Xanadu – the musical in Australia

In 1980, Olivia Newton John and Gene Kelly starred in the pop culture phenomenon “Xanadu”. Now, the musical version of the film is coming to Melbourne’s Docklands opening on March 3rd, 2011, and then going on to tour nationally. The musical earned three Tony nominations in the United States, where it played for more than 500 performances beginning in 2007. The musical earned critcal acclaim, with The New York Times reporting that “There’s so much silly bliss to be had,”.

If you never saw the original Xanadu film, you will be pleasantly surprised by the infectiously fun soundtrack, featuring hit songs ‘Magic’, ‘All Over The World’, ‘Suddenly’, ‘I’m Alive’, ‘Evil Woman’, ‘Have You Never Been Mellow’ and ‘XANADU’. The soundtrack was composed by pop-rock favorites Jeff Lynne and John Farrar. The original movie has been brilliantly adapted by Douglas Carter Beane who won one of five 2008 Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Book of a Musical.

The shows Australian producer, Mark Pennell (also known for Sweet Charity and Countdown: The Musical) has lined up a cast of local performers to star in the show. Cast calls from Pennell told potential cast members “If you can sing and skate and don’t mind wearing lots of blue eye-shadow, we want to hear from you.”

The movie itself follows the dreams of a struggling artist who dreams of opening a roller disco. While the original movie took itself a little more seriously, Xanadu the Musical is a tongue in cheek spoof of the disco and roller skating antics of the late seventies and early eighties. Producer Pennell says “It is a crazy show.A complete spoof of the movie and that whole era. We hope everyone buys into the madness of it all.” To bring audiences the true Xanadu experience, the Grand Xanadu Marquee is being constructed in Melbourne. The Marquee is reminiscent of Cirque de Soleil portable venues, and will seat 2000 audience members. While the venue is new to Australian theater goers, the show is designed to be fast paced and exciting, drawing viewers into the glittering years of the 70’s and 80’s.

The lead role made famous by Olivia Newton John, Goddess Kira, is being played by Aussie favorite Christie Whelan, with Sam Ludeman playing male lead Sonny. The role played by Gene Kelly in the movie, Danny (god Zeus), will be played by John McTernan. Equally notable are Kira’s two sisters, played by Susan-Ann Walker (Calliope) and Ally Fowler (Medusa).

Theater goers who enjoyed other musical hits like “Mamma Mia” will find Xanadu the Musical to be well worth the tickets. Tickets are priced for true theater lovers, well below other popular musical experiences. The performance’s references to 80’s style and culture make it a fun trip down memory lane, and the show is suitable for viewers of all ages. Go grab your leg warmers and show us your biggest hair, then take a trip to Xanadu.

Love Never Dies (Australia) – All the info I could find

The offers have gone out to the cast, but at this point there is no complete list or information on who has accepted and who hasn’t.

Congratulations on everyone who got in. Can’t wait to see it.

Rock of ages – Show research – Australian Auditions

Ok, so I had a great response to my article on Dr Zhivago audition info, so I thought I would keep them coming. Please leave a message or facebook like it, as it helps google recognise its a decent article, so more people can find it.

What we know:

Produced by: Rodney Rigby, Carl Levin, Matthew Weaver, Jeff Davis, Barry Habib, Scott Prisand and Corner Store Fund.


Director: Kristin Hanggi
Choreographer: Kelly Devine
Musical Supervisor: Ethan Popp
Musical Consultant: Luke Hunter
Casting Director: Lynne Ruthven


Opens: Comedy Theatre Melbourne, April 2011
Rehearsals: Feb 2011
Part of a national tour

Audition Schedule First Round

Melbourne – from Sunday 23 May
Sydney – from Monday 31 May
Brisbane – from Friday 4 June
Perth – from Sat 5 June


From: http://www.guidetomusicaltheatre.com/shows_r/rockofages.html

In the late 1980s, an aspiring rocker, Drew, works as a busboy in the trademark Hollywood bar/club The Bourbon Room. He falls instantly for a cute girl, Sherrie, who arrives from Kansas hoping to make it big in acting. After being hired by the bar, Sherrie accepts Drew’s invitation to have a picnic at a place overlooking Los Angeles. There, he mistakenly suggests that the two are just friends. Later, at the Bourbon Room, ladies’ man and lead singer for his band Arsenal, Stacee Jaxx, will be playing that night and instantly hits it off with Sherrie and the two have sex in the bar’s bathroom. Subsequently, Drew proves his musical ability in the club and is chosen to open for Stacee. A record producer in the club offers Drew a contract, which he accepts.

