FROST’S WICKED WIZARD

Gold Coast mu­si­cal favourite Si­mon Gal­la­her lands a plum role in WICKED but that’s not the only ex­cite­ment on stage planned for 2015

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - DRESSING ROOMERS - KATE PETERS

Lead­ing Aus­tralian the­atre pro­ducer John Frost to­day an­nounced that the role of the Wizard for the Bris­bane and Perth sea­sons of the Broad­way mu­si­cal WICKED will be played by much-loved mu­si­cal the­atre star Si­mon Gal­la­her. Since he first trod the mu­si­cal the­atre stage in 1984 in The Pi­rates of Pen­zance, Gal­la­her has starred in nu­mer­ous pro­duc­tions in­clud­ing Hello Dolly, The Stu­dent Prince, My Fair Lady, The Mikado, HMS Pi­nafore, The Merry Widow, A Funny Thing Hap­pened On The Way To The Fo­rum and most re­cently Hair­spray and Spa­malot in Bris­bane. As well as be­ing a lead­ing star of mu­si­cal the­atre, Si­mon is an award-win­ning TV star, con­cert per­former, mu­si­cian, pi­anist, song­writer and the­atri­cal pro­ducer. WICKED plays at the Lyric The­atre, QPAC from Fe­bru­ary 12. We were lucky enough to catch a Christ­mas week per­for­mance of Aus­tralian Out­back Spec­tac­u­lar’s new show High Coun­try Leg­ends. Pre­sented by R.M. Wil­liams, a legend is born as en­ter­tain­ment soars to fresh new heights with the in­tro­duc­tion of this stun­ning show. In the multi-mil­lion­dol­lar pro­duc­tion, guests ex­pe­ri­ence a cap­ti­vat­ing jour­ney to the snow-peaked moun­tains of the high coun­try where en­chanted whis­pers and leg­endary yarns come alive. As al­ways, the night is filled with Aus­traliana of the best sort; the singer on the back of the dray, the big hats, the ex­cel­lent din­ner – served bril­liantly by ef­fi­cient and to­tally pro­fes­sional wait staff. The hitech light­ing, spec­tac­u­lar sound and mu­sic by Lee Ker­naghan, Chris­tine Anu with a new mu­si­cal score by John Fore­man makes for a breathtaking slice of Aussie out­back life ev­ery time. Yours Truly, ev­ery time, is moved to tears by the skill of the horse­men and women, par­tic­u­larly the fi­nale with the Driza-Bone coats and the Aussie flags. It’s a win­ner. For more in­for­ma­tion visit out­back­spec­tac­u­lar.com.au or call 13 33 86. First show off the grid in 2015 is Bal­lina Play­ers’ Alice in Won­der­land open­ing Jan­uary 16 and run­ning un­til the 31st. In the 160th year since its pub­li­ca­tion, Lewis Car­roll’s chil­dren’s clas­sic comes to life once again. Dis­ney’s Alice in Won­der­land Jr is based on the 1951 an­i­mated film, and it tells the story of an un­flap­pable young hero­ine who takes a tum­ble down an en­chanted rab­bit hole to an off-kil­ter world where noth­ing is as it seems. Au­di­ences are in­vited to join her on her jour­ney. The ju­nior pro­duc­tion is a 60minute ver­sion per­fect for young per­form­ers and au­di­ences. Bal­lina Play­ers is one of the old­est con­tin­u­ally op­er­at­ing am­a­teur the­atre groups in Aus­tralia and Alice in Won­der­land is its first pro­duc­tion in its 60th year. Di­rected by Ge­off Marsh with mu­si­cal di­rec­tor Max Fog­gon, it will be staged at the Play­ers The­atre un­til Jan­uary 25. Book on­line at bal­li­naplay­ers.com.au or at Just Funkin Mu­sic, 6686 2440 where a book­ing fee will ap­ply. Next up is Javeen­bah The­atre’s Ac­com­plice, by Ru­pert Holmes, di­rected by Nathan Schulz. We can’t say too much about this one with­out giv­ing stuff away, but ba­si­cally it be­gins as a con­ven­tional English thriller set in a coun­try house in the 1970s, where a wife and her lover plan to mur­der her stuffy hus­band. The hus­band is sub­se­quently mur­dered ... but then reap­pears. The com­e­dythriller orig­i­nally starred Ja­son Alexan­der ( Se­in­feld) and Michael McKean ( This is Spinal Tap). This one is for a ma­ture au­di­ence as it con­tains a lowlevel sex scene, par­tial nu­dity, ma­ture adult themes, smoking, drink­ing, loud noises … and plenty of con­cen­tra­tion. Sea­son runs from Jan­uary 16 to 31. Call 5596 0300 or visit javeen­bah.org.au for tick­ets. GCLT’s first of­fer­ing for the New Year is Sig­nal Driver, di­rected by Noella John­son. A static set was cre­ated by Ian White (son of the re­cently late Bil­lie White). This clever lit­tle Pa­trick White play has a ster­ling cast in­clud­ing Noel Thomp­son, Jacki Simmonds, Shane Cad­daye and Jann Al­corn. The show opens on Jan­uary 24 and runs only un­til Fe­bru­ary 7. GCLT have an is­sue with their on­line book­ing sys­tem at present – book in­stead on 5532 2096. GCLT’s sec­ond show is Abi­gail’s Party, di­rected by Dawn China. The open­ing date is March 13, and the cast have been in re­hearsal for a month al­ready! My show, Jerry’s Girls, goes on in May/June. We don’t even au­di­tion un­til Fe­bru­ary 21. Nice to hear that lo­cal set de­signer and long-time TV worker Glenn T has scored 14 weeks’ work on Pi­rates of the Caribbean, do­ing some­thing clever with cos­tumes …. Let’s hope the love (and work) is spread evenly through­out the GC en­ter­tain­ment com­mu­nity when the time is right. Yours Truly will take a cou­ple of her own bad­gers to the open­ing night of The Wind in the Wil­lows at La Boite’s Round­house The­atre on Jan­uary 8. This clas­sic tale will be per­formed by Play School’s Luke Car­roll and have a limited sea­son. Lots of stuff com­ing up this year – watch this space. The Gold Coast is cer­tainly the place to be for the­atre in 2015.

Aus­tralian Out­back Spec­tac­u­lar’s new show

High Coun­try Leg­ends

is not to be missed.

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