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Regent video will return

The student who posted the pro-development clip on YouTube that was removed because of its unauthorised use of a song by Scottish singer-songwriter Paolo Nutini has said he will re-post the video with original music. I hope he does, because I support free speech, even though I do not share his enthusiasm for the proposed development.

Way the wind blows

I suppose it was bound to happen. A musical version of Gone With the Wind is opening on the West End this week. Details here.
Meanwhile, a Spanish production of Peter Pan now showing in London is apparently so dire that Daily Telegraph reviewer Charles Spencer writes: "This is a show you must make the most strenuous endeavours to avoid."

End of an era

The Police Academy Stunt Show, a fixture at Movie World on the Gold Coast since it opened way back in the 20th Century, will be axed and replaced by another stunt show. It's easy to knock something like the stunt show, but it gave a lot of work to a good many actors over the years.
PS: One of the big attractions at Universal Studios in Los Angeles is the Waterworld show which has proven far more popular than the Kevin Costner film on which it was based.

Phantom agent

Andrew Lloyd Webber has confirmed he has written the music for a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. Glenn Slater will write the lyrics for Phantom II, which will be set in New York's Coney Island around 1900. It's early days yet, but wouldn't it be fantastic if Anthony Warlow gets to perform the lead role on the West End or Broadway* - and that this time the Phantom gets the girl? Last year, Warlow told me: "... as much as Raoul's a lovely fellow, there's so much more that Erik could give her. People have said to me that they don't understand why she goes off with Raoul." Yes, apart from all the killing and the extortion, the Phantom's really a top bloke.
* That's not as far-fetched as it might seem. Producer John Frost told me that he is looking for a star vehicle to launch Warlow on the international stage. And, after Michael Crawford (who is now 66), Warlow is said to be Lord Lloyd-Webber's favourite Phantom.

Another fame game

Following similar exercises to cast key roles in The Sound of Music and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the BBC has launched a show called I'd Do Anything in which young performers will vie for parts in a revival of the musical Oliver!. Judges will include Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Macintosh. I've written about this idea before and I think it'd be a great way for an Australian producer to attract interest in their next stage show - and that'd be a fantastic thing for live theatre. It might also prove a ratings winner on TV. With singing and dancing shows all the rage, surely it can only be a matter of time before it happens.

Bouncing back

The popular John Godber comedy Bouncers is returning to the StageDoor Dinner Theatre in Brisbane, where it had a sell-out season in 2005. This production is directed by NIDA-trained actor and director Steven Tandy and stars Damien Lee, Vajna Matula, Jeremy Wood and Thomas Lynch.
Details are here.

Sideshow Mel

A Press Association story on various UK news websites currently refers to "The Producers, the Mel Smith musical". They have, of course, got the wrong Mel. It was American Mel Brooks who wrote The Producers. Mel Smith was the British star of Not the Nine O'Clock News and Alas Smith and Jones who went on to direct films including The Tall Guy and Bean.

Masterson in a masterwork

The Gold Coast Arts Centre has something of a coup to its credit this month when it presents actor-director Guy Masterson performing Dylan Thomas's masterpiece Under Milk Wood. In this live presentation of what was originally a radio play, Masterson, who has been performing the work for 14 years, brings to life all all 69 inhabitants of the sleepy village of Llareggub. Details of the March 19 and 20 performances, directed by Tony Boncza, are here (click on the theatre link).

Do the shuffle

Congratulations, again, to Brisbane's little theatre that can, Harvest Rain. One of my colleagues in Brisbane says the production of Hot Shoe Shuffle at the Sydney St Theatre in New Farm is "spot on" and "the best they've done". Details and bookings here.

Long gone and far out

The play Long Gone Lonesome Cowgirls, twice a hit for Brisbane's La Boite Theatre, is playing at Windibri Homestead, near Chinchilla, via Toowoomba. The free performance on March 1 will star the original La Boite cast of Barb Fordham and Liz Buchanan, and be directed by Hayden Spencer. It's part of Drama at the Gasfields 08, and details are here.
Meanwhile, La Boite starts its 2008 season on February 28, with Kate Mulvany's The Danger Age. It stars Laurel Collins, Caroline Kennison, Lap Phan, Bryan Probets, Rhonda Purcell and Lucas Stibbard under the direction of Ian Lawson.

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