Girls score points

Townsville Bulletin - - Reviews - by Gemma Berry gemma. berry@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

DE­SPITE a show about one of Aus­tralia’s sons, it was a clear point to the girls for North Queens­land Opera and Mu­sic Theatre’s pro­duc­tion of The Boy From Oz.

A juke­box mu­si­cal based on the life of singer-song­writer Peter Allen, The Boy From Oz fol­lows Aus­tralia’s an­swer to El­ton John’s tra­jec­tory from his home town of Ten­ter­field, New South Wales, via South­East Asia’s cabaret cir­cuit, to Amer­ica, where he spent most of his ca­reer.

With Hugh Jack­man in the lead role, the show was the first Aus­tralian mu­si­cal to reach Broad­way. But it’s hard to imag­ine the man who brought us Wolver­ine – prob­a­bly the butch­est man in the world – in a se­quined shirt ( and win­ning a Tony award for his ef­forts, no less).

Then again, have you seen the Lip­ton iced tea ad?

EN­ERGY: Kevin Wright as Peter Allen

There’s no doubt about Kevin Wright’s Peter Allen, how­ever, who flounced on stage lead­ing two tradies by leashes and scream­ing jazz h a n d s c a mp. T h i s o v e r - ex­ag­ger­a­tion ini­tially grated, but de­spite his phoney piano play­ing, the au­di­ence soon warmed to him.

Vicki Kersh as the al­co­hol­sod­den Judy Gar­land was form i d a b l e , a n d M e r e d i t h Palmer gave a scar­ily un­canny turn as Liza Minelli, which was ac­tu­ally quite dif­fi­cult to watch. The backup trio was also larger than life, with voices to match, do­ing well to bring hu­mour to some re­cur­ring prob­lems with the mi­cro­phones on the night.

The fe­male dancers were a bunch of pocket rock­ets and Robyn Wong’s fab­u­lous cos­tumes nicely dis­tracted from the some­times clumsy chore­og­ra­phy.

Mu­si­cal high­lights in­cluded t h e b a l l a d s Qui e t P l e a s e There’s A Lady On The Stage, I’d Rather Leave While I’m In Love and I Hon­estly Love You, but of course it was the mo­ment the 20kg Aus­tralian flag, s wi p e d f r o m P a r l i a me n t House, dropped like a stage cur­tain and Peter, with help from Kir­wan State School, belted out I Still Call Aus­tralia Home that the col­lec­tive heart of the au­di­to­rium be­gan to swell.

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