Hello and welcome back to Theatre People’s Weekly Wrap for 2020. In this our 4th year, we can’t wait to share with you the many musicals and special events that will be gracing the Australian stage in 2020. Over the break, I was lucky enough to travel to Melbourne to see Come From Away, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I hope that many of you also have the pleasure of enjoying the work of our truly talented artists this year.
NEW SOUTH WALES
Capitol Theatre: School of Rock
Sydney Lyric Theatre: Shrek
Sydney Opera House- Joan Sutherland Theatre: Carmen
Sydney Opera House- Studio: SIX
QPAC Lyric Theatre: Book of Mormon
Adelaide Festival Centre- Festival Theatre: Billy Elliot
Arts Centre, Melbourne- State Theatre: Chicago
Comedy Theatre: Come From Away
Her Majesty’s Theatre: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Princess Theatre: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Regent Theatre: War Horse
WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND AUSTRALIAN THEATRES
9 to 5 announces Melbourne season
Dolly Parton’s West End smash hit 9 to 5 the musical will play at Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre from July 2020. Starring magnificent Australian performers Caroline O’Connor as Roz Keith, Marina Prior as Violet Newstead, Samantha Dodemaide as Judy Bernly and Erin Clare as Doralee Rhodes, this musical is one not to be missed.
The show opens at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre in April. Tickets for Sydney and wait list details for Melbourne are available at the official website https://9to5themusical.com.au/
Caroline O’Connor, Marina Prior, Samantha Dodemaide and Erin Clare
Darlinghurst Theatre’s A Chorus Line
The full cast of Darlinghurst Theatre’s production of A Chorus Line has been announced ahead of their season at the Eternity Playhouse in Sydney. Tim Draxl (Only Heaven Knows, A Place to Call Home) plays Zach, the director auditioning a group of actors for his upcoming musical.
The auditionees, who are desperate to get a job in Zach’s new show are Angelique Cassimatis (Hair, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) plays Zach’s ex-girlfriend Cassie, Daniel Assetta (West Side Story, CATS) as Al, Molly Bugeja (West Side Story) as Connie, Samantha Bruzzese (Bring it On, The Bodyguard) as Diana, Andrew Cook (Chicago, Beautiful) as Don, Nadia Coote (Dirty Dancing, Strictly Ballroom) as Sheila, Lachlan Dearing (Saturday Night Fever, Jack and the Beanstalk) as Mike, Natalie Foti as Bebe, Keanu Gonzalez (West Side Story, Aladdin) as Greg, Chaska Halliday (Aladdin, Chicago) as Val, Glenn Hill (Chicago, Jersey Boys) as Bobby, Madeleine Mackenzie (Aladdin) as Judy, Coby Njoroge as Ritchie, Dayton Tavares (In the Heights, Carmen) as Mark, Jessica Velluci (Chicago, West Side Story) as Maggie, Romina Villafranca (Chicago, Singin’ in the Rain) as Kristine, and Lyndon Watts (Aladdin, West Side Story) as Paul. All the dancers are put through their paces by Zach’s assistant choreographer Larry, who is played by Eli Cooper (Wizard of Oz, Grease).
The show begins previews on March 13th with tickets and further information available at https://www.darlinghursttheatre.com/whats-on/a-chorus-line
Cast of A Chorus Line
Starring Ben Mingay as Shrek and Lucy Durack as Princess Fiona, the Shrektacular spectacle of Shrek the Musical opened at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre on Sunday, January 5th. Children and children at heart were entertained by all the characters we have come to know including Todd McKenney as Lord Farquard, Marcia Hines as Dragon and Nat Jobe as Donkey. A full review can be read at https://www.theatrepeople.com.au/shrek-the-musical-2/
Todd McKenney, Ben Mingay, Lucy Durack, Nat Jobe and Marcia Hines at the opening of Shrek in Sydney
Australian audiences now have the opportunity to experience the phenomenon known as SIX after it opened at the Sydney Opera House on. SIX is the brainchild of Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, two Cambridge University graduates who wrote the book, music and lyrics while studying for their final exams and staged the musical at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
SIX takes its audience back to sixteenth century Tudor England, when the notorious King Henry VIII ruled absolutely. He was a monarch best remembered for having married six wives and breaking with the Catholic Church to declare himself head of his own church. In a sassy musical staged and structured like a pop concert, the six queens- Aragon (Chloé Zuel), Boleyn (Kala Gare), Seymour (Loren Hunter), Cleves (Kiana Daniele), Howard (Courtney Monsma), and Parr (Vidya Makan) compete to become lead singer of the group. Each queen takes her turn to tell her story through song and makes the case that her own plight was worse than that of the other five. Ella Burns, Karis Oka and Shannen Alyce Quan round out the cast as Swings.
