Theatre producer John Frost has announced cast members for the new Australian production of Dirty Dancing, which will play at the Sydney Lyric Theatre from late November, before playing in Melbourne and Brisbane in 2015.
Two extraordinary young talents will make the leap from chorus to leading roles as the two iconic characters in this much loved musical production. The role of charismatic dance teacher Johnny Castle will be played by Kurt Phelan while the role of innocent young “Baby” Houseman will be played by Kirby Burgess.
A NIDA graduate, Phelan is an actor, choreographer and writer. His musical theatre credits include Singin’ in the Rain, Witches of Eastwick, Saturday Night Fever and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Burgess has been seen on stage in Sweet Charity, An Officer and A Gentleman, Hairspray, High School Musical – Live on Stage and currently in LOVEBiTES, and on television in Wonderland.
Already announced is young classical music singer Mark Vincent in his musical theatre debut as Billy Kostecki, Johnny’s cousin. Baby’s father Jake will be played by Adam Murphy, and her older sister Lisa will be Teagan Wouters. Hotel owner Max Kellerman will be Mike Bishop and Neil Kellerman will be Gabriel Brown making his professional debut. In the role of Mr Schumacher is Barry Mitchell and Tito Suarez will be portrayed by Eric Rasmussen.
The ensemble will include Erinn Arnel, Kyla Bartholomeusz, Charles Bartley, Aaron James Campbell, Amy Campbell, Anna Freeland, Kim Hudman, Elysha Manik, Sam Marks, James Maxfield, Chris Ostrenski, Hannah Stanton and Mitchell Woodcock.
“We have assembled an exceptional cast for this 10th Anniversary production of Dirty Dancing,” said Frost. “The local and overseas creative teams were very impressed with the talent during the audition process, and our Australian cast is second to none. I’m thrilled to give Kirby and Kurt their first lead roles in a musical – they are certainly musical theatre stars of the future.
“Dirty Dancing is a wonderful Australian success story. The stage musical gave audiences the chance to hear the songs from the hit film performed live and to experience the breathtaking dance routines. People flocked to it, breaking records all around the world.”
“Now, ten years after the World Premiere in Sydney, it returns home to where the magic began with a sensational new cast, and audiences can again have the Time Of Their Lives.”
Featuring the hit songs Hungry Eyes, Hey! Baby, Do You Love Me? and the iconic (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life, Dirty Dancing has become one of the most popular musical productions of all time.
Dirty Dancing will play at the Sydney Lyric Theatre from 28 November this year, then Melbourne’s Princess Theatre from 4 March and the Lyric Theatre, QPAC from 27 May. For more information, visit: www.dirtydancingaustralia.com for details.
Image: Kirby Burgess as Baby and Kurt Phelan as Johnny Castle – photo by Kurt Sneddon