Over the Rainbow and Over the Moon to a Better Place Than Brooklyn (21 December 2004)
CD Reviews

Brooklyn – the Musical, Razor & Tie 82930-2
The New Moon, Ghostlight Records 4403-2
Finian's Rainbow, Ghostlight Records 4402-2

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PHILIP GOULD presents MUSIC THEATRE WORKSHOPS with Philip Gould and Kate Lawson

(17 December 2004)

EXCITING School Holiday Workshops
Monday–Friday. January 2005.

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The Capers Showcase Grand Final

(29 November 2004)

At present the only major venue in Melbourne offering regular cabaret fare is Capers in Hawthorn.

A tradition started at Capers supported by the previous owners has continued with the new owners. Melissa Langton, Susan-Ann Walker and Mark Jones are three of Australia's top cabaret and musical theatre performers...

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EUREKA Bows Out While the JURY Triumphs

(24 November 2004)

EUREKA the Musical bows out of Her Majesty's Theatre on Sunday 28 November but not without a fight. The show opened on October 3 as part of the Melbourne Festival with a vision towards an open-ended run. Audience reaction to the show has been positive but that has not translated into business at the box office. The producers of the show have been extremely generous in discounting tickets in order to make the show financially accessible to the public with limited success. Sadly, Eureka's departure will mean that the only professional musical theatre activity in Melbourne for the foreseeable future will be “ SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER” opening at the end of December at The Arts Centre State Theatre.

In contrast to the slow ticket sales for EUREKA , the independent production of “ 12 ANGRY MEN ” playing at The Athenaeum theatre is packing them in.

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Winner Announced for The Pratt Prize for Music Theatre 2004

(24 November 2004)

Jeanne Pratt AC today announced the winner of The Pratt Prize for Music Theatre 2004 - Matthew Robinson, who submitted the musical METRO STREET for which he wrote the music, lyrics and book.

As the recipient of the second Pratt Prize, Matthew received a $50,000 cash award and will also receive $30,000 towards a 2005 workshop production of his material. This $80,000 prize is made possible through the generosity of The Pratt Foundation.

Matthew Robinson, who turned 25 today, is a Melbourne based performer and composer. He is a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Matthew describes METRO STREET as a contemporary Australian drama that charts the intersecting lives of a mother and son, a girl from the bush and a Toorak twenty-something as they angle to find their place in metropolitan Melbourne with only a streetside busker to guide the way.  These five ordinary citysiders discover that to satisfy their need for the extraordinary, they must first find each other.

Jeanne Pratt stated: "I think we've discovered a brilliant new musical creation in METRO STREET and can1t wait to see the workshop production of it in 2005. Matthew is an extremely talented all-rounder who has written an original and exciting piece of theatre. And The Production Company will assist Matthew with staging the workshop.2

  The Production Company was created by Jeanne in 1999, as a not-for-profit theatrical organization, specifically established to promote and showcase new and well-known theatre talent. They produce three semi-staged musicals each year at the State Theatre.

Aside from Jeanne Pratt AC, the judges for The Pratt Prize were musical director Peter Casey, composer and former director of The Melbourne Festival Jonathan Mills, producers John Hay-Mackenzie & Ken Mackenzie-Forbes AM of Macks Entertainment, actor, writer & director Malcolm Robertson and arts journalist Michael Shmith.

One hundred and four works were received from all over Australia for consideration of The Pratt Prize for Musical Theatre. The judges found the submissions to be of a very high standard and had a difficult time getting down to only seven works for the shortlist.

Richard Pratt AC and Jeanne Pratt AC established The Pratt Foundation in 1978 with the shared vision of supporting charitable enterprises and adding value to philanthropy. The Foundation is now one of the largest sources of philanthropy in Australia. In the words of its mission statement, it aims to enrich the lives of our community and, in the words of Jeremiah, it works to fulfil this aim in a spirit of kindness, justice and equity.

About Matthew Robinson:

A WAAPA Graduate of 2000, Matthew1s stage credits included: South Pacific (The Production Company); God1s Last Acre and The Sign of the Seahorse (Playbox); the original Australian cast of MAMMA MIA! (Dainty); Back to Bacharach (Full Cream Productions); Sunset BBQ (Midsumma) and Saturday Night (Magnormos).  His television credits included Blue Heelers, Stingers, A Most Deadly Family (Village Roadshow) and Good Morning Australia .  As a songwriter, Matthew1s work has been featured at the York Theater Company (N.Y.C.), The Esplanade Theatre Complex (Singapore), and in various cabaret performances throughout Australia and New York.  A member of original band Inside Zero, his work has been commissioned by the Australian Theatre for Young People and Tasmanian Carols By Candlelight and he received the inaugural Judges1 Award at the 2003 Sydney Cabaret Convention.  Matthew1s first musical Metro Street underwent a 2003 reading at VCA, was invited to participate in the 2004 New York Music Theatre Festival and is in development for further production. Matthew last appeared for The Production Company in this year's Carousel and Annie Get Your Gun.