A full review can be found at https://www.theatrepeople.com.au/six-the-musical/
The all female cast of SIX
Shows raise money for those effected by bush fires
Theatre People would like to thank the generosity of Melbourne theatre patrons and the Australian musical companies for digging deep in support of bush fire relief efforts. A total of $75,000 was raised by the Marriner Group theatres with a further $27, 128 raised by audiences at the Arts Centre Melbourne. The collections have been held by the casts of Come From Away, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Chicago.
We would also like to thank the international casts of Come From Away who have shown true generosity in line with the theme of their show, raising funds over the last week.
Sing For Australia
Australia’s hottest musical theatre performers are raising funds for the bush fires!
Euan Doidge and Showstoppers invite you to join us to help raise much needed funds and awareness in an industry showcase to be held on Sunday, January 19th at the Bank on Collins, Melbourne. All profits will be donated directly to the bush fire disaster via WIRES-Emergency Fund for Wildlife. Their work is crucial in the support of those animals effected by the fires.
Full details can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/1035221706838983/
Steve Danielsen performs at Brisbane Tennis International
Book of Mormon‘s Steve Danielsen recently sang the Australian national anthem at the Women’s Final of the Brisbane International Tennis tournament. Congratulations Steve.
Steve Danielsen rehearses the national anthem in Brisbane
Show milestone: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Congratulations to the company of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child who this week celebrated their 200th show (which is 400 parts and 800 acts).
Company of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre
Show milestone: Chicago
Also celebrating a milestone is the company of Chicago which is currently playing at the Arts Centre in Melbourne. This week saw them celebrate their 150th show. Chicago is in Melbourne until February 23rd.
Cast members of Chicago
International Swing Day: Wednesday, January 15th 2020
The swings of the theatre community are the unsung and often unknown heroes of the company. Cast members who take on this role will learn upwards of 4 tracks and in bigger shows many more. They are ready to go onto the stage at any time before and even during the show. With tomorrow (Wednesday, January 15th) being International Swing Day we would like to acknowledge our Australian swings:
School of Rock: Ellis Dolan, Bree Langridge, Michaela Powell, Jack Van Staveren
Shrek: Mackenzie Dunn, Hollie James, Leigh Sleightholme, Rhys Velasquez
SIX: Ella Burns, Karis Oka, Shannen Alyce Quan
Book of Mormon: Ryan Sheppard, Gabriella Barbagallo, Jarred Bedgood, Ayla Ciccone- Burton, Tom Davis, Mike Evariste, Jamard Richardson
Billy Elliot: Dion Bilios, Caroline Kaspar, Alexander Kermond, Zoe Komazec, David Sirianni, Tahlia Traecey
Chicago: Amy Berrisford, Mitchell Fistrovic, Kristina McNamara, Joe Meldrum
Come From Away: Tony Farrell, Angela Kennedy, Kathleen Moore, Jensen Overend, Ash Roussety, Alana Tranter
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Sheridan Anderson, David Hammond, Aaron Lynch, Kassie Martin, Jackson Reedman, Thalia Smith
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Damien Avery, Simon Chandler, Clare Chihambakwe, Louis Corbett, Kuda Mapeza, Kirsty Marillier, John Shearman
NEW SOUTH WALES
Hayes Theatre: The Life of Us (January 16th)
Qudos Bank Arena: Wizard of Oz Arena Spectacular (January 25th)
Riverside Theatres, Parramatta: Bran Nue Dae (January 15th)
Sydney Lyric Theatre: War Horse (February 15th)
Her Majesty’s Theatre: Shrek (February 16th)
Regent Theatre: Billy Elliot (February 20th)
Regal Theatre: Bran Nue Dae (February 6th)
NEW SOUTH WALES
Riverside Theatres, Parramatta: Bran Nue Dae (February 1st)
Sydney Lyric Theatre: Shrek (February 9th)
QPAC Lyric Theatre: Book of Mormon (February 16th)
Adelaide Festival Centre- Festival Theatre: Billy Elliot (January 26th)
Her Majesty’s Theatre: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (February 2nd)
Regent Theatre: War Horse (February 8th)
Regal Theatre: Bran Nue Dae (February 15th)