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.

Matt’s Murmurs – Heading to AussieTheatre.com.au

Starting next week I will also be writing a blog on aussietheatre.com.au entitled Matt’s Murmurs.

It will basically be my feelings on the industry, the business side of acting and technology that I think will be useful for actors.

My first post I think is going to be about successfully using twitter as an actor.


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…)


Hi, My names Matt and I make websites for actors.

On top of that I have started this blog which is aimed at Australian Actors. There is so much information out there on the internet at the moment for actors, however most of it is American, and while their industry seems very similar to ours there are as many differences. (more…)