Barry Conrad has certainly made a home within the Australian musical theatre scene over the past year, and has only further cemented this recently, following the announcement that he will play Kenickie in Grease: The Arena Experience. We were lucky enough to catch up with Barry to chat all things Grease, dream collaborations and more.

Barry Conrad and Emily Monsma in Hairspray: The Arena Spectacular. Image by Nick Morrissey. 

How has the tour of Hairspray: The Arena Spectacular been for you so far?

The tour has been amazing. This whole process of Hairspray – I have grown so much and I’ve just been like a sponge soaking up any knowledge that I can, learning from the rest of the cast who have been doing this a lot longer than me. The kids in each city we go to have been amazing and it’s been really cool to be a part of something that is bigger than me, and bigger than us, and also hearing how it has impacted a city after we leave. It’s been really rewarding.

What was it like finding out you were going to play the iconic role of Kenickie in Grease: The Arena Experience?

Honestly, I flipped out. I mean, let’s keep it real, I loved this role so much but I don’t look like your traditional Kenickie, so when I rocked up to the audition there were all these guys there with a similar look and it was intimidating. But, when I got the call I was so excited, because it’s something different. I’m excited to bring a freshness to this role and I’m glad they took a chance on me. It’s big shoes to fill because Kenickie is such a badass, but it’s going to be really fun.

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What are you most excited about for Grease: The Arena Experience? 

Just being a part of something iconic. Everyone that I know has seen the movie and knows it. So sitting in my hotrod and singing my song, Greased Lightnin’, is just going to be sick.

What would your dream collaboration be?

I love lots of different artists, but my dream collaboration would have to be Justin Timberlake. He’s a guy who does it all. He sings, he dances and he acts. I also love Bruno Mars, Beyonce, Adele… I just love a lot of different styles. I love taking songs that are not expected from me and making them my own.

Can we expect any new music or performances from you this Christmas?

Well, I’m actually heading to New Zealand to do a TV Christmas special with some friends like Stan Walker, and we’re going to tour to a few cities. It’s kind of like Carols in the Domain, but the New Zealand version, so I’m super excited to do that. In terms of music, there may be something exciting to look forward to, so we’ll see.

To keep up with Barry you can find him on Instagram @barry_conrad and on Facebook