A WEEKEND AT CHAPEL OFF CHAPEL
November 14, 2003

The current array of talent parading on to the stage of Chapel Off Chapel in the Melbourne suburb of Prahran is the legacy of the creative talent that Nancy Cato has attracted, recognized and given opportunity to. Whether the City of Stonnington will be able to maintain this level of discovery, creativity and success remains to be seen. It is thanks to Nancy that the weekend of November 14, 2003 brought the talent of Eddie Perfect and Queenie van de Zandt to the Melbourne stage.
read more

HAPPY NEW YEAR! WELCOME TO 2001
Melburnians may have rung in the New Year of 2004 this past December 31st but for the world of entertainment (specifically musical theatre) it’s welcome to 2001. Read Sachwald Says for the guru’s view on the subject.

THE VERDICT IS IN ON BROADWAY’S BOY FROM OZ
THE BOY FROM OZ had its official Broadway opening on Thursday night, October 16. The reviews for the show labelled ‘Australia’s first Broadway musical’ are unanimous: Hugh Jackman is terrific, a shame about the show. Will this production survive beyond its $10 million advance or will the producers say ‘G’day’ and come home? Read Sachwald Says for the guru’s view on the subject.

MTC ANNOUNCES SEASON 2004
While THE BOY FROM OZ may not transfer smoothly from Australia to Broadway URINETOWN, the Musical is set to be a winner with Melbourne audiences in April 2004.
read more

CHAPEL OFF CHAPEL UPDATE: THE CHAPEL PIANO BAR CALLS IT A NIGHT ON SATURDAY 27th SEPTEMBER!
The creators of The Chapel Piano Bar Martin Croft, Dean Lotherington and Robyn Arthur have withdrawn their services as producers and presenters of the Chapel Piano Bar.
read more

A PERFECT WEEK FOR EDDIE PERFECT!
On Sunday, 14th September, Eddie Perfect had the official launch of his first CD: WELCOME TO THE INSIDE OF ED’S HEAD.
read more

SPECIAL REPORT: SAVE CHAPEL OFF CHAPEL
News has just been received that the City of Stonnington has stood down its Business and Artistic Manager of the past 8 years Ms Nancy Cato. Nancy Cato has built Chapel Off Chapel into one of the most thriving and vibrant cultural centres for the performing arts in the world.
read more

Free Live Lunchtime @ Her Majesty’s
Eddie Perfect will be performing live this Friday (26th Sept.) lunchtime for free in the foyer of Her Majesty's Theatre - Melbourne. Part of the Free Live Entertainment at Her Maj.
As from 3rd September there will be FREE LIVE LUNCHTIME entertainment @ HER MAJESTY’S – Melbourne.
read more

That Boy From Oz
All the talk on Broadway is about Hugh Jackman starring in the Australian musical
The Boy From Oz.
read more

The Melbourne Musical Theatre Scene Rocks!
The musical theatre scene is alive and well in Melbourne, Australia.
read more

The 2001 Broadway Season Moves to Melbourne
THE FULL MONTY is a terrific show, based on the award-winning movie (1997) of the same name.
read more

Sondheim’s SATURDAY NIGHT gets a Musical Reading in Melbourne
Thanks to the Chapel Loft Project at Chapel Off Chapel
SATURDAY NIGHT by Stephen Sondheim and Julius J. Epstein will have its Australian premiere as a rehearsed musical reading on, appropriately, Saturday night 30th August.
read more

MELBOURNE THEATRE COMPANY
ANNOUNCES SEASON 2004

While
THE BOY FROM OZ may not transfer smoothly from Australia to Broadway URINETOWN, the Musical is set to be a winner with Melbourne audiences in April 2004. This Tony® Award winning musical being presented by the MTC tells the unusual story of a time when water is so scarce that it is worth its weight in gold. Imagine a society where private toilets are banned and big business controls the admission fee to the public ones. Peeing in the streets is illegal and performing a natural bodily function becomes a privilege. The songs are clever and so is the script. Better still it won’t cost a plane ticket to New York to see it. Listen to selections from URINETOWN, the Musical on THEATRETRACK every Thursday night 10 p.m. – midnight, 103.5 – 3 MBS-FM.

