SINGER Paula Parore found inspiration from a surprising source when looking for a way to relate to her character Grizabella in the musical Cats.
“I likened Grizabella to being Whitney Houston,” Parore, of Balga, said.
“She was beautiful and glamorous, met Bobby Brown and things kind of turned a little bit shady, before she tried to come back again.
“People still loved her, but weren’t sure if they wanted her back where she once was.”
Parore, who teaches singing in Joondalup, is a familiar face to fans of The Voice Australia, having performed on Team Seal in 2012 before returning in 2015 with husband Clay Darius as AViiDA on Team Delta and then Team Ricky.
Since then they have been gigging non-stop, including Perth-based Kiwi Parore’s performance of the New Zealand national anthem for the All Blacks when they played the Wallabies at Optus Stadium in August.
However, the couple initially declined Platinum Entertainment’s initial Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats audition request after roles in the company’s production We Will Rock You.
“Neither of us wanted to be in Cats but we were swayed once they explained their vision for this production,” Parore said.
“It sounded more fun and relevant for all generations; it’s especially palatable for younger audiences.
“Our show is very colourful with hip-hop dancing and the singing is not all operatic. There’s an aerialist on silks and Rum Tum Tugger gets around on roller skates.”
Parore said although she had previous fancied performing as Grizabella, the outcast of the Jellicle cats, she never imagined she would ever get the chance.
“Grizabella is usually not someone of my size or colour,” she said.
“Platinum are really amazing at casting for the voices and not for how someone looks.
“I love knowing that I can go outside my comfort zone and portray this role like I am. She’s a very powerful role that’s been played by strong women like Elaine Paige and Delta Goodrem.”
Having finished a season in Mandurah, Cats is making its way to Quarry Amphitheatre in November.
“So far we’ve had a lot of purists who are still a bit half and half on this version, but then we have new people who think it’s so amazing and leave wondering why they haven’t seen Cats before,” Parore said.
Where: Quarry Amphitheatre, City Beach
When: November 6-10, 14-16