For the first time in 20 years, Cameron Adams is performing in Myrtle Beach.
A Grand Strand native, Adams has been performing in New York City since the age of 16. Her stage credits include 12 Broadway shows, ranging from “Hairspray” to “Hello, Dolly!”
The dancer/singer/actress is returning home for a one night only performance at Conway’s Theatre of the Republic in honor of the organization’s 50th anniversary.
TOR executive director Tim McGhee approached Adams a few months ago to see if she’d be interested in putting together a show as part of the theater’s milestone year.
“I knew I had this time off before my next job, and I wanted to be part of celebrating the 50th anniversary,” Adams said. “Tim has put together a great group of performers, with pieces rooted in musical theatre and Broadway.”
The show, titled “Cameron Adams: Direct From Broadway,” will be presented on Aug. 31 at 7:30 p.m. at Theatre of the Republic.
“This is the first time I’ve come back and performed in Myrtle Beach since I moved to New York,” Adams said.
Tickets are available online at www.theatreoftherepublic.com, via phone at 843-488-0821 or in person at the box office (331 Main St. in downtown Conway).
Adams will be joined by TOR veteran actors, including Bradlee Alan Gorrera, Robert Wallace, Chad Bagwell and McGhee.
The show will include song, dance and a Q&A segment with Adams, sharing stories from her career.
Adams will also teach a musical theatre dance master class on Sept. 4 at 6 p.m. for dancers age 16 and up.
“I love to teach and now I teach quite a bit in New York with a two year musical theatre conservatory program and some other programs,” she said. “I have so many great little combinations from Broadway shows I’ve done.”
The class will include a warm-up, learning a combination from a show Adams performed in, and a talk-back.
Registration for the master class is $45 and is available online at www.theatreoftherepublic.com.
Theatre of the Republic holds a special place in the hearts of the Adams family, as Cameron’s mom Sandra worked for many years as TOR’s resident choreographer.
"This theatre was obviously around when I was a kid, but it was not like it is today,” Adams said. “Tim came here right after I moved to New York City. He really turned [TOR] into something special. I’m so proud that Myrtle Beach has a theatre of this quality. I wish I had more of this when I was younger.”
Watching her mother have a second career as TOR’s choreographer gave Adams great joy.
“I loved seeing her in this role,” she said. “It brought her so much happiness and challenged her as an artist.”
Adams grew up doing plays and singing at First Presbyterian Church in Myrtle Beach, under the direction and mentorship of Brown Bradley.
“I am so thankful for him and that experience,” she said.
Adams grew up doing a lot of dance, traveling to bigger cities to take classes, which provided dancers with scholarship and audition opportunities.
Through Joe Lanteri, founder of New York City Dance Alliance, Adams was recommended to audition for a Broadway revival of “The Music Man.”
“He was approached by a casting director who was looking for children of various ages for this show,” Adams said. “I was 16 at the time, a junior in high school. I didn’t have a headshot. I didn’t have an agent.”
Adams and her mom traveled to NYC for the audition, and saw some shows and did some shopping while they were there. She later got a callback and then found out she was cast in the show.
“My parents and I had a serious conversation about whether I wanted to do this or not,” Adams said. “Of course I wanted to go for it!”
At 17, she moved to the city with her mom and began rehearsals for the show.
“My mom really sacrificed a lot and moved with me to New York for 10 months. She traveled back and forth to Myrtle Beach often to see my dad. I finished high school through correspondence with Myrtle Beach High School.”
Once the performer turned 18, Adams’s mom moved back to Myrtle Beach and Adams moved into a small apartment “with trundle beds” with a roommate.
January will mark 20 years of living and working in New York for Adams. She closed “My Fair Lady” this July, her 12th Broadway show.
“It’s not an easy business, but I get to do the thing I’ve loved and worked my entire life for,” Adams said. "It’s been an amazing journey.”