Music Theatre

The Production Company Season 2012

The Production Company today announced the three fabulous Broadway musicals that make up their exciting 2012 season.

A new initiative this year are Tuesday evening performances for two of the shows, which will be accessible to young people. Theatregoers aged under 30 can purchase tickets to the first shows from only $60. Highpoint Property Group sponsors this new series, which sees an increase in performances of the first two shows from 6 to 7.

Another significant announcement was the newly created partnership between The Production Company and The Rob Guest Endowment Award. Each year, a finalist from the Rob Guest Endowment is to be given a featured role in one of the productions. This is a tangible support of the already huge encouragement given to young artists by The Production Company.

First production for 2012 will be the hilarious 2001 Broadway smash Mel Brooks’ The Producers. Winner of a record 12 2001 Tony Awards, the riotous comedy will be staged by the team behind 2011’s Anything Goes, Director Dean Bryant and Choreographer Andrew Hallsworth. Kellie Dickerson will be Musical Director, and is currently in Sydney with Bryant and Hallsworth working on rehearsals for An Officer and A Gentleman.

Wayne Scott Kermond (Anything Goes) will star as Max Bialystock, partnered by Brent Hill (Rock of Ages) as Leo Bloom. Trevor Ashley (Hairspray) will play the trousers role of Franz Liebkind. Mitchell Butel (Kismet, The Mikado) is sure to be a hoot as vainglorious director Roger de Bris, and will receive the campest of support from Rohan Browne (A Chorus Line). Browne’s gorgeous wife Christie Whelan (Xanadu, Sugar), will be the curvy, busty Ulla. Whelan tantalized the crowd at today’s launch with the perky “If You Got It, Flaunt It.”

The Producers plays the State Theatre, the Arts Centre 10 – 15 July 2012.

Next on stage will be the rock classic Chess the musical, by ABBA gurus Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus and lyricist Tim Rice (Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar). Not as excited about Chess? Then you clearly haven’t seen the 2009 concert version from London. They finally have the show right: the story is clear, the tension is maintained until the conclusion and the songs are sensational.

Silvie Paladino (Mamma Mia!, The King & I) will star as Florence, with top talents Simon Gleeson (Love Never Dies) and Martin Crewes (Doctor Zhivago) duking it out as The American and The Russian. Bobby Fox (Jersey Boys) will play The Arbiter, with the key role Svetlana yet to be cast.

Multi award-winning director Gale Edwards will stamp her unique impression on Chess, with Tony Bartuccio as choreographer and David Piper as Music Director.

Crewes brought the house down with the classic tenor belt “Anthem.”

Chess plays the State Theatre, the Arts Centre 21 – 26 August 2012.

Acclaimed film director Nadia Tess will helm the final show for the year: Promises, Promises. A huge hit when revived recently on Broadway, Promises, Promises boasts a book by Neil Simon and score by Burt Bacharach. Guy Simpson will be music director.

Two favourite stars will join forces for Promises, Promises. Marina Prior will play Fran opposite Matt Hetherington as Chuck. The scene-stealing role of Marge MacDougall, which won a Featured Actress Tony Award for Katie Finneran, has yet to be cast. The choreographer, who will stage the legendary number “Turkey Lurkey Time,” is also yet to be confirmed.

Prior and Hetherington crooned the mellow duet “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” to the delight of the assembled guests at Raheen.

Promises, Promises plays the State Theatre, the Arts Centre 3 – 7 October 2012.

More information is available at The Production Company website.

Ken Mackenzie Forbes with the cast of The Producers: Rohan Browne, Brent Hill, Trevor Ashley and Christie Whelan:

Photos: Simon Parris

This article was published on Theatre People on 28 March 2012.

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