All the latest news in the Weekly Wrap!

 

CURRENT SHOWS

NEW SOUTH WALES

Capitol Theatre: Chicago

Hayes Theatre: Caroline, Or Change

State Theatre: Bring It On!

Sydney Lyric Theatre: Muriel’s Wedding

Sydney Opera House: West Side Story

VICTORIA

Comedy Theatre: Come From Away

Her Majesty’s Theatre: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Princess Theatre: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth: Hair

 

AROUND AUSTRALIAN THEATRES

Opening Night: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Thursday, August 15th saw audiences step through the front door of Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre to a world of pure imagination.

Led by Paul Slade Smith as Willy Wonka and Lenny Thomas as Charlie Bucket, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a feast for all the senses.

A full review can be found at https://www.facebook.com/29757709655/posts/10157630837499656?s=1135107189&sfns=mo

 

Opening Night: Becoming Bill

New Australian work, Becoming Bill is the work of Brisbane based writer and actor Bradley McCaw. McCaw brings together a stellar team of actors including theatre star Rachael Beck.

The story is based around Bill, an out of work actor who when asked to write a musical foolishly decides to place himself at the centre of the plot.

Along the journey we met those closest to Bill such as his mother (Rachael Beck), brother (Oliver Samson) and girl friend (Stephanie Long) and delve into the life long, hard hitting questions that we are often too scared to ask ourselves.

One can keep up to date with future seasons at https://www.facebook.com/becomingbill/

 

Show Announcement: Moulin Rouge Australian Premiere announced

Sunday, July 28th saw the announcement of hit movie musical Moulin Rouge’s Australian Premiere. The stage adaption of Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film will open at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre in 2021.

The announcement can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/520811891600932/posts/916734975341953?s=1135107189&v=e&sfns=mo

 

Show Announcement: SIX the Musical

From humble beginnings at the Edinburgh Festival in 2017, Toby Marlow and Laura Moss’ hit musical SIX about the lives of Henry VIII six wives is on its way to Australia. The smash hit pop musical will play at the Sydney Opera House from Saturday, January 4th to Thursday, March 5th. Tickets are on sale now at https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/events/whats-on/musical-theatre/2020/six.html

Cast to be announced

 

 

Season Announcement: Opera Australia

Thursday, August 22nd saw Opera Australia announce their 2020 season. Among the many shows will be The Secret Garden which opens at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre on August 4th 2020 for a limited time.

The Secret Garden tells the story of Mary Lennox when upon arriving at her uncle’s home finds distant grieving relatives and an uncared-for garden. The story centres around the orphaned Mary as she and a young gardener breathe new life into the secret garden. Mary blossoms too, and through this she tends to all the hearts around her.

Further information can be found at https://opera.org.au/whatson/events/the-secret-garden-sydney


The second musical in the Opera Australia season is The Light in the Piazza. The Light in the Piazza will play at The Sydney Opera House’s Joan Sutherland Theatre from August 14th.

The story centres around Margaret and her daughter Clara are taking in the wonders of Florence during a languid 1950s summer. A windborne hat sparks an intense romance between Clara and local dreamer Fabrizio. But Clara isn’t quite what she appears, and soon they must confront a secret kept in the shadows for far too long.

Tickets can be purchased from https://opera.org.au/whatson/events/the-light-in-the-piazza-sydney

Accentuating the Opera Australia season is timeless musical Fiddler On The RoofExperience Fiddler on the Roof (A Fidler afn Dakh) in a new way- performed in Yiddish, the language of Tevye and his family!

Fiddler on the Roof tells the story of a community and its struggle to balance traditions and desires in a changing world.

The show will play at the Joan Sutherland Theatre in Sydney from October 31st, 2020 and Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre from December 20th, 2020. Tickets are available from https://opera.org.au/whatson/events/detail?prodid=177460&noloc=true

The casts for the shows will be announced at a future date.

