Celebrating their 18th Season, The Production Company (TPC) have announced their 2016 Season that features a classic and contemporary Broadway musical and the much anticipated return of a local favourite.
State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne: 23 – 31 July 2016
Caroline O’Connor stars in Gale Edwards’ new staging of of this classic Broadway musical about the great Broadway comedienne, Fanny Brice. Told in flashback, we follow her life from stage-struck teen to stardom in the Ziegfeld Follies, and her stormy relationship with the debonair gambler, Nick Arnstein – played by Australian tenor David Hobson who makes his TPC debut.
“I’m so excited to be returning to The Production Company this year to reprise one of my favourite roles,” says O’Connor. “This show has a very special place in my heart and brings back a lot of wonderful memories particularly as it was in the first season The Production Company ever staged back in 1999.”
With Musical Direction from Anthony Gabriele – who returns from London West End seasons of The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King and CATS, Jule Styne’s incredible score includes the unforgettable hits: Don’t Rain On My Parade, People and I’m The Greatest Star. The legendary Nancye Hayes returns to TPC playing Fanny’s mother, Mrs Brice.
State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne: 20 – 28 August 2016
It’s Boston 1959, and the opening night of Robbin’ Hood of the Old West when suddenly at the curtain call, its supremely untalented leading lady is murdered onstage. The entire cast and crew are suspects. Enter Lieutenant Frank Cioffi, local detective and passionate amateur theatrical who unravels the mystery, fixes the show and falls in love with the ingénue, Miss Niki Harris.
Simon Gleeson (Les Misérables, CHESS) stars as Frank Cioffi. In the role of Niki Harris is Alinta Chidzey. Melissa Langton is the brassy Broadway producer Carmen. Lucy Maunder and Alex Rathgeber are Georgia and Aaron – the show’s songwriting team.
Director Roger Hodgman (Show Boat, Grey Gardens), Musical Director John Foreman (The Boy From Oz, Singin’ in the Rain) and Choreographer Dana Jolly (Show Boat, Grey Gardens), return following last season’s enchanting production of Nice Work If You Can Get It – for this Australian premiere season of Kander & Ebb’s musical comedy whodunnit.
Playhouse – Arts Centre Melbourne: 12 – 27 November 2016
In the 1960’s, Dusty Springfield took the world by storm with her unique, sensual soul singing and a score of hits including: I Only Want To Be With You, Wishin’ and Hopin: The Look of Love, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself, and Son of a Preacher Man. DUSTY the musical features these hits and many more! It’s the story of the shy,young Londoner, Mary O’Brien who transforms herself into the blonde, pop-icon Dusty Springfield.
Currently starring as Maria in The Sound Of Music, Amy Lehpamer returns to TPC in the role of Dusty Springfield. Todd McKenney will play Dusty’s loyal hairdresser and long time confidant, Rodney, while Elenoa Rokobaro (Ghost the Musical, Violet) makes her TPC debut in the role of Reno.
Jason Langley directs his first musical for TPC, Michael Tyack conducts, and Michael Ralph will choreograph. The creation of the Australian writers John-Michael Howson, David Mitchell and Melvyn Morrow, and ten years since its premiere, it’s time to fall in love with DUSTY all over again.
“I’m really thrilled to be asked to play Rodney in DUSTY working with the beautiful Amy Lehpamer,” says McKenney. “Rodney is probably the only gay character I haven’t played up to this point in my career so Ican tick this one off my bucket list! I love the adrenaline I get from doing a Production Company show because everything is so fast.”
Subscription packages are now available, with single ticket sales available from 2 May 2016. For more information, visit: www.theproductioncompany.com.au for details.
Image: Jeanne Pratt joins John Foreman, Alex Rathgeber, Alinta Chidzey, Melissa Langton, Lucy Maunder and David Hobson at The Production Company 2016 Launch – photo by Jim Lee