 

Non– Profit Doesn't Mean Free

(October 30, 2004)

MUSICALS AUSTRALIA is a gift to the Australian Musical Theatre Industry.

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"EUREKA" - Still flying the flag! (October 30, 2004)

The new Australian musical EUREKA received commendable reviews on opening night. Word of mouth about the show is good. The cast features Australia's best: Ian Stenlake, Rachael Beck, Simon Gleeson, Trisha Crowe, Michael Cormick, Amanda Muggleton, Peter Carroll, Barry Crocker and Nancye Hayes. The battle for this "EUREKA" is to bring in the audiences. The show has posted an extended run notice and is now selling tickets through November 14. Long live "EUREKA"!

Early Closing for "THE PRODUCERS"

(October 30, 2004)

Originally posting a closing in December notice for the Melbourne season of THE PRODUCERS, the real producers of the show have decided to close earlier than expected. The official closing date has been moved forward to November 14. (EUREKA must be hoping to hang on till this date witrh the expectatiion of being the only musical in town till the end of the year). The early closing of THE PRODUCERS leaves its cast with six unexpected weeks of unpaid leave leading into the Christmas season. Not a nice Christmas present. The show will open in Brisbane in February 2005 before moving on to Sydney.

AN ALL-STAR LINE-UP FOR

OZ SHOWBIZ CARES/EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS 2004 PRESENTS

HATSOFF TO SONDHEIM

SUNDAY 7TH NOVEMBER 2004

8PM AT THE NATIONAL THEATRE CORNER BARKLY & CARLISLE STREETS, ST KILDA - Melbourne

A FUNDRAISING CONCERT WITH A DIFFERENCE

Tickets available from all TICKETEK agencies Tel:132 849 www.ticketek.com

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EUREKA ! opens as THE PRODUCERS announces

December farewell. (September 20, 2004)

Australia's newest musical EUREKA! has its official premiere on Friday October 8 at Her Majesty's Theatre - Melbourne. Meanwhile advertising notices for THE PRODUCERS have appeared announcing it is leaving Melbourne sometime in December.

The Night Was Made For Music (September 20, 2004)

Sports Headline: Herald - Sun Newspaper, Melbourne, Australia Tuesday September 14, 2004:

"NIGHT AT THE OPERA" - As 53,356 fans braved the cold on Saturday night, AFL bosses were hot-footing it to listen to Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli."

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THE PRODUCERS REVISITED - A SECOND LOOK

(August 25, 2004)

Mel Brooks' smash hit, multi-award winning musical THE PRODUCERS, officially opened in Melbourne on 17 April 2004. Here it is August 24, 2004 and the show is as fresh today as opening night.

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JOE STARTS AGAIN heads to New York for Musical Theatre Festival. (August 22, 2004)

Three Australian talents are about to take their show to New York, the only Australian production invited to be performed at the First New York Musical Theatre Festival. Joe Starts Again stars Martin Croft, one of Australia's leading musical theatre performers. Adapted from the play Dating Joe by Mark Fletcher, Martin Croft and pianist/composer Dean Lotherington will bring their Victorian Green Room Award winning show to New York with director Cameron Wenn.

THE LION KING in Melbourne in 2005.

Rumour has it that THE LION KING will roar into The Regent Theatre - Melbourne some time in 2005. Watch this space for more info.

The Production Company Picks a Winner with CAROUSEL and David Campbell. (August 22, 2004)

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EDITORIAL - "High Society" or "High Anxiety"? (July 17, 2004)

REVIEW - "Minefields and Miniskirts" (July 17, 2004)

REVIEW - "High Society" (July 17, 2004)

Making a Song and Dance - The Quest for an Australian Musical

An Exhibition - George Adams Gallery, The Arts Centre, Melbourne, Australia

July 17, 2004

"The Boy From Oz" may be the first Australian musical to make an impression on Broadway, but the Australian musical has been around for a long time. According to curators of this exhibition Margaret Marshall and Simon Plant in over 80 years Australians have composed more than 700 musicals. Making a Song and Dance throws a spotlight on over 50 of these shows including: Collits' Inn, The Highwayman, Reedy River, Lola Montez, The Sentimental Bloke, Ned Kelly, The Betty Block Buster Follies, Manning Clark's History of Australia: The Musical and Bran Nue Dae .

