Opera Australia Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini AM and leading Australian theatre producer John Frost AM today announced the principal cast for their new production of Cole Porter’s smash-hit musical comedy Anything Goes, which will tour Australia in 2015.
Leading the all-star cast is Caroline O’Connor as evangelist turned nightclub singer Reno Sweeney. Since she last wowed Australian audiences as Velma Kelly in John Frost’s Chicago in 2009, Caroline has been busy performing on the stages of Broadway, the West End and Europe. She recently starred in the new musical Life of the Party at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London, played Miss Shields on Broadway in A Christmas Story the Musical and was a featured performer at the 2013 Tony Awards.
Prior to this, she played Sarah Jane Moore in Assassins at Milwaukee Rep, Phyllis Rogers Stone in the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre’s production of Follies, Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris, and Hildy Esterhazy in the English National Opera’s production of On the Town. Caroline was nominated for a 2014 Helpmann Award for her performance as Rose in Gypsy for The Production Company.
Playing Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, the wealthy English fiancé of Hope, will be audience favourite Todd McKenney who is currently playing Teen Angel in Grease, and about to begin another season as a judge on Channel 7’s Dancing With The Stars. Since he was propelled to stardom playing Peter Allen in The Boy From Oz for over 900 performances, Todd has been in constant demand on stage, radio and television, including the role of Rooster in John Frost’s national tour of Annie and as Pluto in the 2013 Opera Australia season of Orpheus In the Underworld.
One of Australia’s most respected and recognized actresses, Carmen Duncan, will make her musical theatre debut as Evangeline Harcourt, Hope’s haughty and overbearing mother, while The Captain of the S.S. American will be played by radio star Alan Jones, returning to the musical theatre stage after his performance as Franklin Delano Roosevelt in John Frost’s production of Annie.
Wayne Scott Kermond will play Moonface Martin, a second-rate gangster who is “Public Enemy Number 13”. A fourth generation performer, Wayne as been performing in musical theatre since the age of 11, and is best remembered for his starring role as Cosmo Brown in the Australian and Asian tour of Singin’ in the Rain. Debora Krizak, recently nominated for Helpmann Awards for her work on both A Chorus Line and Sweet Charity, will play Erma, Moonface’s girlfriend.
Billy Crocker, the young Wall Street broker in love with Hope will be played by Alex Rathgeber, and Claire Lyon will be Hope Harcourt, an American debutante and the object of Billy’s affection. Both Alex and Claire have starred internationally in The Phantom of the Opera, Alex as Raoul on the West End and Claire as Christine Daaé in the current world tour.
“We’re thrilled that Caroline O’Connor is returning to play Reno Sweeney after her huge success overseas – Caroline has become a genuine Broadway star!” said John Frost and Lyndon Terracini.
“It’s wonderful to have Todd McKenney back working with Opera Australia, and to welcome Australian musical theatre royalty Wayne Scott Kermond to the cast. Alex Rathgeber and Claire Lyon are extraordinary young performers, both known internationally, and Debora Krizak has been nominated for a Helpmann Award for her last two musical theatre performances.”
“It is terrific to invite Carmen Duncan to play her first musical theatre role, and to welcome Alan Jones aboard the S.S. American as its captain. What a stellar lineup of amazing performers we have assembled!”
“Heading the creative team are director Dean Bryant and choreographer Andrew Hallsworth, who are now a Helpmann Award-winning team. They have been doing amazing work on musicals worldwide, and are one of the most exciting creative teams in Australia today. Joining them will be musical director Peter Casey, set and costume designer Dale Ferguson, lighting designer Matt Scott and sound designer Michael Waters, who won a Helpmann this year for his work on The King and I.”
For decades, Anything Goes has captivated millions with its delightful story of madcap antics aboard the S.S. American. When the ocean liner embarks from New York to London, etiquette and convention get tossed out the portholes as two unlikely pairs set off on the course to find true love… proving that sometimes destiny needs a little help from a crew of singing sailors, an exotic disguise and some good old-fashioned blackmail.
This dazzling musical celebration, described by Ben Brantley of The New York Times as “a deluxe candy box of Cole Porter’s best songs,” features a hilarious tale of topsy-turvy relationships, mistaken identities and foiled plots, peppered with some of musical theatre’s most memorable standards including You’re The Top, De-Lovely, I Get A Kick Out Of You and of course the title song, Anything Goes.
Winner of three Tony Awards, including Best Musical Revival and Choreography during its most recent Broadway revival, Anything Goes is a stunning nautical favourite.
This first-class musical extravaganza will dock in Melbourne in May, Brisbane in July and Sydney in September 2015, with tickets going on sale 22 September. For more information, visit: www.anythinggoesmusical.com.au for details.