Peter Allen Musical The Boy From Oz Heading for London, Japan and Back Down Under

News   Peter Allen Musical The Boy From Oz Heading for London, Japan and Back Down Under They may not "Go to Rio," but the The Boy From Oz producers are contending that London and Japan stagings are in the works with a possible return to the show's birthplace, Australia.

Producer Ben Gannon told The Australian that the musical has been licensed to a Japanese producer and he is currently searching for a lead in a London production set for the end of 2005.

"There is no one like Hugh, sadly," Gannon was quoted. "I wish there were a few more of them, but there aren't." He mentioned the possibility of Jackman returning to the role in the States. "After he has done a few movies, Hugh might want to do some major cities in America. He really loves doing it."

Plans are also underway for the musical to be revived for the Australian stage in 2006. The original Australian production opened March 5, 1998, at Her Majesty's Theatre Sydney and ran for two years.

Gannon presented the Broadway run with producer Robert Fox. The Boy From Oz ended its year-long stint on Broadway with star Hugh Jackman Sept. 12 after playing 32 previews and 365 regular performances.

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.

The show earned Broadway newcomer Jackman a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. The star bolstered the show to over $10 million in advance sales, new Imperial Theatre box office records and a recoupment of its initial capitalization of $8.25 million despite lackluster critical reviews.

The show was recorded for posterity Oct. 20, 2003 by Decca Broadway, with producer Phil Ramone. The original cast recording of The Boy From Oz was then released Nov. 18, 2003.

Philip Wm. McKinley directed the Broadway musical with choreography provided by Joey McKneely. Patrick Vaccariello served as music director. Orchestrations are by Michael Gibson. Martin Sherman penned the new book for Broadway. Nick Enright is credited with the original book.

Allen's collaborating songwriters represented in the score include Adrienne Anderson, Burt Bacharach, Jeff Barry, Michael Callen, Christopher Cross, Tom Keane, Marsha Malamet, Dean Pitchford and Carol Bayer Sager.

For more information, visit the show's website at www.theboyfromoz.com.

Stephanie Block (left), Hugh Jackman and Isabel Keating in the Broadway production of <i>The Boy From Oz</i>
Stephanie Block (left), Hugh Jackman and Isabel Keating in the Broadway production of The Boy From Oz Photo by Joan Marcus