ALL THE LATEST NEWS
BY NICHOLE CONOLLY
NEW SOUTH WALES
Sydney Lyric Theatre: Billy Elliot
Chapel off Chapel: Bright Star
Comedy Theatre: Come From Away
Her Majesty’s Theatre: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Princess Theatre: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Crown Theatre: Perth: Book of Mormon
AROUND AUSTRALIAN THEATRES
Hayes Theatre 2020 Season
Dubbo Championship Wrestling (May 29th- June 27th)
Rose, a young woman from Dub-Vegas with wrestling in her blood, has long ago turned her back on the family business and Dubbo’s stifling small-town ways. When circumstance brings her back to her hometown on the eve of Dubbomania, the biggest wrestling tournament of the year, Rose is drawn into a monumental battle over family and identity, featuring capes, choreography, and some of the most colourful characters you’ll ever meet.
The Sovereign Wife (August 7th- September 5th)
After six months at sea, Moira O’Flaherty finally sets foot on the Ballarat goldfields. With her husband Connor by her side and a baby on the way, she is ready to reap the spoils of the Lucky Country. But when Connor sinks into drunken despair and the goldfields erupt in bloodshed, the Rose of Donegal County must learn to survive in the soil of this vast new land.
Young Frankenstein (November 6th- December 5th)
Scientist Frederick Frankenstein (“it’s pronounced Fronk-en-steen”) grandson of the infamous scientist travels reluctantly to Transylvania where he has inherited his family’s estate. Before long, he finds himself back in the mad scientist shoes of his ancestor, and with the help of hunchbacked sidekick Igor and yodeling lab assistant Inga, he brings to life a new creature to rival his grandfather’s. But this time, when the monster escapes, absolute hilarity ensues.
There is also a vast array of independently produced musicals and cabarets coming to Hayes in 2020 with a full program of shows available from https://hayestheatre.com.au/2020-season/
Single tickets for Irene, The Life of Us, and The Rise and Disguise of Elizabeth R will go on sale from 7 October 2019
Single tickets to all other shows will go on sale from 28 October 2019.
Come From Away flies to China
The Australian cast of hit musical Come From Away will head to China from May 2020 commencing with shows in Shanghai. The story about universal kindness and embracing our neighbours will be staged in a non- English speaking country for the first time.
This week also saw Come From Away become the Comedy Theatre’s most successful musical ever. A full article can be found at https://www.theatrepeople.com.au/come-from-away-breaks-comedy-theatre-records/
Tickets for Come From Away can be purchased from https://comefromaway.com.au
Featuring an ensemble of actor-musicians in this mesmerising blend of musical theatre, puppetry and illusion, Amélie has already cast her spell over America, Europe and Japan. Now it’s Sydney’s turn to fall in love with this incredible young woman whose quiet exterior belies the music that plays in her mind and beats in her heart.
Amelie opens on July 2nd 2020 in Sydney.
Tickets are available from https://www.darlinghursttheatre.com/whats-on/amelie
Show Announcement: A Chorus Line
2020 will see A Chorus Line return to Sydney when Darlinghurst Theatre Company brings it to life.
Amy Campbell will not only direct the show but for the first time in the Australian history of the show she will create entirely new choreography for the iconic musical.
The show opens on March 13th, in Sydney with tickets available from https://www.darlinghursttheatre.com/whats-on/a-chorus-line
Show Announcement: Oklahoma
Western Australia’s State Theatre Company, Black Swan Theatre Company will be presenting a seductive reimagining of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic musical Oklahoma at the Heath Ledger Theatre in 2020.
Directed by Richard Carroll (Calamity Jane, The Show Goes On, Once), the production features timeless hits such as Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’, People Will Say We’re in Love, and The Surrey With the Fringe on Top. Enjoy bluegrass, country andl even a square-dance with the characters at the Box Social. This Oklahoma! is an off-balance society full of outsiders and misfits.
Opening on November 28th and running until December 20th it is one not to be missed. Further details are available from https://www.bsstc.com.au/plays/oklahoma
Show Announcement: Show Stoppers
Show Stoppers brings together our most inspiring musical theatre performers in a celebration of talent in our country, giving the audience an insight into the people behind the voice.