 

Cast Announcement: Jekyll and Hyde Concert

Joining the previously announced Anthony Warlow and Jemma Rix for the 25th Anniversary Concert of Jekyll and Hyde are Amanda Lea Lavergne (Annie, Grease) as LisaMartin Crewes (Les Miserables, South Pacific) as John Utterson, Suzanne Johnston (Pirates of Penzance, My Fair Lady) as Lady Beaconsfield, Stephen Mahy (The Beautiful Game, Grease) as Lord Savage, Annie Aitken (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Anything Goes), Georgia Wilkinson (Phantom of the Opera, Beauty and the Beast), Peter Coleman- Wright AO (Turnadot, A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as Sir Danvers Carew, John Wood (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Blue Heelers) as Bishop of Basingstoke, Troy Sussman (Aladdin, City of Angels) as Sir Archibald Proops, Thern Reynolds (Evita, We Will Rock You) as Lord Glossop and Lisa-Marie Parker (Les Miserables, Blood Brothers).

There are two performances at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall on October 25th and October 26th followed by a show at Sydney’s Darling Harbour Theatre on November 2nd. Tickets and further information can be found at https://concertworks.com.au/jekyll/

 

Cast Announcement: Bright Star

Inspired by a real event and featuring the Grammy-nominated score by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Bright Star tells a sweeping tale of love, regret and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920’s and 40’s.

When literary editor Alice Murphy (Kala Gare) meets a young soldier just home from World War II (Callum O’Malley). He awakens her longing for the child she once lost. Haunted by their unique connection, Alice sets out on a journey to understand her past.

Nominated for five Tony Awards and winner of Outstanding New Broadway Musical in the Outer Critics Circle, Bright Star is a story of lives torn apart and made whole again that will have your feet stomping and heart thoroughly warmed.

Joining Gare (Twelfth Night) and O’Malley (Into The Woods) are Anthony Craig (Sunday in the Park With George) as Banjo/Ensemble, Bradley Beard as Ensemble, Daisy Calnin as Ensemble, Lachlan Hewson (Einstein: Master of the Universe) as Daryl Ames, Lauren Jimmieson (Singin’ in the Rain) as Ensemble, Lindy Yeates (Funny Girl) as Mama Murphy, Ellie Nunan (CATS) as Lucy Grant, Matthew Prime (Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Jimmy Ray Dobbs, Mike Gardiner as Mayor Dobbs, Nathan Fernandez as Ensemble, Ruby Clark (RENT) as Ensemble/ Violinist, Sarah Krndija (Sunday in the Park with George) as Margo Crawford, Teagan Nowicki (Bring It On) as Ensemble, Tref Gare (Jesus Christ Superstar) as Daddy Murphy and Tom Blair (HMS Pinafore) as Daddy Cane.

Bright Star runs at Melbourne’s Chapel off Chapel from October 25th to November 3rd. Tickets are available from https://chapeloffchapel.com.au/show/bright-star/

 

Cast Announcement: DreamSong

Dubbed the “Australian Book Of Mormon” DreamSong is a hilarious story of a Mega Church in Financial Crisis, so Pastor Richard Sunday and wife Whitney Sunday concoct a scheme to bring money back to the Church. But when Pastor Sunday’s daughter April meets Jesus, will he see the church’s acts as Holy?

Lauren McKenna, Director, along with Maverick Newman, Musical Director, and Madison Lee, Choreographer, have assembled a stellar cast to bring this line – pushing comedy to Melbourne this November!

Nelson Gardner (Ned, Jesus Christ Superstar, Merrily We Roll Along) will be playing Pastor Richard Sunday, and his fading pop-star wife Whitney Sunday will be played by the incomparable Annie Aitken (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Anything Goes, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Sound of Music).

Jesus will be played by Olivia Charalambous (Puffs, Spring Awakening) and Nicola Bowman (The Red Tree, Bring It On, Ordinary Days) will be April Sunday. Maxwell Simon (Muriel’s Wedding, The Boy From Oz, American Idiot) will double as April’s Finacé Paul and The Voice contestant Chris T.

Sam Ward (Falsettos, 42nd Street) is Prime Minister Darren Cunningham, and his second in command Clarice is Kate Schmidli (Blackrock, Paris! A Rock Oddessy). Bailey Dunnage (Fugitive Songs, Tick, Tick… Boom) is Neville, Pastor Richard’s right hand man.

The Dream Team AKA the best youth pastors out will be Luisa Scrofani (In The Heights, Blackrock, Violet), Gareth Isaac (Puffs, Love’s Labour’s Lost), Samuel Skuthorp (Sweeney Todd, The Wild Party, Melba) and Tayla Muir (Decoration Day, Sonder- Charity Concert).

