BW Student Heads to Broadway!

Here’s a pic of our student, Shane Davis, he will be performing as Benji in the Broadway show, Priscilla Queen of the Desert this year! Congrats Shane!

Article from LVRJ
8-year-old lands part in national tour of ‘Priscilla’
By Jan Hogan
Posted: Jan. 8, 2013 | 12:21 a.m.
Updated: Jan. 8, 2013 | 6:41 a.m.
Shane Davis’ acting credits include TV commercials and a cruise ship show, impressive jobs for an actor of any age. Now, the Summerlin 8-year-old has landed a part in the first national tour of “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.”

His character is “Benji” and is included in three or four scenes for a total of 20 minutes.

Asked why he thinks he was chosen, Shane responded, “Maybe I’m cute.”

When he auditioned for the role in late fall, he was still 7.

“He has a manager in New York City,” said his mother, Sheila, “and they said, ‘We think this part would be good for him, as he has acted and danced, so we went, ‘Why not? Let’s try it.’ He takes voice lessons from Delly Fortgang here in town, and then his theater teacher, Susan Swanson with Broadway West, so it seems like he’s already got those skills.”

He underwent three auditions, spaced out over a long weekend at Fern Adair Conservatory of the Arts in Henderson. The first audition had him singing a song, and the second one added lines.

“Then they pulled out three pages of dialogue and a song and said, ‘Can you learn this by tomorrow?’ ” his mother said. “He was 7 at the time, and I thought, ‘Oh, my goodness. We’ll give it our best shot.’ So we came home and practiced quite a bit, and they were real happy with it.”

Shane learned he got the part about two weeks later. The family received the script Dec. 10. It had “new stuff” in it, Shane said, meaning more lines to learn and changes to lines he’d already memorized. It’s not just dialogue he has to get down pat.

“Now I have to learn an Australian accent,” he said and gave a quick demonstration. “On Tuesday, they sent me a message on how to speak Australian. … They gave me tips, like how we say ‘right,’ you don’t pronounce it with a T. And one guy is Tick (the main character), but you don’t pronounce the T, so it’s ‘Ick.’ And Mom, they call it, ‘Mum.’ ”

Swanson, a veteran of Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring shows, said Shane has that “it” factor.

“Three years ago, he was in one of our shows, we also have the Winchester Players, and there was something, a quality about him that I’ve been teaching for 30 years,” she said. “He walked by me and onto the stage, and he stood out. I said to the parents, ‘This kid really has a lot of talent.’ They looked at him, then back at me and said, ‘Really?’ ”

Shane needs to learn his lines quickly. “Priscilla” is scheduled set to open today at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, followed by stints in Cleveland and St. Louis. There’s a possibility “Priscilla” will add Canada to its tour stops, so he’ll have to get a passport.

“First we go to New York to rehearse for four days,” Shane said. “Then we go all over.”

Shane likes to travel. The cruise was with Broadway West, and he performed a duet, “There is Nothin’ Like a Dame” from “South Pacific,” on a Carnival cruise to Mexico.

“I thought it was going to be scary. … I thought the ship might wobble, and it did,” he said. “I didn’t get sick, but some of the older kids (did).”

The current itinerary has the show running through June. Of the nearly 20 stops, he said he’s excited most to visit the “city of” Minnesota.

He said he was also looking forward to going to Florida, as he is a fan of the Miami Heat, the National Basketball Association team.

Three adults will take turns being his chaperone —- his father, his mother and his uncle, John Arnold. A tutor will be provided to see that Shane keeps up with schoolwork. He’s a straight-A student at Lummis Elementary School, 9000 Hillpointe Road.

Shane comes from a musical family. His mother is a music teacher at Becker Middle School and was a violinist with the now closed “Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular.” His father, Keith Davis, is a mail carrier who plays bass guitar.

Shane said when he grows up, he wants to be a dancer, a singer and a basketball player.

Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at or 702-387-2949.

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