The other shows in the 2004 MTC Season 2004 are: LES LIASONS DANGEREUSES by Christopher Hampton, HINTERLAND by Matt Cameron, THE LIEUTENANT INISHMORE by Martin McDonagh, HONOUR by Joanna Murray-Smith, THE MEMORY OF WATER by Shelagh Stephenson, THE DAYLIGHT ATHEIST by Tom Scott, AMIGOS by David Williamson, DINNER by Moira Buffini, TAKE ME OUT by Richard Greenberg, THE SAPPHIRES by Tony Briggs and a return season of BOMBSHELLS by Joanna Murray-Smith. The line-up of actors for these productions include: Josephine Byrnes, Marcus Graham, Kim Gyngell, Tom Long, Tom Budge, Rita Kalnejais, Colin Moody, Ben Mortley, Andy Rodoreda, Shane Bourne, Rhonda Burchmore, Lisa McCune, Christen O’Leary, Janet Andrewartha, Louise Siversen, Nicki Wendt, Richard Piper, Tony Llewellyn-Jones, Garry McDonald, Pamela Rabe, Paul Bishop, Simon Burke, Kenneth Ransom and Caroline O’Connor.

CHAPEL OFF CHAPEL UPDATE: THE CHAPEL PIANO BAR CALLS IT A NIGHT ON SATURDAY 27th SEPTEMBER!
The creators of The Chapel Piano Bar Martin Croft, Dean Lotherington and Robyn Arthur have withdrawn their services as producers and presenters of the Chapel Piano Bar. The Piano Bar has become one of Melbourne’s most popular late-night entertainment hangouts on Friday and Saturday nights for the past 18 months. Due to continuing internal unrest at Chapel Off Chapel Martin Croft and co. no longer feel they can support the current administration at The Chapel. Stonnington councillor Claude Ullin is sad to see Martin, Dean and Robyn close up shop, but hopes to find replacements in order to keep the Piano Bar going. Easier said than done Claude.

Most productions in the Spring Collection at Chapel Off Chapel are going ahead as scheduled The situation at present is that Nancy Cato is officially ‘on leave’. At this point it seems that the ball is in Nancy’s court as to whether or not she will return as Artistic Director of Chapel Off Chapel. Should she decline, we all eagerly await to hear the reasons why.

A PERFECT WEEK FOR EDDIE PERFECT!
On Sunday, 14th September, Eddie Perfect had the official launch of his first CD: WELCOME TO THE INSIDE OF ED’S HEAD (available through Middle Eight Music, www.middle8.com). The album is a collection of songs written and performed by Eddie Perfect and some of the best cabaret and musical theatre voices in Australia including: Chelsea Plumley, Robyn Arthur, Lisa-Marie Charalambous, Chris Parker, Rosemarie Harris, Matthew Robinson, Melissa Langton, Natalie Marsland, Helen Noonan and the resonant voice of Bruce Grainger as narrator. Don’t be put off by the warning about strong language. It is all done in good taste.

To top the week off Eddie is currently performing the title role in Bat Boy. This is the off-Broadway musical by Laurence O’Keefe, with a story by Keythe Farley & Brian Flemming. Based on a story that originally appeared in the U.S. tabloid Weekly World News Bat Boy tells the story of a boy found in a cave with the ears and fangs of a bat and a thirst for blood to go with it. This comic work ably directed by Olivia Allen, shows off Eddie Perfect’s versatility as a performer in addition to his proven skill as a composer and song writer. His transformation from wild beast to a sophisticate down to the ‘perfect’ diction is both humorous and convincing. The outstanding cast for this production includes Deidre Rubenstein, Mark Doggett, Rosemarie Harris, Irene Dios, Jason Langley, Kent Green, Hayley Power, Katie Wilkins and Timothy Walter.