DreamSong will play at Alex Theatre- St Kilda in November with tickets on sale soon. Further information can be found at https://www.ebbflowtheatre.com

 

Cast Announcement: Legally Blonde

Hit movie turned musical Legally Blonde will play exclusively at Melbourne’s Chapel off Chapel from November 23rd to December 8th and this week it was announced that Samm Hagen (Kinky Boots, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) will don the pink outfits of Elle Woods.

To keep up to date with further cast announcements as they happen and to purchase tickets head to https://www.legallyblondemusical.com.au

 

Cast Announcement: Ragtime

The cast for The Production Company’s third show of 2019, Ragtime was announced this week. This will be the Australian Premiere of the award winning musical.

At the dawn of a new century everything is changing…and anything is possible. Set in the melting pot of New York, three distinctly American tales are woven together. The lives of a stifled upper-class wife Georgina Hopson (Evita), a determined Jewish immigrant, Tateh internationally renowned tenor Alexander Lewis (West Side Story) and the daring young Harlem musician Coalhouse Walker Jr (Kurt Kansley, whom Melbourne critics have hailed for his recent performance as Che Guevara in Evita). Chloe Zuel (West Side Story) is his fiancée, Sarah. Together they confront history’s timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice and  what it means to live in America. Also starring Adam Murphy (Aladdin) in the role of Father, Sage Douglas (Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Emma Goldman, Mackenzie Dunn (Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Evelyn Nesbit, Finn Alexander (Assassins) as Younger Brother, John McTernan (The Crucible) as Grandfather, John O’May (Cabaret) as Henry Ford and Anton Berezin (Sweeney Todd) as J P Morgan.

Ragtime runs from November 2nd to 10th at Melbourne’s State Theatre with tickets available from https://www.theproductioncompany.com.au/ragtime/


 

High Standards Charity Concert

Join prolific Australian artists including David Campbell, Kate Ceberano, Alinta Chidzey, Rodger Corser, Michael Falzon, iOTA and Emma Pask as they celebrate High Standards, the greatest songbook of the 20th century featuring magnificent tunes from such writers as Porter, Gershwin, Berlin and Arlen made famous the world over by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Nina Simone and many more.

The show which is on Monday, October 28th is in support of  the Actors Benevolent Fund NSW. Tickets are available from https://www.cityrecitalhall.com/whats-on/events/high-standards/#.XVHYD8dE-u4.facebook

 

AROUND THE REHEARSAL ROOMS

They say when one door closes another opens and in this case it is the constant revolving curtain. Currently in rehearsal ahead of opening later this year is the cast of the 10th Anniversary Tour of Billy Elliot For further details head to https://billyelliotthemusical.com.au/

 

MEDIA

Muriel’s Wedding

Muriel’s Wedding stars Natalie Abbott and Stefanie Jones performed heartfelt song Amazing on Thursday, August 22nd’s edition of Channel 7’s The Morning Show.

https://www.facebook.com/232824507258823/posts/536680080206596?s=1135107189&sfns=mo

Chicago

Now in previews at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre, Chicago stars Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Alinta Chidzey, Casey Donovan, Tom Burlinson and Rodney Dobson appeared on Friday, August 23rd’s edition of TODAY.

https://www.facebook.com/562653530770968/posts/896678910701760?s=1135107189&v=e&sfns=mo

Hair

Tuesday, August 20th’s edition of TODAY saw Hugh Sheridan, Paulini and Prinnie Stevens take viewers backstage during rehearsals for the Australian tour of Hair.

https://www.facebook.com/2420399727991130/posts/2614924915205276?s=1135107189&v=e&sfns=mo

West Side Story

Currently performing at Sydney’s Opera House, West Side Story tells a modern day story of the old classic Romeo and Juliet. Thursday August 22nd saw Chloe Zuel and fellow cast mates perform on TODAY.

https://www.facebook.com/130834060284601/posts/2765536196814361?s=1135107189&v=e&sfns=mo

CELEBRATIONS

Wedding: Tom Parsons and Emily Hawgood

Congratulations to Tom Parsons (ONCE) and his wife, Emily Hawgood on their wedding which took place on Friday, August 16th in England. We wish you the best.

