In this production of The Boy from Oz, director Drew Anthony strips back the bright, flamboyant, feel good show to present a heartfelt, emotional, sentimental piece that explores the life of Australian entertainer Peter Allen.
You can almost feel the admiration Anthony must have for Allen as he directs a piece that has audiences laughing, crying, singing and standing on their feet for an ovation.
As the Australian musical theatre industry begins to rejuvenate, this cast is full of freshness and originality. To single out individual performances is challenging. Ethan Jones as Allen is flawless as he commands the stage and shares Allen’s life through stories, song and dance.
Lucy Williamson as Judy Garland, Elethea Sartorelli as Liza Minelli and Casey Edwards as Marion Woolnough delivered their solos with the necessary emotional highs and exhilarating crescendo.
Carrie Pereria, Melissa Erpen and Sophie Foster as the Angels belt out Somebody’s Angels and She Loves to Hear the Music with enough energy to lift the roof of the Crown Theatre. Peter Cumins version of I Love You is heartfelt, while Lucky Farrell as Young Peter commands the stage with his enthusiasm and exuberance.
The ensemble support the main cast without stealing the limelight while the dancers execution of the Fosse inspired choreography and the Rockettes’ high kicks was performed with super slick, expert precision.
The costumes and lighting are less glitzy than seen in previous productions, which assists to convey the struggles and sentimentality of Allen’s life. Costumes were true to the era with just the right amount of colour and pizzazz.
The entire cast give an impeccable performance, full of emotion, energy and strength. There are numerous highlights and surprises in this production.
And with the lack of Australia Day firework celebrations this year, pride yourself up and go commemorate it with one of Australia’s original international superstars. Maybe even take a small plastic Australian flag and wave it as Jones sings, I Still Call Australia Home.
The Boy From Oz
Crown Theatre, Great Eastern Hwy, Burswood
Performance: Saturday 23 January 2021 – 7.30pm
Season continues to 7 February 2021
Image: The Boy From Oz (supplied)
Review: Craig Dalglish