Each event will showcase six artists with one rising star all singing the big show stoppers from the musical theatre world.
The first event will be held on November 18th at The Bank on Collins and will star top names in theatre Rob Mills (Jesus Christ Superstar, Grease), Imogen Moore (Muriel’s Wedding, Hello Dolly!), Ruva Ngwenya (Book of Mormon, The Lion King), Jayme- Lee Hanekon (The Colour Purple, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Oliver Thomson (Hugh Jackman- The Man The Show, Beauty and the Beast), Martin Croft (Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon), Mike Snell (Aladdin, Brigadoon) and Stephen Mahy (Saturday Night Fever, The Beautiful Game).
Tickets are available from https://www.sstoppers.com.au/
Opening Night: Billy Elliot
Sydney’s Lyric Theatre was electric as the long awaited return of Billy Elliot cast a spell over Sydney audiences on Friday, October 18th. The role of Billy, an 11 year old boy from North East England who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer is shared by four boys Omar Abiad, River Mardesic, Wade Nielsen and Jamie Rogers. All four boys are making their professional debut.
On Friday night, Rogers shone brightly owning the stage as he appeared next to seasoned performers including Kelley Abbey who portrays strict but mother like dance teacher Mrs Wilkinson and Justin Smith who played Billy’s older brother Tony in the original Australian production playing Billy’s dad.
The show runs in Sydney until December 15th before dancing its way to Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.
Tickets and further information are available from https://billyelliotthemusical.com.au
Cast Announcement: Bran Nue Dae
New musical Bran Nue Dae is a coming of age musical comedy set in 1960s Western Australia. It tells the story of Young Willie’s journey of discovery and love. The first ever Aboriginal musical celebrates family, forgiveness and reconciliation through a mash up of rock and roll, gospel, country and blues music.
Leading the cast as Willie is Marcus Corowa (Beautiful). Corowa is joined on stage by Ernie Dingo as Uncle Tadpole, Teresa Moore (The Crucible) as Rosie, Andrew Moran (La Boheme) as Father Benedictus, Tuuli Narkle (Stolen) as Marijuana Annie, Callan Purcell (Hair) as Slippery and Ngaire Pigram (The Sapphires) as Aunty Theresa.
The ensemble includes Tai Savage, Adi Cox, Damar Isherwood, Tehya Jamieson, Danielle Sibosado, Czack (SES) Bero, Bojesse Pigram and Taj Jamieson.
Tickets and further information are available at https://brannuedaemusical.com.au/
Cast Announcement Electric Dreams
It’s 1984. The year of ‘Gremlins’ and ‘Ghostbusters’, string vests and shoulder pads. The year George Orwell chose as the title for his apocalyptic novel about Big Brother. The year that Rusty Lamorande created his iconic cult movie called ‘Electric Dreams’, with a title song that made everybody sing along …
Drew Lane’s new Australian musical takes you back to the wild innocence of 1984, in a show that takes the love triangle (boy-girl computer) of the movie and reimagines it with a brilliantly catchy score that features 22 original songs. Music Theatre Melbourne is excited and proud to stage this first full showing of ELECTRIC DREAMS the musical, with an exceptional cast. Just six shows at the Gasworks Theatre, November 20 to 24; book now for a joyride to remember – and a rare chance to see an Australian musical take flight.
The stellar cast is headed by Tom Green (Miss Saigon) as Miles who finds a brave new world of love and technology, and Madeleine Featherby (Paris: A Rock Odyssey, Follies) Madeleine, girl next door and cellist extraordinaire. It also features Stephen Mahy (Saturday Night, The Beautiful Game) as Miles’ Casanovan best pal, and Angela Scundi (Thoroughly Modern Millie,Tick Tick Boom), as Madeleine’s, the thoroughly modern Millie. Owen James plays Edgar, the computer with human aspirations. Sophie Loughran, Zak Brown, Anthony Scundi, Courtney Smyth and Aidan Niarros complete the ensemble.
