Casey Donovan takes big role in her stride

Flowerchildren cast

Matt Hetherington, left, Dan Humphris, Laura Fitzpatrick and Casey Donovan on the set of Flowerchildren. Picture: David Geraghty Source: The Australian

CASEY Donovan has endured her fair share of weight slurs since she won Australian Idol seven years ago. But she soon learned to embrace her physicality as a performer, and it’s an attitude she brings to her role as Mama Cass.

Donovan wants to honour Cass as a “big, beautiful and sexy” woman in a musical about her group the Mamas and the Papas.

“I want people to be proud of who they are,” she said. “Get up, stand up and give life a go.”

Flowerchildren, written by Peter Fitzpatrick, the screenwriter of the 1995 film Hotel Sorrento, is a musical based on the tumultuous times of the group’s rise and fall in the late 1960s.

Donovan, 23, said this was the most challenging role she had taken on. She wanted Cass to be known for her musical talents rather than a singer plagued by fellow band members’ criticism of her appearance. In her own life, Donovan said, she drew confidence from her song Big, Beautiful and Sexy, released last year.

At the height of her booming solo career, Cass Elliot died of a heart attack in 1974, aged 32, in her hotel room after a sold-out performance at the London Palladium. Donovan found there was limited material to draw on for the role.

After the musical finishes its two-week run in Melbourne, which starts on Monday, the Sydney singer will take the Mama Cass role on tour with a tribute show next month. “I’ll be straightening this mass of curls of mine, dressing up and paying tribute to Mama Cass,” she said.

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Casey Donovan Pays Tribute to Mama Cass

Wednesday 28th September

The Basement, Sydney NSW
7 Macquarie Place, Circular Quay NSW 2000
Tickets $30* presale | $35 on the door | dinner & show $78.80
Bookings: (02) 9251 2797 |
* booking fee
Friday 30th September
Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra ACT
Civic Square, London Circuit, Canberra ACT
Tickets $50 * adults | $40* concession
Bookings: (02) 6275 2700 |


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