Musicals

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Suddenly successful

Making a Difference, a single from the new musical Suddenly Single by Brisbane's Peter Pinne and Paul Dellit, is for sale at Middle 8 Music. It features vocals by tenor Greg Moore. Surely a premiere production of the show itself can't be far away? Of course, if Brisbane had more than the one suitable venue (which is now closed for renovations), such a thing might be possible in the work's home state...

The other Queen's speech

A clever marketing ploy by the producers of the upcoming London production of Priscilla musical and their sponsors:

Star Wars, the musical

How rich does George Lucas want to be? Very very rich apparently, because he's now putting Star Wars on the stage. The Star Wars "musical", featuring the London Philharmonic Orchestra, will tell the story of all six films in just two hours, with narrators linking the iconic (and "painstakingly rewritten") music of John Williams. More here. It's opening in London, a European tour will follow, and I'm sure it will be in a galaxy not so far, far away sometime soon. It'll make a fortune. If I was running an Australian orchestra, I'd be chasing the rights right now.

Not so fancy free

Question: What is the decent minimum interval between an original film and its remake?
Answer: I don't know; but is the world really ready for another version of 1984's Footloose? It will star Zac Efron of High School Musical fame, who will reportedly earn a "close to mid-seven figures" pay packet (eek!), and there's more about it here.

On his Todd?

"I'll just have to handle it all with class and I intend to do that."

So says Todd McKenney, who is facing court on charges relating to the possession of the drug GHB. Given that it's been alleged that McKenney - who is about to begin a run in drag in the musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and is on TV's Dancing with the Star and Sydney's Mix radio station - took his trousers off at a party to dance because it was hot, and the drug was then planted in his pants, that may be difficult.

Farewell, Rob Guest

Since this item was posted, Rob Guest has passed away. There's more here and here.

My thoughts are with the family and friends of Rob Guest, the musical theatre star who suffered a stroke and is reportedly in a critical condition in a Melbourne hospital. Guest has been a particular favourite with Queensland audiences, playing the title role in the Phantom of the Opera when it first came to Brisbane and starring in several musicals at the Gold Coast Arts Centre, where he helped mentor young performers. He was in Melbourne appearing in the smash hit Wicked. Sadly, his outlook is said to be "very grim". Guest was the world's longest running Phantom and also starred in The Sound of Music and Les Miserables. And, as producer John Frost says he is an "all-round good bloke".

Country Carpenters caper

"When they talk, they're from Kempsey, but when they sing they sound exactly like The Carpenters." That's part of the dificult-to-resist blurb for The Carpenters from Kempsey, which plays at QUT Gardens Theatre on September 18 and 19. Details here.
PS: Having stayed in Kempsey, which is about half-way between Brisbane and Sydney, I suggest this is as close as you get to it.

Reversing the trend

Successful musicals usually begin on the stage and end up on the silver screen. Singin' in the Rain and Hairspray broke the mould, and now comes 9 to 5. The Dolly Parton/ Jane Fonda/ Lily Tomlin/ Dabney Coleman film has become a musical comedy that will debut on Broadway in April. It feature 20 songs penned by Parton, but none of the original cast will star. More here.

Sisterly love

In case you missed it ... Former Big Brother host Gretel Killeen has diplomatically avoided sledging new hosts Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O - and has revealed that she has avoided watching the current series so she can't be asked to comment on it. But, in an interview with Mix 106.5's Sonia Kruger and Todd McKenney this morning, she also says she's not bitter about being axed. "I was ready to go; I'd done it for seven years." Killeen also spoke about her one-month role as Narrator on the current production of The Rocky Horror Show, starting June 25 at Sydney's Star City.

Night of nights

What a line-up: Andrew Bevis, Rhonda Burchmore, David Campbell, Paul Capsis, Tamsin Carroll, Michael Cormick, Peter Cousens, Ray Crowe, David Harris, Josh Horner, Toni Lamond, Genevieve Lemon, Tim Little, Ana Marina, Derek Metzger, Sharon Millerchip, Amanda Muggleton, Leonie Page, Kellie Rode, Elenoa Rokabaro, Jennifer Trijo, John Paul Young - plus other performers from Billy Elliot, My Fair Lady, Shout!, Spamalot, The Phantom of the Opera and The Rocky Horror Show. The stars of Australian musical theatre are getting together at Sydney's Capitol Theatre on June 16 to raise funds for the Australian Parlaympic team's trip to Beijing. Details: here.
PS: On the subjects of China and fund-raising, if you want to know what you can do to help the victims of the Sichuan earthquake, click here.

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