The show runs at Melbourne’s Gasworks Theatre from November 20th to 24th with tickets available from http://www.gasworks.org.au/event/electric-dreams/
Cast Announcement: Kiss of the Spider Woman
In a dark South American prison, two men share a small cell. Valentin is a Marxist revolutionary who refuses to betray his comrades. Molina is a window dresser who distracts himself by escaping to a fantasy world of movies starring the glamorous diva, Aurora.
From Kander & Ebb, the team behind smash-hit shows Chicago and Cabaret, and acclaimed playwright Terrence McNally (Master Class), comes a provocative tale of love, imagination, and the friendship that develops when humanity is pushed to its limits. It’s a powerful and emotive story made famous by the original novel and an Oscar-winning film, brought to life here as a dazzling major musical production for the first time ever in Australia.
Musical legend Caroline O’Connor (Bombshells) returns to MTC to take on the role of exotic film goddess, Aurora, in a show that’s set to sizzle and surprise. Joining O’Connor on stage are Adam– Jon Fiorentino (Aladdin) as Valentin, Ainsley Melham (Aladdin) as Molina, Jakob Ambrose (Heathers) as Ensemble, Blake Appelqvist (Kinky Boots) as Esteban/ Ensemble, Elandrah Eramiha (Memphis) as Marta/ Ensemble, Natalie Gamsu (Strictly Ballroom) as Molina’s Mother/ Ensemble, Joe Gaudion (Madiba) as Marcos/ Ensemble, Ryan Gonzalez (Kinky Boots) as Gabriel/ Ensemble, Bert LaBonte (Book of Mormon) as Warden/ Ensemble and Lyndon Watts (West Side Story) as Ensemble.
Kiss of the Spider Woman plays at the Southbank Theatre from November Tickets are available from November 18th with tickets available from https://www.mtc.com.au/plays-and-tickets/season-2019/kiss-of-the-spider-woman/
Cast Announcement: Menopause the Musical
The hilarious Menopause The Musical will play a strictly limited season at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre in May 2020! Starring Rhonda Burchmore, Silvie Paladino, Lara Mulcahy and Gina Hogan.
Inspired by a hot flush and a bottle of wine, Menopause The Musical® is a celebration for women who are on the brink of, in the middle of, or have survived “The Change”.
The show runs from May 6th at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre with tickets available from https://www.ticketmaster.com.au/menopause-the-musical-tickets/artist/874566
Cast Announcement: Shrek
Joining Ben Mingay, Lucy Durack, Marcia Hines (Sydney and Brisbane) and Todd McKenney (Sydney and Melbourne) in Duloc will be Nat Jobe (Aladdin) as Donkey, Ross Chisari (The Rocky Horror Show) as Little Pig 1, Annie Chiswell (Bring It On) as Ugly Duckling/ Teen Fiona, Benjamin Colley (Sweeney Todd) as Pied Piper/ Captain, Andy Conaghan (Les Miserables) as Wolf/ Thelonius, Denise Devlin (Kinky Boots) as Mama Bear, Mackenzie Dunn (Jersey Boys) as a Swing, Blake Erickson (Les Miserables) as Papa Bear, Manon Gunderson- Briggs (Muriel’s Wedding) as Gingy/ Sugar Plum, Hollie James (The Rocky Horror Show) as a Swing/ Dance Captain, Rubin Matters (Rock of Ages) as Peter Pan, Sarah Murr (Les Miserables) as Fairy Godmother/ Mama Ogre, Joshua Robson (Dream Lover) as Little Pig 2/ Papa Ogre, Monique Salle (Mamma Mia!) as Red Riding Hood, Tom Sharah (Muriel’s Wedding) as Little Pig 3, Leigh Sleightholme (Bring It On) as a Swing, Suzanne Steele (Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Wicked Witch, Rhys Velasquez (Titanic) as a Swing, Caleb Vines (Muriel’s Wedding) as Pinocchio and Sascha Wkyes as Baby Bear/ Baby Shrek.
The role of Young Fiona will be portrayed by five Sydney based tweens. Mia Honeysett– 8, Amelia Heaven-10, Amelie Rose-11, Audrey Brodie– 12 and Holly Simon– 12.