Meanwhile, German city developers, Hertz and his son Franz, convince the city’s mayor to abandon the “sex, drugs and rock-n-roll” lifestyle of the Sunset Strip to introduce “clean living” into the area. It is revealed that the club will be torn down in the process, much to the anger of the Mayor’s city planner, Regina (pronounced so as to rhyme with vagina).

Initially embarrassed when they meet on the street, Drew later tells Sherrie that he was angry that she left him for Stacee, but she did not think Drew liked her, since he said the two were just friends. After arguing in the street, Sherrie announces that she had actually liked Drew, but she is now over him. Sherrie becomes upset at Stacee’s uncaring nature (he continually calls her “Rachel” for starters). Drew’s rocker image has been changed to that of a boy band by his new record producer. An upset Sherrie meets “Mama”, the owner of a nearby strip club (though she clearly prefers the term “gentleman’s club”). She relates to Sherrie’s story, saying that many of the small-town girls hoping to hit it big in LA end up making a living as strippers. Much to her dislike, she accepts Mama’s offer to work in her club.

Stacee arrives at the club and is pleased to see Sherrie there, though Sherrie is not happy to see Stacee. Drew arrives to admit his feelings to her, but become disheartened when he sees the two in a suggestive position. Mama later tells Drew that as soon as he left, Sherrie punched Stacee in the jaw.

Regina continues her protest against the destruction of the Strip, but yields no success. She convinces Franz to stand up to his father if he does not believe in this cause. Franz admits he’s had dreams of his own, namely to open a confectioner’s store back home in Germany. He finally rebels against his father and admits his love for Regina. Finally, Sherrie and Drew let bygones be bygones and rekindle their love for each other. The Bourbon Room is spared demolition and wash-up Stacee Jaxx has since moved to Uruguay. His position in Arsenal is replaced with Joey Primo. Everyone celebrates (Don’t Stop Believin’)


Rock of ages at the 2009 Tony Awards.

youTube group – Everything Rock of Ages – Lots of RoA Videos.

Will be adding more info soon. Please Comment or contact me if you have something to add.

Chookas for your auditions – Matt

Dr Zhivago the Musical – Coming to Australia. All the info I can find – updated

Hi all. This article is getting lots of readers, but no comments.

I’d love it if you could let me know what you think. Too short? Too Long? Too many links? Not enough links? etc etc… also  what else you would like to read and what other shows are you are interested in?

Thanks – Matt (now back to your regularly scheduled article.)

Lucy Maunder and Anthony Warlow

So recently announced, completely out of the blue, are auditions for a new musical based on the Boris Pasternak novel Dr Zhivago.

Thought I would add some new information:

The cast has been announced and it is as follows:

Anthony Warlow – Yurii Zhivago,
Lucy Maunder – Lara,
Taneel Van Zyl – Tonia,
Martin Crewes – Pasha,
Peter Carroll – Alexander,
Bartholomew John – Komarovsky,
and Trisha Noble – Anna,

Johanna Allen, Gavin D Andrew, Anton Berezin, Caitlin Berry, Tony Cogin, Mischana Dellora-Cornish, Tony Farrell, Todd Goddard, Natalie Gamsu, Frank Hansen, Scott Hili, Glenn Hill, Luke Joslin, Todd Keys, Elise McCann, Kathleen Moore, Shaun Murphy, Chris Scalzo, Stephanie Silcock, Annie Stanford, Belinda Wollaston and Jamie Ward.

It open on Feb 11th 2011 at the Lyric in Sydney and booking can be made at ticketmaster

Not being able to find out much about it, and with the Dr Zhivago website down at the moment I thought I would compile as much information as I could find. (more…)