The world’s favourite musical has returned to Australia. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s London Palladium production of The Wizard of Oz will have its Australian Premiere in Brisbane tonight at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC before travelling to Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne.
Australia’s leading musical theatre star Anthony Warlow plays The Wizard and Professor Marvel, while Lucy Durack is Glinda the Good Witch, Jemma Rix plays The Wicked Witch of the West, and rising star Samantha Dodemaide breaks out of the chorus to wear the ruby slippers of Dorothy. Eli Cooper plays the role of the Scarecrow, Alex Rathgeber is the Tin Man, and John Xintavelonis plays the cowardly Lion.
The ensemble cast includes Paul Hanlon as Uncle Henry and Sophie Weiss as Auntie Em, alongside Justin Anderson, Sheridan Anderson, Lewis Beer, Shay Debney, Sage Douglas, Mikey Halcrow, Zoe Ioannou, Bree Langridge, Rubin Matters, Scott Morris, Justine Puy, Michael Roache, Mitchell Roberts, Emma Russell, Dean Schulz, Darren Tyler, Caleb Vines, Stephanie Wall and Rachael Ward.
“With Anthony Warlow, Lucy Durack and Jemma Rix starring, and the extraordinary Samantha Dodemaide in her breakout role as Dorothy, we have a matchless leading cast,” said producer John Frost. “Preview audiences have cheered as Samantha sings one of the most-beloved songs of all time, Over The Rainbow.”
Developed from the ever-popular MGM screenplay, the London Palladium production of The Wizard of Oz contains the beloved Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg songs from the Oscar-winning movie score, all the favourite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
“This beautiful, sumptuous production was a huge hit in London, and if previews are any indication, Australian audiences love revisiting the classic story that’s universally treasured,” said co-producer Suzanne Jones. “It’s also wonderful to have rehearsed and to open the production in Queensland.”
The Wizard of Oz plays the Lyric Theatre – QPAC until 3 December 2017, before touring to Sydney’s Capitol Theatre from 30 December, the Adelaide Festival Centre from 3 April, and Melbourne’s Regent Theatre from 15 May 2018. For more information, visit: www.wizardofozthemusical.com for details.
Image: The Australian Cast of The Wizard of Oz – photo by Jeff Busby