Shrek opens at Sydney Lyric Theatre in January 2020 before travelling to Melbourne and Brisbane. Ticket links and all information can be found at https://shrekthemusical.com.au
Cast Announcement: Ragtime
We are excited to introduce the young cast members of The Production Company’s Ragtime. Alternating the role of Little Boy will be young theatre stars Hudson Sharp (School of Rock, Dream Lover) and Kempton Maloney (School of Rock) while the role of Little Girl will be portrayed by alternating actors Summer Hamilton and Annie Sainsbery.
Ragtime opens at Melbourne’s State Theatre on Saturday, November 2nd with tickets available from https://www.theproductioncompany.com.au/
Ben Mingay- Shrek
Shrek the Musical is set to hit the stages of Australian theatres from January 2020 with Ben Mingay and Lucy Durack headlining the cast as Shrek and Princess Fiona.
Ben Mingay made an appearance on The Morning Show where he sung Who I’d Be.
Saturday, October 22nd saw the Australian wide production of hit musical Muriel’s Wedding close in Brisbane.
As a tribute to the show closing here are a few memories.
The media meeting Muriel, newcomer Natalie Abbott
Kate Miller- Heidke representing Australia at Eurovision.
200th Show celebration in Brisbane
Come From Away: Do Something Nice Day
The company of Australia’s Come From Away participated in Do Something Nice Day on Saturday, October 5th. Thank you to the cast for getting out there and supporting those less fortunate.
Book of Mormon
Congratulations to the amazing team at Book of Mormon who celebrated their 1000th show on Friday, September 27th at Perth’s Crown Theatre.
Book of Mormon will play in Perth until November 17th before a return season in Brisbane and a season in Auckland, NZ.
Tickets are available from https://bookofmormonmusical.com.au
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Congratulations to the company of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory who celebrated their 300th show on Saturday, October 26th at Her Majesty’s in Melbourne. We wish you many more shows!
Engagement: Grant Almirall and Jack Chambers
Congratulations to Grant Almirall (Singin‘ in the Rain, CATS) and Jack Chambers (Singin’ in the Rain, Sound of Music) on the announcement of their engagement on September 26th.
Lucy Durack gives birth to son
Star of the Australian stage Lucy Durack– Horsey and husband, director and choreographer Chris welcomed their second child, Theodore Lindsay on October 8th. Lucy and Chris have a daughter, Polly who is 4. Welcome to the theatre family Theodore.
Baby Announcement: Steve Danielsen and Elisha Chin
We wish all the best to Steve Danielsen (Book of Mormon) and Elisha Chin (Grease) on the impending March 2020 arrival of their daughter. Congratulations
NEW SOUTH WALES
Capitol Theatre: School of Rock (November 8th)
Hayes Theatre: H.M.S. Pinafore (November 8th)
QPAC Lyric Theatre: Chicago (November 2nd)
Chapel off Chapel: Legally Blonde (November 23rd)
State Theatre: Ragtime (November 2nd)
Southbank Theatre: Kiss of a Spider Woman (November 18th)
Chapel off Chapel: Bright Star (November 3rd
Josh Piterman and Amy Manford
Congratulations to Aussies Josh Piterman and Amy Manford who portrayed The Phantom and Christine Daae alongside each other this week. Australian Paul Ettore Tabone is also in the cast.
Amy has been nominated for a 2019 BroadwayWorld UK Award for Best Performance By An Understudy/ Alternate in Any Play or Musical. Chookas Amy!
Australian’s are starring in The Phantom of the Opera across the globe with the Dubai production opening on Friday, October 18th with Claire Lyon portraying Christine Daae. Claire looked stunning in her opening night gown.
Hayden Tee (Matilda UK, Les Miserables) who will be back chasing Jean Valjean when he reprises his role as Javert in Les Miserables in Auckland, NZ from November 2019 at The Civic Theatre.
Tickets are available from https://www.ticketmaster.co.nz/les-miserables-tickets/artist/803968
It has been a big few weeks for Tee who has not only been announced the release of his third album Face to Face. The album which will feature 9 tracks from musicals including songs from Les Miserables and Matilda but has been shortlisted for a BroadwayWorld UK Award for his portrayal of Miss Trunchbull in the Best Long- running West End Show Performer (Male) category.