Want to win tickets? Click here
A generation has grown up with Alan Menken’s music without necessarily knowing it. So many Disney movies have his genius to thank for their catchy songs: The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas and even Hercules and Tangled.
Flourish Productions is excited to bring back Menken’s songs to Melbourne. The Songs of Alan Menken – Menken a Comeback returns to an eager Melbourne theatre scene and brings with it a band and seven-person cast.
Cast member Josh Ellwood was drawn to the show for the chance to explore music from “one of the best theatre and film composers of the 20th century”.
“Menken was the soundtrack to my childhood so the opportunity to sing his songs was unmissable” he said.
“Watching my daughter enjoy The Little Mermaid on DVD has been both surreal and heartwarming.
“I think of clever, thoughtful songs that have a lasting effect on their audience. [They’re] the kind of songs that stick with you, regardless of who sings them.”
Musical director Lucy O’Brien shares Josh’s passionate views.
“I love his work. It’s so iconic if you grew up watching Disney movies in the 90s,” she said.
“His songs have a special way of making your heart happy. They just do.
“There’s so many songs in our show that make you smile and beam, they’re so joyful.”
Part of the reason both Ellwood and O’Brien love Menken’s music is its accessibility to so many people.
“Sure, kids will always love things like The Little Mermaid but there’s so much more depth to the material,” Ellwood said.
“There are some moments that give me chills and some moments that make my sides hurt from laughing.
“On top of that, anyone who likes to listen to great music and beautiful singing will love the stunning arrangements done by Lucy, our MD.”
O’Brien, whose debut as MD was for Menken-hit Little Shop of Horrors, is excited for the audience to be enthralled.
“Our show has a wide range of stuff. If people are interested in knowing more about his earlier work or where he’s come from, or even repertoire for themselves, they’ll get that,” she said.
“I’m a composer as well, so his work influences me there.”
“He’s a master of those simple and beautiful songs and clean lines that are memorable and accessible as well.”
Not only can audiences expect wonderful music and talent, the cast and musos are a tight-knit bunch.
“They don’t shut up, they are so funny. They are the most lovely people. We have such a nice time together,” O’Brien said of the cast.
“Once we’re all in the same room again together it’s like no time has passed.”
Ellwood couldn’t agree more.
“They are so generous, loving and talented and they are too much fun to rehearse with,” he said.
“Everyone should get along to this production just to watch them sing the roof off the MTC.”
Flourish Production’s show promises to be packed full of insight into Menken and his clear and simple, but entirely beautiful music.
The Songs of Alan Menken – Menken a Comeback is on at 3pm and 8pm on Saturday 24 June 2017 at Southbank Theatre – Lawler. Featuring Seth Drury, Josh Ellwood, Zuleika Khan, Vanessa Menjivar, Liam J. O’Byrne, Emily Paddon-Brown and Jeff van de Zandt.
Buy your tickets here: http://www.mtc.com.au/plays-and-tickets/other-companies/the-songs-of-alan-menken/
Want to win tickets? Click here