Book tickets for BAT BOY at Chapel Off Chapel
(03) 8290-7000 (Limited Season – closes 28th Sept.)

SPECIAL REPORT: SAVE CHAPEL OFF CHAPEL
News has just been received that the City of Stonnington has stood down its Business and Artistic Manager of the past 8 years Ms Nancy Cato. Nancy Cato has built Chapel Off Chapel into one of the most thriving and vibrant cultural centres for the performing arts in the world. Since taking charge of operations and programming at the former Chapel in Prahran, Victoria, Nancy Cato has established Chapel Off Chapel as a ‘can do’ place for performing artists including actors, writers and musicians. The demand for use of the Chapel is so great that artists and production companies are queuing up to book space for their productions. With the cost of hiring rehearsal and production space being prohibitively expensive for low paid aspiring artists, Ms Cato has managed to provide a haven to nurture and promote new and established talent. With initial support from Stonnington Council, Nancy has been able to provide opportunities to the performing arts community that have established Chapel Off Chapel and the City of Stonnington as a major contributor to the betterment of society and the community through its support of the performing arts.

The turn-about by Stonnington Council in standing down Ms Cato has created a flood of protest from both the performing arts community and the general public. With the cost of tickets to most shows in Melbourne being out of reach to much of the public, Chapel Off Chapel provides quality live entertainment at affordable prices. This makes it possible for a couple to see first class musical theatre, cabaret, drama, script readings, musical readings and workshops on a weekly basis. Theatre is a social culture. It is a sense of place, space and people. The Chapel Piano Bar has been in operation for over a year. What started out as a short–term idea has turned into an institution. Walk into the Chapel foyer during the day and there is always a friendly face a cup of coffee and someone to talk to. There are teams of volunteers stuffing envelopes for the next mailout while performers young and old rehearse or workshop their upcoming productions.

All this will disappear if the City of Stonnington Council members have their way. Nancy Cato and her ‘We’ll make it happen’ spirit will be gone and along with it the dreams and aspirations of all the performing artists she has been able to support through the cooperative arrangements that currently exist. The Council’s plan for a user-pays approach will mean that the community spirit will be gone, and the Chapel will be just another ‘Venue for Hire’.

Send letters and emails of support to Chapel Off Chapel today! Chapel@stonnington.vic.gov.au
Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel Street , Prahran, Vic 3181

Free Live Lunchtime @ Her Majesty’s
Starting lunchtime on 3rd September there will be FREE LIVE LUNCHTIME entertainment @ HER MAJESTY’S – Melbourne. Every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday be entertained by the stars of Australian Theatre in the foyer of Melbourne’s Home of Musical Theatre – Her Majesty’s Theatre on Exhibition Street, corner of Little Bourke Street. Spend lunchtime with soup, a sandwich and a song!

The line-up this week includes the cast Certified Male, Maureen Andrew and Tracey Bartram. Coming up next week hear Inka Marka, singers form the Melbourne City Opera and Rod Davies.

Performances are at 12:05, 12:35, 1:05.
See you at the theatre!

That Boy From Oz
All the talk on Broadway is about Hugh Jackman starring in the Australian musical
The Boy From Oz. Hugh is one of the fortunate ones whose path from training to stardom has been meteoric. Hugh is a terrific talent and is a fine example of the Australian ‘can do’ spirit. With all the interviews and publicity that Hugh has done for The Boy From Oz his experience on the Australian Musical Theatre stage seems to be sidestepped for his public image in film (X-Men, Swordfish, Kate & Leopold). Straight out of acting school in Perth (WAAPA - West Australian Academy of Performing Arts) Hugh moved into the role of Gaston in the Australian production of Beauty and the Beast. Immediately after Beauty and the Beast Hugh’s second big break was being cast in the role of Joe Gillis in the Australian production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Blvd. Both of these productions were equal to and in some cases better than their West End and Broadway counterparts. It was Hugh’s experience in these productions that led him to the role of Curly in Trevor Nunn’s production of Oklahoma. Hugh has assumed the role of Peter Allen, originally created in Australia by Todd McKenney. If Broadway loves Hugh who knows? Maybe next year Todd will take over the role he made his own down-under.

