Well over a week before opening night, The Production Company’s The Boy from Oz has been announced for a return summer season at the State Theatre, the Arts Centre.
Rehearsals for The Boy From Oz, starring Todd McKenney as the legendary Peter Allen, started last Monday. Directed by Nancye Hayes with John Foreman as musical director and Andrew Hallsworth as choreographer, this spectacular new concert version will open in the State Theatre of the Arts Centre on August 18. Tickets for the upcoming winter season have reportedly all sold out.
Any changes that might be made for the longer summer season, including any cast changes, are yet to be announced. The summer season plays 6 to 16 January, with a preview on 5 January.
Chairman Jeanne Pratt commented, ‘This is our first major production of an all Australian musical and it has virtually sold out before the company starts rehearsals. This proves that there is a great market for Australian musical theatre. The Production Company has promoted Australian made musicals through the Pratt Prize and Pratt commissions and it is rewarding to know that Australian audiences want home grown musicals starring home grown talent.’
Todd McKenney is making his first appearance for The Production Company. Christen O’Leary is Judy Garland and Fem Belling is her daughter, Liza Minnelli. David Harris, Robyn Arthur and Sally Bourne feature in major roles. McKenney, and Harris are playing their roles from the original Australian production, with Arthur moving up to the larger role of Peter’s mother.
Amanda Harrison was originally cast as Liza Minelli but had to pull out due to the happy news of her pregnancy.
The Boy From Oz is widely regarded as Australia’s most popular musical. It ran for a total 766 performances over two years in the late 90’s and was the first Australian musical to enjoy a sell out season on Broadway. The Boy From Oz was originally produced by Ben Gannon and Robert Fox. The music and lyrics are by Peter Allen with a libretto by Nick Enright.
Many of Peter Allen’s best-loved songs feature in the musical. These include Quiet Please There’s a Lady on Stage, Everything Old is New Again, Tenterfield Saddler, I Honestly Love You, I Still Call Australia Home, Don’t Cry Out Loud and the show stopping I Go To Rio.
Here is the cast list for The Boy from Oz:
Peter Allen – Todd McKenney
Greg Connell – David Harris
Liza Minelli - Fem Belling
Marion Woolnough - Robyn Arthur
Judy Garland - Christen O'Leary
Valerie/Josie - Sally Bourne
Trio – Claire George, Samantha Morley, Sun Park
Young Peter – Fletcher O’Leary, Daniel Rappel
Dick/ Dee Anthony – John Xintavelonis
Jan Di Pietro