Hit Musical casts perform for charity, Melbourne

Verity Hunt-Ballard and Bobby Fox in Jersey Boys
Verity Hunt-Ballard and Bobby Fox in Jersey Boys

The casts of CatsMAMMA MIA!, and Jersey Boys are joining forces tonight to celebrate Melbourne’s flourishing Music Theatre scene. Monday, 29th March marks the return of the infamous Pink Dingo to Melbourne, with all 3 casts performing together for a one night only charity event.

The title Pink Dingo has been floating around the Music Theatre Industry for the past 23 years. Co-coordinator of the event (and star of the musical Cats) Lisa-Marie Parker has researched the history of the Pink Dingo in detail.

“I discovered that the term was coined in 1987 during the Melbourne Season of Starlight Express. Head of Electrics Ian ‘Gooch’ Blackburn and his crew came up with the concept of all the crew and cast getting together and having a jam session using the musicians of from the Starlight orchestra. This casual and spontaneous night of entertainment was the start of an Australian Music Theatre tradition,” she said.

As the years rolled on and as flux of Cameron Macintosh shows flowed in and out of town, more Pink Dingos were held – each becoming larger, highly produced events in theatres and larger venues. The mascot of each evening was a large Pink Flamingo belonging to ‘Gooch’. As this was not a very Australian term, the garden statue was renamed a Pink Dingo and the title stuck!

Pink Dingo 2010 is one of the largest Dingos to be held in years with all 3 shows jumping on board in the name of charity.

Each show has nominated their own charity and the night’s proceeds will be divided equally between them. The Jersey Boys company have nominated the The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF), Cats – Australian Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust, and MAMMA MIA! will be donating to The Asthma Foundation Australia.

“The buzz around town is so exciting – not only the fans and family and friends attending however the performers are all thrilled to be stripping off their wigs and costumes and doing something outside of their current show,” said Parker.

The evening will be held at Red Bennies in Chapel Street, South Yarra, a new venue who have donated their space and their staff for the evening.

“We approached Red Bennies (who only opened their doors on Feb 1st) as they are perfect sized venue for a Dingo and other cabaret or jazz events, and they jumped on board straight away. We were also very lucky to have the support of our respective producers and company managers which started the ball rolling. All three companies have been very generous with supplying Merchandise, tickets, Wine etc to our list of Auction items. The support has been astounding,” Parker said.

The night will feature performances of song, dance and comedy from over 40 performers all donating their time. Performers include: The band of Jersey Boys, Michael Cormick, Verity Hunt-Ballard, Nathan Foley, John O’Hara, Gareth Keegan, Cameron MacDonald, John Ellis, Vicky Jacobs, Adrian Ricks, Shaun Rennie, Lisa Adam and Glenn Quinn.

To support this event book tickets at www.redbennies.com

All tickets $25

Doors open at 6:30pm, first set begins at 7pm.

Auction will take place throughout the evening.

Erin James

Erin James is AussieTheatre.com's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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