The exhibition also honours many local theatre heroes including Reg Livermore, Nancye Hayes, Jill Perryman, Barry Humphries, Nick Enright, Gladys Moncrieff and George Wallace.

With Australian musical theatre enjoying unprecedented attention, the timing of this exhibition couldn't be more appropriate.

The George Adams Gallery is open every day until late. FREE admission.

Margaret Marshall and Simon Plant will be special guests on "Henry Sachwald's THEATRETRACK" on Thursday night 29 July. (10 p.m. - 3MBS 103.5fm).

Musicals Australia at LIMMUD OZ

Chelsea Plumley LIVE & LUSCIOUS CD launch and farewell performance

Rebecca – The Musical in Concert  

Eureka!

20/4/04  

MUSICALS AUSTRALIA wins over audience at LIMMUD OZ – Melbourne

LIMMUD OZ - A Festival of Jewish Learning and Culture, took place in Melbourne June 12 – 14. With over 200 presentations on themes as diverse as Art, Music, Theatre, History, Family Relationships, Diaspora, Education and Israel the crowd of approximately 800 registered over the 3 days had an abundance of choices to make. Henry Sachwald, founder of Musicals Australia presented a session entitled JEWISH BROADWAY. Loosely based on the themes of Jewish assimilation into American society the presentation covered a span of 50 years in 50 minutes; not easy. Rather than rely on the spoken word, Henry played excerpts of Irving Berlin (Alexander's Ragtime Band), Al Jolson (Sonny Boy), George Gershwin (Freud and Jung and Adler), Leonard Bernstein (I Am Easily Assimilated), Jerry Herman (Hymn to Hymie), Bock & Harnick (In My Own Lifetime), William Finn (Heart and Music), Jason Robert Brown (Stars and the Moon) and Ricky Ian Gordon (Joy). Imagine 50 minutes on Jewish Broadway and not once song from “Fiddler” or a mention of Stephen Sondheim! The audience loved it. For many it was a first listening to most of these songs. The goal of these presentations by Musicals Australia is to bring an awareness of the repertoire, writers and performers to the general public – “Keeping Musical Theatre Alive!”

 

Chelsea Plumley is off to the U.K.!

 Once again the temptations of bright lights and the big city are stealing another great Australian talent form the Melbourne stage. The incredibly versatile and talented Chelsea Plumley (singer, actor, comedienne, dancer and pianist) has wowed audiences with her performances in cabaret and musical theatre in Australia, New York, and Australasia. Now Chelsea is off to the U.K. While acting as an overseas ambassador for Australian talent, Chelsea's absence from the Melbourne cabaret and musical theatre scene will be noticed. So we don't forget her while she is gone Chelsea is releasing a CD of her most recent show in Melbourne, LIVE & LUSCIOUS .

Recorded live at Chapel Off Chapel in September 2003, LIVE & LUSCIOUS includes songs by Cy Coleman, Michel Legrand, Fats Waller, Charles Aznavour and Melbourne composer Eddie Perfect. It's a mixture of ballads, love songs and comic numbers including THE FRENCH SONG and SONG FOR MY FRIENDS.

 

Chelsea will perform selections from LIVE & LUSCIOUS at a farewell show on Sunday 27 June 8 p.m. at THE LIDO, 675 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn.

Followed by special guest attraction: THE PIANO BAR hosted by Martin Croft, Dean Lotherington and Robyn Arthur

Tickets: $25 BOOKINGS: 03 9818 7567

LIVE & LUSCIOUS is available @ www.middle8.com , www.cdcollector.com.au and www.discurio.com.au

 

Two New Australian Musicals:

REBECCA, The Musical

Music by Kevin Purcell, book and lyrics by Victor Kazan

Based on the novel by Daphne DuMaurier

Presented “in concert” REBECCA is an ambitious production in the tradition of shows like Andrew Lloyd Webber's “The Phantom of the Opera” and the Marsha Norman – Lucy Simon production of “The Secret Garden”. Adapting a period piece, based on a classic novel to the musical theatre stage can be very complex. After all, “Nothing can kill a show like too much exposition.” (Urinetown, 2001). Victor Kazan's book and Kevin Purcell's sweeping score cut through this exposition taking us from Manderlay to Monte Carlo and back to Manderlay in record time.

Performed by a parade of new and established Australian musical theatre performers, all the ingredients for a major new musical are present and ready to be shaped into a major new musical for Melbourne, Sydney, Broadway and London.

Rebecca, The Musical in Concert: Melba Hall, University of Melbourne, 19 June 2004.

