A trifecta of musical theatre productions will premiere in Sydney over the next two years. The Kander and Ebb masterpiece Chicago will open at the Sydney Lyric Theatre in 2019; the worldwide hit musical Saturday Night Fever will open at the Capitol Theatre in 2019; and the Australian premiere of the Broadway smash hit Waitress will open at the Sydney Lyric Theatre in 2020.
“I am so excited to bring these three wonderful, diverse productions to light up Sydney stages and thrill audiences,” said Australian theatre producer John Frost. “Waitress has become a huge hit on Broadway and across the US, receiving four Tony nominations and six Drama Desk nominations. With music by Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles, Waitress has quickly become the new ‘must see’ musical.”
“Chicago is one of my favourite musicals of all time, with one of the best Kander and Ebb scores. I can’t wait to sit in the audition room to find Velma and Roxie for a new generation.”
“Since it debuted in the West End and Broadway, the musical adaptation of Saturday Night Fever has set pulses racing around the world. The music is infectious and defined the distinctive disco era for a whole generation. Australia will love this new reimagined version of the iconic story with its high-octane dancing and glorious collection of Bee Gees hits,” added John Frost.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall and Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said Chicago, Saturday Night Fever and the Australian premiere of Waitress were secured exclusively for Sydney by the NSW Government. “More than 60,400 visitors are expected to travel to Sydney to see the productions in 2019 and 2020, and deliver $28.8 million in visitor expenditure for NSW,” Mr Marshall said.
Mr Harwin said the NSW Government is bringing a world-class showcase of musical theatre to Australia’s premier events State. “What a vote of confidence in the Sydney theatre landscape admired internationally and going from strength to strength,” Mr Harwin said.
Now in its third year on Broadway and inspired by the film of the same name, Waitress tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage.
Waitress is the first Broadway musical in history to have four women in the four top creative team spots, with a book by Jessie Nelson, a score by five-time Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, choreography by Lorin Latarro and direction by Tony Award-winner Diane Paulus.
Based on the 1926 play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, Chicago has a legendary book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. It has been seen by over 30 million people worldwide in 36 countries and is the winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and a Grammy Award. It’s a story of fame, fortune and musical hits including All That Jazz.
Paying homage to the 1977 movie classic starring John Travolta, Saturday Night Fever is the story of Tony Manero and his exhilarating quest to break free of conformity and become dance king. The show is packed with disco classics, including the Bee Gees’ greatest hits Stayin’ Alive, How Deep Is Your Love, Night Fever, Tragedy and More Than A Woman. This brand-new production premiered recently in Paris.
Image: Charity Angel Dawson, Desi Oakley and Lenne Klingaman in the US National Tour of Waitress – photo by Joan Marcus