Geraldine Turner returns to Sydney stages with Ruthless! the Musical

Australian music theatre icon and legendary leading lady Geraldine Turner will return to Sydney stages to star in the Theatre Divisions premiere production of Ruthless! the musical. Turner will play the role of Lita Encore alongside a cast to include Helpmann Award nominee and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels star Katrina Retallick.

Geraldine Turner in Steel Magnolias. Getty Images.
Geraldine Turner in Steel Magnolias. Getty Images.

Though the pinnacle of her career may have been the 1980’s and 90’s, divas never go out of style, and leading lady Geraldine Turner is one of the finest Australia has to its name. The leading lady of such iconic Australian productions as Chicago, Anything Goes, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Oliver, Guys and Dolls, Gypsy, Into the Woods and The Witches of Eastwick, Turner is one of Australia’s finest interpreters of the musical theatre and an internationally recognised interpreter of the works of composer Stephen Sondheim.

Though Turner has not been on the stages of Sydney theatres for a few years, Ruthless will be a true return to form for the diva and a fantastic opportunity for Sydney audiences to reacquaint themselves with her talents. Playing the plum role of theatre critic Lita Encore, Geraldine Turner gets one of the finest comic numbers in the show, the now infamous “I Hate Musicals.”

Geraldine Turner
Geraldine Turner

Along with such luminaries as Nancye Hayes, Jill Perryman and Judi Connelli, Turner was easily one of the most popular music theatre stars of the the last three decades. Though she did not go the route of the blockbuster musicals that set in around the 1980’s with long running hits like Cats and Les Miserables, she was a part of some of the most commercially successful and critically well-received musicals ever produced in Oz. The original Australian production of Chicago starring Hayes and Turner was so commercially successful that the Sydney Theatre Company (the principle producer) was able to substantially expand their productions as a result. Turner would later return to their stages with Merrily We Roll Along and Into the Woods, to name a few.

This production of Ruthless! the musical will be presented by the Theatre Division and will feature a truly sterling cast of talent. Katrina Retallick will lead the cast that will also include Margi de Ferranti, Meredith O’Reilly and Caitlin Berry. The presence of these four powerful leading ladies on the one stage already marks Ruthless out as a must see musical event of the Australian 2014 season.

Ruthless will begin performances at the Reginald theatre at Sydney’s Seymour Centre on June 19 and will run until July 5. With music by Marvin Laird and book and lyrics by Joel Paley, this production will mark the shows professional Sydney debut. For more information about the production and the Theatre Division you can visit their website here. For information about tickets you can visit the Seymour Centre website here.

Geraldine Turner sings “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from Gypsy in the 1991 Australian revival of Gypsy.

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