Goodbye Girl opens new centre

After over a year of being without their permanent home, Bankstown Theatrical Society in Sydney’s South-West has returned to the new look Bankstown Arts Centre.

After over a year of being without their permanent home, Bankstown Theatrical Society in Sydney’s South-West has returned to the new look Bankstown Arts Centre.

The new era for one of Australia’s oldest community theatre groups began on Friday night with the Broadway Premiere for New South Wales audience’s of the musical, The Goodbye Girl.

The show is perfectly suited to the re-vamped 120 seat Theatre in the Arts Centre which was re-developed to the cost of the $5.8M.

“This new space is great for audiences with great viewing, sound loops for people with hearing difficulties and much more comfortable seats than the old Olympic Parade Theatre. The foyer has been completely re-designed and there is a lift that can take people with any disability from foyer level to theatre level,” said Goodbye Girl Director and BTS Committee Member, Diane Wilson.

The Goodbye Girl is based on Neil Simon’s Academy Award winning film of the same name about an unlikely romance between Paula, a bitter, single mother who has been jilted one too many times, and Elliot, the opinionated actor who shows up on her doorstep with a lease to sublet her apartment.

“It’s difficult to understand why it has not been done in Sydney before. It’s always difficult for groups when they choose a show that’s not so well known as people tend to go to their old popular favourites, which is a shame because there are so many fabulous ‘not so well known’ musicals out there that have not been seen by audiences,” Wilson said.

Assembled for the cast of the show are some of Sydney’s leading community theatre performers.

Katie Young plays Paula, while Michael Lewis steps into the role Elliot, played on screen by Richard Dreyfuss and in the original Broadway musical production by Martin Short.

Katie played Ellen in BTS production of Miss Saigon, while Michael made his Bankstown debut in last year’s ‘Curtains’ as musical theatre loving detective, Frank Cioffi.

Katie says she’s enjoying working in the new space and taking on a role not too dissimilar to her real life role.

“We are both 35, have danced before but not for many years, have a daughter – only differences are I have a husband and I’m not American. “

Taking on the demanding young role of Paula’s daughter Lucy is Ashley Reid, who is making her stage debut in the musical.

“It’s a big role for a young girl but Ashley is meeting the challenge brilliantly,” said Diane Wilson.

“It feels nerve racking but I’m very excited, and it’s a real once in a life time opportunity for me,” added Ashley.

The Goodbye Girl plays at Bankstown Arts Centre Theatre until June 11. for 10 shows only. Bookings: (02) 9676 1191.

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