When Lily Harrison, an attractive Florida retiree, advertises for a teacher to help improve her ballroom dancing skills, she doesn’t bargain on being landed with Michael and his dancing baggage. As their lessons progress, Michael also discovers that Lily has more than a little emotional history under her hard exterior. A story of two opposites finding each other in the most diverse way possible: Rum-Cha-Cha!
This poignant comedy has danced from Broadway to worldwide success and features choreography by John O’Connell, known for his work on films such as Moulin Rouge, Strictly Ballroom and the Hollywood dance films Shall We Dance starring Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez and Enchanted which then led to him choreographing the Oscars.
First produced by Ensemble Theatre at the Sydney Opera House in 2006, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks went on to tour nationally and won the 2007 Helpmann Award for Best Regional Touring Production. It is Ensemble Theatre’s most popular and successful play, selling more tickets than any other production in the theatre’s 58 year history.
In her first production as guest director, Ensemble Theatre’s former Artistic Director Sandra Bates has re-united her dream team of one of Australia’s favourite leading ladies, Nancye Hayes, with Australia’s leading song and dance man, Todd McKenney, reprising their roles from Ensemble’s original Australian Premiere production. Sandra has directed more than 100 productions for Ensemble Theatre during her 30 year tenure at the helm of the company.
“Working with Nancye and Todd on this play was one of my most pleasurable experiences,” says Bates. “They were an absolute joy and I can’t wait to start again. There is nothing better than sitting in an audience who are loving every minute. I sat next to two ladies at the Theatre Royal ten years ago and well after it was finished the lady next to me said to her friend, ‘it’s time we left’ and her friend said ‘I just want to sit here and see it all over again’.”
Director: Sandra Bates Starring: Nancye Hayes and Todd McKenney Choreographer: John O’Connell Designer: Graham Maclean Lighting Designer: Trudy Dalgleish Wardrobe Coordinator: Margaret Gill Stage Manager: Danny Oliver Assistant Stage Manager: Lori Piquemal
Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks
IMB Theatre – Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, 32 Burelli Street, Wollongong
Season continues to 20 February 2016
Bookings: (02) 4224 5999 or online at: www.merrigong.com.au
The Concourse Theatre, 409 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood
Season: 27 February – 13 March 2016 (previews: 25 & 26 February)
Bookings: 1300 795 012 or online at: www.theconcourse.com.au
For more information, visit: www.ensemble.com.au for details.
Image: Nancye Hayes and Todd McKenney star in Ensemble Theatre’s Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks (supplied)