 

Engagement: Sarah Clarke and Dan MottauCongratulations to Sarah Clarke (Grease, We Will Rock You) and Daniel Mottau on their engagement. Daniel proposed on Wednesday, August 14th while the couple and their son were on holiday in Fiji.

 

Engagement: Phoebe Panaretos

This week also saw talented Australian performer Phoebe Panaretos (Lazarus, Strictly Ballroom) announce her engagement to her partner Adam who popped the question during a late night stroll. Congratulations to you both.

 

Ruby Grace Carmel Ybarzabal

We would like to welcome Ruby to the theatre family. Ruby was born on Friday, August 16th to Madeline Cain Ybarzabal (CATS) and her husband Jordan Ybarzabal (Sound of Music). 

 

Harmony Jae Nouvelle Selley

Welcome to the newest member of the family, Harmony; born Saturday, August 17th to Rebecca Selley (The Voice, Beautiful) and Jake Selley

OPENING SHOWS

NEW SOUTH WALES

The Art House, Wyong: Hair (September 19th)

 

QUEENSLAND

QPAC Lyric Theatre: Muriel’s Wedding (September 19th)

 

VICTORIA

Chapel off Chapel: The Beautiful Game (September 13th)

 

NEW ZEALAND

The Civic, Auckland: School of Rock (September 3rd)

 

CLOSING SHOWS

NEW SOUTH WALES

State Theatre: Bring It On (September 8th)

The Art House, Wyong: Hair (September 21st)

 

VICTORIA

Geelong Performing Arts Centre: Hair (September 8th)

WESTERN AUSTRALIA 

His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth: Hair (September 1st)

AUSSIES ABROAD

Josh Piterman

Exciting news for fans of Australian musical theatre fans with the announcement that Josh Piterman will be donning the famous half mask of the titular character in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera on London’s West End from September 9th, 2019.

Josh is a well established Australian musical theatre performer and classical crossover artist who has worked prolifically since he graduated from Federation University with a Bachelor of Arts (Music Theatre) in 2006. Josh kicked off his career performing with the International pop opera group The Ten Tenors and he then made his mark as Tony in the 2010 Australian production of West Side Story. His other musical theatre credits include Bustopher Jones/Gus/Growltiger in the 2016 season of Cats, a role that won him the Green Room Award for Best Supporting Actor in A Musical; Edward in Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers; Corny Collins in the UK tour of Hairspray; The Caliph in Kismet; Giuseppe in The Light in the Piazza; Jamie in The Last Five Years and most recently Gerry Goffin in the Australian tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. In 2018 his debut self titled album went to number 1 on both the Aria and iTunes Charts (Classical Crossover) in Australia.

Continuing in his role as Ubaldo Piangi is fellow Australian Paul Ettore Tabone. Australia’s Amy Manford performs her last show on Friday, September 6th 2019.

Tickets for Phantom of the Opera are available from https://uk.thephantomoftheopera.com/#_ga=2.67047146.53624345.1564270841-2125125329.1564270841

 

Marika Aubrey

Marika Aubrey (Matilda) has taken on the character of Beverley Bass, American Airlines first female Captain during the second year of the US National Tour. Congratulations!

 

Matthew Lee Robinson and Scott Morris

Matthew Lee Robinson and husband Scott Morris presented presented workshopped performances of their new musical Black Box in New York this last week in partnership with My Broadway Dreams. Their musical is currently 50 minutes long and we at Theatre People are excited to see where it goes in the future!

 

Moulin Rouge opens on Broadway

Baz Luhrmann and Global Creatures musical production of Moulin Rouge opened at Broadway’s Al Hirschfeld Theatre on Friday, July 26th.

Making her Broadway debut was fellow Australian Karli Dinardo.

Moulin Rouge tickets can be purchased from https://moulinrougemusical.com/

 

Moulin Rouge cast recording available

The long awaited cast recording of new Broadway musical, Moulin Rouge is now available from iTunes and Amazon Music.

Details on how to order can be found at https://smarturl.it/MRtheMusical

 

Aladdin sparkles in Singapore

It has been an exciting time for the cast of Aladdin who are currently performing at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands. Firstly the cast marked their last opening night with a gala event followed by the 1000th performance of the show across Australia, NZ and Singapore. Aladdin closed on September 1st.

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