The Melbourne Musical Theatre Scene Rocks!
The musical theatre scene is alive and well in Melbourne, Australia. The Queen – Ben Elton musical extravaganza WE WILL ROCK YOU is doing big box office business. Why shouldn’t it? The show is more like a rock concert of Queen’s Greatest Hits than a traditional musical. Feedback is the script is pretty ordinary, but the music and performances are fantastic. With a ready made audience thanks to the amount of radio airplay and recording company promotion of ‘Queen’ material it would be a sad state of affairs if this show didn't sell tickets.

The bigger gamble is on two other shows soon to make their Australian premieres in Melbourne, THE FULL MONTY and THE PRODUCERS. The Full Monty garnered 10 Tony® Award nominations the year it opened, but it was competing against The Producers (15 nominations) which walked away with just about every award that season.

The 2001 Broadway Season Moves to Melbourne
THE FULL MONTY is a terrific show, based on the award-winning movie (1997) of the same name. The question is, has the script been adapted to be relevant to Australian audiences, just as The Boy From Oz was re-written for Broadway? The story for the Broadway Monty was written by Terrence McNally and moved the action from Sheffield England, once the ‘City of Steel’, to Buffalo, New York. There's a big media launch coming up for the show so we'll keep you posted. The show is scheduled to open in December at the State Theatre – Victorian Arts Centre.

THE PRODUCERS is talking about casting Reg Livermore and Tom Burlinson in the leads when the show has its Australian Premiere in 2004 at the Princess Theatre – Melbourne. Is Mel Brooks as widely appreciated in Australia as he is in New York and Los Angeles? Will his Catskill shtick and one liners translate to the Australian stage? The original film version (1968) is brilliant. Fortunately the stage incarnation retains the humor energy and vitality of its original source. Australians have a fantastic sense of humor and love to attend stand-up comedy. The attendance records at the Annual Melbourne International Comedy Festival are testament to that. In fact, The Producers could be an ideal major launch product for the 2004 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Sondheim’s SATURDAY NIGHT gets a Musical Reading in Melbourne.
Thanks to the Chapel Loft Project at Chapel Off Chapel SATURDAY NIGHT by Stephen Sondheim and Julius J. Epstein will have its Australian premiere as a rehearsed musical reading on, appropriately, Saturday night 30th August. Tickets sold out for this event before the official launch, so a second performance is scheduled for Sunday evening 31st August. But don’t think you'll get tickets for this performance. They’ve sold out too.

The show is produced by Magnormos Musicals and includes a cast of young and exciting new talent lead by Erin Keleher as Helen who performed So Many People at the launch. If the rest of the ‘new faces’ performing are as talented as Erin, the audience is in for a real treat. The cast also includes established musical theatre and cabaret performers Melissa Langton, Charmaine Clements, Eddie Perfect and Fiona Thorn.

 

  the dish
 
The Dish
Latest industry news
Chatroom
Live interaction
Messages
Your questions and opinions
Media Pass
Press information centre
Musical Theatre Foundation
Chicago certainly isn’t the first movie musical to be based on a Broadway show.
Lights Camera Stage
Australian performers strut their stuff.
In The Spotlight
MA needs your support.
MA is a non-profit
organisation and donations are tax deductible.
Musicals Australia
Home
About MA
Showtime
Theatretrack
Chatroom  
MA Series
Messages
Who╬s Who
Media Pass
Worlds a Stage
Stage Door
Kids Zone