With Richard Thomas (Maxim De Winter), Monique Pitsikas (the new Mrs De Winter), Lauren Elise (Rebecca), Maureen Andrew (Mrs Danvers), Jane Badler (Mrs. Van Hopper), Will Conyers (Jack Favell), Ian Sandercoe (Frank Crawley), Robert Harsley (Frith the Butler), Sean Gunn (Giles), Katrina Wellins (Beatrice).

EUREKA

Music by Michael Harvey, Book by Maggie May Gordon, revised book and lyrics by Gale Edwards and John Senczuk. Directed by Gale Edwards.

Based on the only uprising in Australian history, Eureka follows the story of Peter Lalor, an Irish miner in the goldfields of Ballarat, Victoria and the fight against the government administration of the goldfields.

With a cast that reads like a who's who of Australian musical theatre EUREKA premieres at Her Majesty's Theatre – Melbourne on October 9.

EUREKA : Her Majesty's Theatre – Melbourne

Starring: Ian Stenlake, Rachael Beck, Amanda Muggleton, Nancye Hayes, Barry Crocker, Simon Gleeson, Peter Carroll, Trisha Crowe.

 

“KOOKY-SPONTANEOUS-PASSION" at Chapel Off Chapel

May 30, 2004

While Chapel Off Chapel may lack the buzz and the warmth that existed before the departure of Nancy Cato, it is still a great venue for cabaret, revue and chamber musical theatre. Three shows have currently selected the "Chapel" as their venue of choice for short seasons of "musical mayhem" and serious consideration.

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Melbourne is alive with the sound of musicals.

The Producers looks set for a long run in Melbourne as performances sell out and audiences return for second helpings of Bialystock and Bloom.

Urinetown flushed with success completes its limited run on May 15. Unfortunately no extension of the current run is possible. However, there are rumours that commercial producers are considering picking up the production.

THE PRODUCTION COMPANY, inspired by N.Y. City Center's ENCORES series has announced their 2004 season: High Society, Carousel, Annie Get Your Gun.

CHAPEL OFF CHAPEL hosts a series of musicals in May and June: Spontaneous Broadway, Kookie Tunes, Passion.

See the listings on the SHOWTIME page.

 

That show with the unusual title opens in Melbourne: “URINETOWN – The Musical”

April 24, 2004

Don't be put off by the title. It's all part of the fun as this refreshing musical comedy pokes fun at itself the establishment and ourselves.

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“A Weekend  ON THE TOWN ”

April 19, 2004

Theatre is like sport. You have your good seasons and your not so good seasons. Well if the weekend of April 17, 2004 is anything to go by this should be a fantastic season for Melbourne musical theatre.

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“OPENING NIGHT” – A gay (but straight) romp through the world of showbiz with Max and Leo – “THE PRODUCERS”.

 April 17, 2004

Is the stage version of THE PRODUCERS an improvement on the original movie? Is it a clever adaptation? Does the Australian production meet up to the standards of the original Broadway production. Is the casting as good as on Broadway?

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WHO'S ON FIRST? -

"URINETOWN" premieres in Melbourne on April 17, the same night night as "THE PRODUCERS".

Even on Broadway, producers try to avoid competing for opening night attention. Does that sort of competition scare Australian producers? No worries mate, she'll be right! Both shows have good advanced bookings and should have successful runs. "URINETOWN" is produced by the Melbourne Theatre Company and is a limited engagement from April 17 to May 15. "The Producers' is bedded down at The Princess Theatre for the foreseeable future and is looking forward to a long run, hopefully through Christmas.

MEL BROOKS in MEL BOURNE for the Australian premiere of "THE PRODUCERS".

"When you got it , flaunt it!" and this production of "The Producers" got "it". Audiences attending previews of the show have been loving it. Brooks is thrilled with the casting of Reg Livermore as Max and Tom Burlinson as Leo. The offical opening is Saturday night 17 April.

THEATRETRACK GOES TO BROADWAY!

3MBS American Showbiz Adventure Tour
4 October - 21 October 2004

New York - Washington - Las Vegas - Los Angeles

18 days of fun and entertainment - insight into US Showbiz. From Broadway Shows to Washington Theatre - from Vegas Legends to the movie capital Hollywood.

See itinerary information here

For further information contact 3MBS on (03)9816 9355.

MELBOURNE -The Theatre City

Too many theatres in Melbourne? I think not. Could they be better utilised? Definitely!

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MUSIC THEATRE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM
MUSICALS AUSTRALIA is pleased to announce that it has joined forces with MUSIC THEATRE WORKSHOP and Australia’s leading musical theatre performers to bring you the most exciting MUSIC THEATRE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM in Australia.
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