin as a youngster with Gosford Musical society he little dreamed that he would one day be performing at one of the Coast’s premier venues as a star of a Tony award-winning musical.

But that’s just what will happen when In the Heights plays at the Wyong Art House before heading off for a season at the Sydney Opera House.
At just 26, Joe has already had quite the career.
From those early days with GMS, he went on to perform for several years as a vocalist, guitarist and flautist in The Rock Show with Jon English, Rock Show More and Rock Revolution.
And then the multi-instrument player picked up a top gig as a member of the re-imagined Hi 5 children’s group.
“I was auditioning for quite a few things at the time and had only two days’ notice for the Hi 5 audition,” he said.
“So, I learnt the pieces, took my guitar and decided all I could do was my best. They saw us in groups of five and I didn’t think much more about it – just went back to gigging in pubs.
“I was beside myself when my agent called to say I had been cast.
“I drove straight to mum’s and although I didn’t arrive until midnight she was through the roof with excitement. She ran through the house and woke my nan.”
After two years of appearing with Hi 5 and at Channel 9's Carols by Candlelight Joe, who still lives on the Coast, is thrilled to be joining the cast of In the Heights for its January season.
Rhythms of salsa
“I wasn’t able to audition for the first season (at The Hayes Theatre Co earlier this year) but when I heard they were auditioning the role of Benny, previously played by Timomatic, I was over the moon.
“When I got the role I couldn’t believe it. I’ve always loved hip hop and this show is amazing. Benny is African American with a Latino background and a go-getter attitude. It’s a short season but it’s going to be fantastic.”
The Art House stage will be transformed into a vibrant Manhattan street corner as the  acclaimed musical, which combines the sounds and rhythms of salsa, soul, hip-hop and merengue with explosive street dance and rap, blows Coast audiences away.
The revolutionary musical has been a Broadway smash hit since its debut in 2008. It follows residents of Washington Heights – a New York City neighbourhood on the brink of change – and in the process poignantly captures what it means to chase your dreams while staying connected to your community.
Directed by Luke Joslin and produced by Blue Saint Productions in association with Neil Gooding, the show also features Stephen Lopez (Usnavi), Olivia Vasquez (Vanessa) and Luisa Scrofani (Nina).
Following the Opera house season of In the Heights, Joe will appear as Jesus in Packemin Productions' Jesus Christ Superstar at Parramatta Riverside Theatre in February before heading to New York, where he hopes to take acting and dance classes.



Michael Walls
P: 0407 783 413
E: Michael@accessnews.com.au

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