The musical The Boy From Oz has opened in Sydney. The gala opening at Her Majesty's Theatre was attended by 800 VIP's including politicians, local celebrities and theatre critics. A standing ovation for the show lasted 10 minutes.
The musical, with a running time of 150 minutes, tells the story of the late Peter Allen from his childhood in Australia to his success as a songwriter and performer in the United States. Many of the hit songs he wrote for others and recorded himself are featured.
For many in the audience it was a bittersweet experience as they were former colleagues and friends of Peter Allen. The opening night was not attended by Peter's mother Marion or sister Lynne. Both have approved of the show but want to see it away from the media glare of the first night. Todd McKenney plays the pivotal role of Peter Allen. He has worked on stage solidly for more than ten years but his performance tonight takes him into a new league as a superstar of Australian theatre.
Already plans are underway for Canadian and U.S. tours and there is even a suggestion of a second Australian production being mounted. For many years theatre professionals in Australia have dreamed of a homegrown musical which will succeed on Broadway. Hopes are high that this will be the one to achieve that.
A post-show party was held at the nearby Carlton Crest Hotel. Major reviews will not appear in newspapers until Saturday. Bookings on (61-2)9266 4020. -- Peter Ford