Based on the real-life relationship of composer Marvin Hamlisch and lyricist Carole Bayer-Sager, Company Eleven presents They’re Playing Our Song for three performances only at The MC Showroom from 6 October 2017.
They’re Playing Our Song is a musical comedy telling the story of a neurotic composer (Vernon Gersch) and an eccentric lyricist (Sonia Walsk) trying to juggle their budding professional and personal relationships.
When Vernon Gersch invites Sonia Walsk to his luxury Manhattan apartment the meeting uncovers two very different personalities. He is aloof and focused, while she is disorganised and distracted – but Vernon has already written music to some of Sonia’s lyrics so they decide to forge ahead.
To get to know each other better on a professional level, Vernon and Sonia go out to dinner. But, hearing one of their songs played at the venue that night, the couple admit to their deeper feelings and embark on a relationship. After living and working together, the romance soon hits trouble.
Away from his piano, Vernon struggles to express his deepest feelings, while Sonia has her own problems – namely Leon, the ex-boyfriend who can’t seem to stay away. When it comes to making music, they are a match made in Heaven. But is this relationship doomed, or will love strike the right note?
With a book by Neil Simon, music by Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line) and lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager, They’re Playing Our Song will be directed and choreographed by Sam Hooper (Death Becomes You) with musical direction by Chris Nolan.
The cast includes Glenn Hill (Rob Guest Endowment Winner, Matilda, Hello Dolly) as Vernon Gersch, and Alana Tranter (Hello Dolly, Ned – The New Australian Musical, Georgy Girl) as Sonia Walsk. The cast also features Baylie Carson (Hello Dolly), Belle Power, Sam Ward (Jesus Christ Superstar) and James Watkinson.
They’re Playing Our Song had its world premiere at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles in December 1978. The musical opened on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre on 11 February 1979 – where it ran for 1,082 performances, and nominated for numerous Tony and Drama Desk Awards.
The original London production opened in the West End on 1 October 1980 at the Shaftesbury Theatre, receiving nominations for three Laurence Olivier Awards, with Gemma Craven winning Best Actress in a Musical.
The original Australian production opened at Sydney’s Theatre Royal on 23 August 1980, before transferring to Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre in January 1981. It starred John Waters as Vernon Gersch and Jacki Weaver as Sonia Walsk. An Australian Cast Recording was released by Festival Records in 1980, “charting prominently on the major album listings” at the time.
Director & Choreographer: Sam Hooper Featuring: Glenn Hill, Alana Tranter, Baylie Carson, Belle Power, Sam Ward, James Watkinson Musical Director: Chris Nolan Set & Costume Design: Tessa Robinson Lighting Design: Celine Khong Stage Manager: Genevieve Davidson
They’re Playing Our Song
The MC Showroom, Level 1, 48 Clifton Street, Prahran
Performances: 6 & 7 October 2017
Image: They’re Playing Our Song – courtesy of Company Eleven