You’ll be performing in “The Songs of Alan Menken” at Southbank Theatre in Melbourne on 24 June. How did you become involved in the show?
I auditioned for Flourish my first year out of BAPA (Ballarat Academy of Performing Arts) back in 2015. I was buzzing with so much energy and so excited to finally work with people outside of university and we’ve been done this show a few times since.
Who else will be performing in The Songs of Alan Menken?
Emily Paddon-Brown, Zuleika Khan, Jeff van de Zandt, Seth Drury, Liam J O’Byrne, Josh Ellwood and myself.
What songs will be performed in The Songs of Alan Menken?
We perform songs written by Alan Menken from classics like Beauty and The Beast, Aladdin, Hercules and The Little Mermaid to musicals including Little Shop of Horrors and Sister Act.
Do you have a favourite song which you like to perform from the show?
Zero to Hero is probably my favourite just because it is so much fun and the choreography is so damm sassy.
Are you a fan of Alan Menken?
YES! I grew up listening to so many of his songs in all my favourite Disney movies they were all such cult classics.
This show is produced by Flourish Productions. Are you able to tell me a bit more about this company?
Flourish was created by Catherine Langley back in 2015 to help support and develop a lot of the new artists in Melbourne from Musical Theatre grads to up and coming musicians. It’s been a great way to create contacts and network and gain some exposure by performing in the shows. The Songs of Alan Menken was the second show by Flourish – in total Flourish has now created 5 unique shows and performed 8 seasons of those shows in the past 2 years at venues including the Hayes Theatre, Chapel off Chapel and now at the Melbourne Theatre Company.
Who were your musical influences growing up?
Aretha Franklin was my biggest musical influence, I was not just mesmerised by her voice and the way she communicated her lyrics.
Do you have any hobbies?
Love to bake and play some competitive badminton.
What is your favourite food?
Can never go past a good sushi.
Do you have a favourite movie?
Just going to shamelessly plug Menken and say ALADDIN.
What is your idea of a good holiday?
Somewhere with lots of sun.
What is the last album you listened to?
If you were stranded on a desert island, what items would you take with you?
Is there anything which you don’t you leave home without?
My beats go with me everywhere. Always listening to music when I have the chance to.
What’s next for Vanessa Menjivar?
I get to tour around New Zealand soon playing Mayor Goodway in Paw Patrols Race to the Rescue Concert.
Images supplied. Photos by James Terry.