When Sam Verlinden appeared on “The Crowd Goes Wild” sports show several months ago he clowned into the camera saying; “Whoo the Crowd goes wild!”
This time however it was Sam’s performance as young Tommy in “Tommy the Musical“ that the crowd went wild for.
“See me, feel me, heal me”, from the legendary band â€˜The Whoâ€™ is most likely the most memorable lyrics from this outrageously entertaining rock musical “TOMMY”.Â This presentation, by University of Auckland’s Stage Two and Theatre of Love productions is directed by James Wenley and played out onto the Musgrove stage. While no official review has been written for this production, inside reports claim Sam Verlinden (pictured right) to be extraordinary in his roll and performance.Â Sam’s ability to
portray young Tommy and of course his sensational singing makes Sam Verlinden a directors dream.
Playing the older Tommy (shown on left) is Paul Fagamalo.
A Little History
For those of you who may not know, the rock group, The Who, had been together for about 5 years by the time they came out with thier idea for “Tommy”. It was the very first rock opera and to this day still one of the best.
You can still purchase tickets for this production which is going on until Wednesday October 7th.
This month’s featured performer is more than the average 12 year old.Â He’s been described as “Rising Star,Â Singing Sensation & Born to perform” by theÂ East & Bays Courier.Â Channel 3 News New Zealand proclaimed him as,” You Tube Sensation with the best hair”.
Sam Verlinden, who turns 12 today, is New Zealand’s most talked about rising young performer.Â Sam who has been singing nearly before he walked, has astounded everyone he comes in contact with.Â As early as 4 years old, Sam caught the eye of the local media.Â When doing a spot on a pre-school , Sam was invited to sing and wound up consuming over half the show time. Sam is far from one dimensional, as his talents excel far beyond singing.Â After Sam’s family moved to Auckland in 2005, Sam joined a local Children Theater Group.Â Sam appeared as one of the lost boys in Peter Pan for his first production and has been doing two shows a year ever since.Â This year he has been awarded the leading roll as 10 year old Tommy in” Tommy the Musical” which opens today and runs though the 7th.Â Later in November he will be starring in “Oliver the Musical“.
Sam has entered and won countless singing contest with his greatest achievement being this past year when he represented New Zealand at the World Championship of Performing Arts in Hollywood. Sam brought home 6 Gold and 3 Silvermedals along with the prestigious “Industry Award” and 5 plaques for “OVERALL JUNIOR CHAMPION OF THE WORLD“.
I asked Sam what some of his favorite things to do are outside of singing and musical drama.Â He listed a number of things that most preteens enjoy. “PlayStation, Computer, Wikipedia, Listening to Music, and of course You-Tube“.Â He enjoys most sports on TV aside from cricket and golf and like every healthy 12 year old boy loves to eat!Â His favorite foods are Steak, Taro, Island food, Meat, & Fruit specifically Mango.Â Not surprising, his favorite school listings include, School Rugby, Touch Rugby, and School Band. He did mention that he does not care much for Mathematics. Sam likes most animals and has two pet Burmese cats, Coco and Cola.Â He enjoys the movies and declared his last watched film was “Slumdog Millionaire”.
Sam’s love for music is only matched by his passion for Rugby.Â Sam is quoted as being a walking encyclopedia for the ALL BLACKS RUGBY TEAMand his goal to sing the New Zealand National Anthem for one of their games,was given a boost when a local television station asked Sam to sing for them. All right all ready All Blacks!Â What does a guy have to do stand on his head and spit rugby balls?
Because of Sam’s love for both singing and rugby he has listed his life’s ambition to be“A Singing All Black”.
You could say that Sam is an old soul in young body, in as much as he appeals to not just the younger crowd but the older generation as well. Sam’s musical style is a mixture of R&B/Pop & Soul with his greatest musical influences being Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake, and The Beatles. Sam told Channel 3 News that his favorite song track was “Billie Jean by Michael Jackson.”
Most of the songs that Sam chooses to sing demonstrateÂ his wide range and strong vocal control. Sam shows his most profound singing ability while sitting at home in front of his web cam.Â Without the aid of a lot of sound equipment, he artfully masters his voice to sing softly yet hold his notes with rich, pure clarity. He does all this just to bless his You-Tube fans which are now literally in the thousands, and this blogger is proud to say, “I am one” .