On a beautiful Melbourne autumn afternoon, in the magnificent surrounds of Raheen, a 19th century Italianate mansion high on the hill overlooking the Yarra River, The Production Company launched their 2014 Season.
This is their 16th season and Chairman Jeanne Pratt AC admits to having chosen three of her favourite Broadway musicals, along with some of “my most cherished production teams and performers”.
Guys and Dolls Arts Centre Melbourne 19-27 July
Guys and Dolls premiered on Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre on 24 November 1950 and has gone one to become a favourite with musical comedy fans. The show is based on short stories by Damon Runyon, an American journalist and short-story writer, and was made into a film in 1955, directed by Joseph L Mankiewicz and starring Marlon Brando, Jeanne Simmons and Frank Sinatra – who can forget his performance on ‘Luck Be A Lady’. Other well known songs include ‘Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat’, ‘I’ve Never Been in Love Before’ and ‘Adelaide’s Lament (A Person Can Develop a Cold)’.
Gale Edwards will direct, with musical direction by Guy Simpson and choreography by Nathan M Wright. The cast will include Verity Hunt-Ballard, Chelsea Plumley, Martin Crewes and Adam Murphy.
Show Boat Arts Centre Melbourne 16-24 August
Show Boat is a classic of musical theatre. Written by Oscar Hammerstein ll (lyrics and libretto), with music by Jerome Kern, the show was based on Edna Ferber’s novel of the same name and premiered at Broadway’s Zeigfeld Theatre on 27 December 1927. The legendary Paul Robeson made the role of Joe his own when he performed in the London production at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane the following year. Show Boat is said to have been the first Broadway score ever to have a coherent plot and integrated songs.
This production will be directed by Roger Hodgman, with musical direction by Kellie Dickerson and choreography by Dana Jolly. The cast will include Alinta Chidzey, Christina O’Neill, Gareth Keegan, Philip Gould and Eddie Muliaumaseali’I. Perhaps the real stars of the show ill be the classic songs which include ‘Make Believe’, ‘Bill’, ‘Life Upon the Wicked Stage’, ‘Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man’ and ‘Ol’ Man River’.
La Cage Aux Folles Arts Centre Melbourne 22 November – 7 December
La Cage Aux Folles will bring the season to an hilarious end as well as bringing audiences back (almost) to the 21st century. Based on the film of the same name written by Jerry Herman (composer and lyricist) and Harvey Fierstein (libretto), La Cage Aux Folles had its Broadway premiere at the Palace Theatre on 21 August 1983.
Todd McKenney and Simon Burke will star as Albin and Georges, and Rhonda Burchmore will appear as Jacqueline. The key creatives will be director Dean Bryant, choreographer Andrew Hallsworth and musical director Mathew Frank.
Launching the new season at her home, Raheen, Jeanne Pratt said:
“With the ever increasing demand for tickets to our shows, this year we are introducing additional performances for each production. We will be presenting a total of 37 performances. Our ticket prices are being kept competitive and we are especially proud of our 50% discount for anyone under 18, with tickets for as little as $23.”
Subscriptions for the season are now on sale.
For full details and bookings visit www.theproductioncompany.com.au