Ben Gannon and Robert Fox announced that the stage and screen star will appear in the musical's return to Australia (since debuting there in 1998) in a brand new production designed specifically for the Arena Stage. Gannon and Fox present the work in association with Seed Productions.
"I am so excited and honoured to be returning to the Australian stage in The Boy From Oz," said Jackman in a release. "The Boy From Oz is a celebration of not only a great Australian, but of what it means to be Australian, and I look forward to celebrating Peter Allen's life in a thrilling tour with a great Australian cast. After a year with the show on Broadway I can't wait to sing 'I Still Call Australia Home' IN Australia'."
"The original production of The Boy From Oz was seen by over 1 million Australians, and we expect many of them, and many more, will be thrilled to see Hugh, one of our real international superstars, performing live on home ground," said producer Gannon. "We are creating a spectacular new production on a massive scale to ensure that The Boy From Oz will be the showbiz event of 2006."
For the new production, Jackman will be joined on stage a cast of Australian performers in the seven additional lead roles, with "an ensemble of forty singer dancers, a thirty-piece orchestra, elaborate sets, state of the art lighting, and over 400 dazzling costumes." Dates and venues are to be announced shortly.
Set in bars, nightclubs and concerts across the globe, including Allen's homeland of Australia, The Boy from Oz is "a musical true story" of the late entertainer Peter Allen who was a protege of Judy Garland, and was briefly married to her daughter Liza Minnelli. Allen died of complications from AIDS in 1992. Allen narrates his life story, talking directly to the audience, and often interacting with the actor who plays the child Peter. The production recreates Allen's early successes in Australia and Hong Kong as part of the act, The Allen Brothers. The second act finds Allen at some of his more famous engagements at the clubs Reno Sweeney and Copacabana as well as the singer's famous sold-out stint at Radio City Music Hall.
After its world premiere at Her Majesty's Theatre in Sydney in March 1998, The Boy From Oz then toured Australia for two years. The show made its way to the Broadway stage in Oct. 2003, earning star Jackman a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. The work has since been seen on the boards of the Aoyama Theatre in Tokyo, Japan in June 2005 and plans are in the works for a London staging, a 2006 Tokyo revival and a run in Osaka.
To sign up for ticket information and more, visit The Boy From Oz - The Arena Musical website at www.theboyfromoz.com.au.