Put on your dancin’ shoes and warm up those vocals because the debut of the Melbourne Musical Theatre Festival is set to hit Melbourne 6 – 28 January 2017 with a classic line-up of well-loved family musical favourites, timeless adult productions and new Australian shows.
The festival kicks off with Some Enchanted Evening celebrating the songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein.The Sound of Music, Oklahoma and The King and I are just some of the classics that have left their imprint on generations of movie and theatre fans. This stunning collection of songs features a star-studded cast of performers including Jacqueline Dark, Antoinette Halloran, Andrew Jones, Dimity Shepherd, and Jason Wasley. (6 – 28 January)
The premiere of a new Australian Musical Comedy, Chriss Crossed is set to delight audiences as part Melbourne’s popular Midsumma Festival program. Chris works as the office manager at his mother’s dress shop and is getting married in five days to Julia.
But Chris has a secret – he is a cross dresser and must face the biggest dilemma of his life. Does he deceive Julia and say nothing hoping she will never find out, or does he tell her before the wedding and risk losing her? Victor Victoria meets Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em in this hilarious original comedy romp. (20 – 28 January)
There are kids and family theatre favourites on offer too including a program of “fractured fairytales” adapted from children’s classic stories. A “fractured fairytale” is a fairy or folk tale that has been modified to make us laugh at unexpected characterization, plot development or point of view.
What do the Queen of Hearts, the White Rabbit, Little Red Riding Hood, and a Crazy Jester have in common? Not much really, but in Hansel and Gretel: A Fractured Fairytale, anything can happen. Mother Goose is sick and the Crazy Jester gets the job of telling the story of Hansel and Gretel.
He leads the audience on a mad journey through the forest to save Hansel and Gretel from the Wicked Witch, but along the way they bump into all sorts of other characters, including Alice, the Big Bad Wolf, Dorothy and the Scarecrow, and Rapunzel. (9 – 14 January)
What could be more entertaining than Mother Goose telling the story of Snow White? Mother Goose has to resolve a strike of the Nursery Rhyme animals led by Poppa Bear, the Prince keeps rescuing the wrong girl, and the mischievous Rumpelstiltskin is distracting everyone. In Snow White: A Further Fractured Fairytale, anything can happen and does! (16 – 21 January).
And that Crazy Jester is back, and this time he’s here to tell the story of Little Red Riding Hood: A Fird Fractured Fairytale. When he unknowingly sends the wolf off to blow down the houses of the 3 little pigs and sends Little Red off to Wonderland, does anyone get to Granny’s house? A wild adventure that will leave audiences on the edge of their seats. (23 – 28 January)
For the forever young at heart, Peter Pan: A Croc Rock Musical is a vibrant new production of J. M. Barrie’s classic tale, bringing to life all of the best ingredients of previous films, animations, and the original book into one energetic show. Featuring over 15 songs, Peter Pan, Wendy, Tinkerbell and Captain Hook encounter new friends and foes and the coolest crocodile this side of the Tropics. (16 – 28 January)
The inaugural Melbourne Musical Theatre Festival at the Athenaeum Theatre runs 6 – 28 January 2017. For more information, visit: www.melbournemusicaltheatrefestival.com for details.
Image: Don Winsor stars as Captain Hook in Peter Pan: A Croc Rock Musical (supplied)
Note: The Melbourne Musical Theatre Festival has been postponed until further notice!