Beth Fowler Joins Cast of Musical Boy from Oz

News   Beth Fowler Joins Cast of Musical Boy from Oz Beth Fowler, best remembered for creating the role of Mrs. Potts in Broadway's Beauty and the Beast—a role she is currently playing—will be in the cast of the upcoming Hugh Jackman musical The Boy from Oz. As previously reported, the show will bow at the Imperial Theatre on Sept. 16.

Before playing Broadway's most famous teapot, Fowler starred in the first Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd as Mrs. Lovett, winning a Tony Award nomination. Her other Broadway credits include Bells Are Ringing, Baby, Teddy and Alice and Peter Pan.

Jackman has the lead role of entertainer Peter Allen in the musical. The Australian production of The Boy from Oz ran two years and starred Todd McKenney as Allen. Variety called that production "Australia's first homegrown large-scale tuner in a decade."

The show is a musical biography of the late entertainer who was a protege of Judy Garland (and who was briefly married to Liza Minnelli). It received strongly positive reviews when it opened March 5, 1998, at Her Majesty's Theatre Sydney. Nick Enright penned the musical's original book, though since fall 2001, Martin Sherman, of Bent and A Madhouse in Goa note, has been the project's librettist. Philip Wm. McKinley is the director Joey McKneely is the choreographer.

The musical is designed by Robin Wagner (sets), Ann Hould-Ward (costumes), Donald Holder (lighting) and ACME Sound Partners (sound design).

McKneely first came to attention with his work in the long-running Broadway revue Smokey Joe's Cafe. He went on to choreograph Cy Coleman's The Life, and Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center Theater. He was nominated for Tony Awards for the first two. Sources say the show has many musical numbers and ends with Allen's signature song, "I Go to Rio." The original cast recording of the Australian production included the following songs:
"Continental American"
"When I Get My Name In Lights"
"Pretty Keen Teen"
"All I Wanted Was the Dream"
"Only An Older Woman"
"Don't Wish too Hard"
"Sure Thing Baby"
"Quiet Please, There's A Lady On Stage"
"I'd Rather Leave While I'm In Love"
"Taught By Experts"
"Not the Boy Next Door"
"Everything Old Is New Again"
"Best That You Can Do"
"Love Don't Need A Reason"
"She Loves To Hear The Music"
"I Honestly Love You"
"I Still Call Australia Home"
"Don't Cry Out Loud"
"Tenterfield Saddler"
"I Go To Rio"

Albert Poland serves as general manager for the project.