“STRICTLY BALLROOM THE MUSICAL” – SYDNEY BENEFITS

April 18, 2014

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Sydney will be the big winner, following the Global Premiere at the Lyric Theatre of Baz Luhrmann’s “Strictly Ballroom The Musical” on Saturday 12 April. Billed as “The Story That Inspired The World To Dance”, this very Australian musical tells the story of a championship ballroom dancer who defies all the rules to follow his heart.

DSC_4545 (1)Tourism numbers are set to swell with visitors coming to Sydney purely to attend a performance of this exciting show. Hotels and airlines will no doubt be offering special packages to entice country, inter-state and international visitors to spend additional days in Sydney to coincide with the theatre visit. Restaurants in the centre of Sydney, especially those close to the Lyric Theatre, are bound to notice an increase in their diner numbers, plus taxis and hire cars will be sure to see increased patronage. The economic benefits to Sydney from “Strictly Ballroom The Musical” will be enormous.

Brought to the stage by the original creative team behind the classic 1992 film, including director and co-writer Baz Luhrmann, set and costume designer Catherine Martin, choreographer John “Cha Cha” O’Connell and co-writer Craig Pearce, this production is sure to delight even those who can’t tell a waltz from a rhumba.

DSC_4653Produced in Australia by Global Creatures and Bazmark, this uplifting and courageous tale originated as a stage play that Baz Luhrmann devised with a group of students at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 1984.

The excitement and glamour begins on entering the theatre where the lamé covered seats sparkle and a giant mirror ball hovers over the audience. Colourful posters adorn the theatre’s walls and on stage the MC is welcoming everyone to the evening’s ballroom championships.

Once the curtain opens and the band strikes up, a glittering night of ballroom begins. Catherine Martin’s sequinned costumes are stunning, worth going to the show just to see them, along with the incredible wigs. Tina Sparkle’s pineapple costume has to be the “star” of the night

Chosen from an audition process that lasted eight months and involved close to 600 auditionees, newcomers Thomas Lacey and Phoebe Panaretos are exceptional in their respective roles of Scott Hastings and Fran.

Thomas and Phoebe are joined by principal performers Heather Mitchell, Drew Forsythe, Mark Owen-Taylor, Robert Grubb, Bob Baines, Fernando Mira and Natalie Gamsu plus a multi-talented cast that will leave you breathless with their dancing.

Young and old alike will enjoy this colourful spectacle, which is essentially a love story and will be sure to put a smile on your face.

As members of the audience were leaving the theatre, many were whistling and singing along to “Love Is In The Air”, the tune that will forever be associated with this very Australian musical.

“Strictly Ballroom The Musical” is a show for the whole family to enjoy. Tuesday to Sunday with matinees Saturday and Wednesday at the Lyric Theatre.

Sandra Tiltman Photos: John Pond

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“STRICTLY BALLROOM THE MUSICAL” REHEARSALS

January 30, 2014

St. Ballroom

This week at Carriageworks Redfern, Director Baz Luhrmann began an eight week intensive rehearsal period for “Strictly Ballroom The Musical”, the inspiring story of a championship ballroom dancer who defies all the rules to follow his heart. This brand new theatrical production will be brought to the stage by the original creative team behind the classic 1992 film, including director and co-writer Baz Luhrmann, set and costume designer Catherine Martin, choreographer John “Cha Cha” O’Connell and co-writer Craig Pearce.

Chosen from an audition process that lasted eight months and involved close to 600 auditionees, newcomers Thomas Lacey and Phoebe Panaretos will play the roles of Scott Hastings and Fran. Thomas and Phoebe will be joined by principal performers Heather Mitchell, Drew Forsythe, Mark Owen-Taylor, Robert Grubb, Bob Baines, Fernando Mira and Natalie Gamsu plus the entire 43 member multi-talented cast.

“Strictly Ballroom The Musical” will commence previews at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre on Tuesday 25 March 2014, with the official World Premiere tangoing and sashaying onto the world’s stage on Saturday 12 April 2014.

Sandra Tiltman   Photo:  John Pond 


SYDNEY WILL BENEFIT FROM STRICTLY BALLROOM THE MUSICAL

August 11, 2013

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Tourism will be the big winner following the announcement of the global premiere to be held in Sydney of “Strictly Ballroom The Musical”.

At Sydney Town Hall, in front of an audience of assembled media, New South Wales Premier, Barry O’Farrell, launched the forthcoming global premiere of Strictly Ballroom The Musical, along with co-writer and creator Baz Luhrmann.

“Sydney will host one on the most anticipated musicals in recent times.  Baz Luhrmann will undoubtedly dazzle our State’s theatre goers and generate more than $20 million in visitor expenditure for New South Wales over a six month run.  There are plenty of cities around the world that wanted to premiere Strictly Ballroom The Musical and I am very proud that Sydney was chosen over the likes of London and New York.  It’s a clear vote of confidence in Sydney as an events destination from Baz Luhrmann and producers Carmen Pavlovic and Gerry Ryan of Global Creatures” said Mr O’Farrell.

NSW Premier, Barry O'Farrell with Baz Luhrmann

NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell with Baz Luhrmann

Strictly Ballroom The Musical will be produced in Australia by Global Creatures and Bazmark together with the support of Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency and the City of Sydney.

Carmen Pavlovic, CEO, Global Creatures said “We believe that Sydney is the rightful beginning for Strictly Ballroom’s journey back to the stage and to ensure the international success and recognition it deserves.”

Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris, commented “Strictly Ballroom The Musical has huge appeal and will attract audiences from all over Australia and across the globe.  We are committed to securing the best musicals and live performances to attract visitors to our state.  For each six month run of a first run musical about 7,000 overseas visitors and 26,000 interstate visitors come to Sydney.”

Originating as a stage play that Baz Luhrmann devised with a group of students at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1984, Strictly Ballroom The Musical is the inspiring story of a championship ballroom dancer who defies all the rules to follow his heart.

The new theatrical production will bring this iconic story to life on stage and will feature numbers from the film, Love is in the Air, Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps and Time After Time as well as newly composed songs.

DSC_1330Based on the much loved Australian film, Strictly Ballroom The Musical will dance its way onto the stage with the original creative team behind the classic 1992 film, including director and co-writer Baz Luhrmann, set and costume designer, Academy Award Winner, Catherine Martin, choreographer John “Cha Cha” O’Connell and co-writer Craig Pearce.

An announcement of cast and the rest of the creative team will be made in the near future

The story that inspired the world to dance, Strictly Ballroom The Musical, will hold its opening night at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre on 12 April 2014.  Previews will run from 25 March 2014.     Sandra Tiltman  

Photos:  John Pond