Australia's toughest theatre critics heaped lavish praise upon The Boy From Oz, which opened at Her Majesty's Theatre Sydney Mar. 5. The 4.5 million-dollar production, directed by Gale Edwards, tells the life story of the late Australian entertainer Peter Allen.
James Thwaites in The Sydney Morning Herald says "Opening Night's audience was in raptures, and rightly so, as here was a truly historic night in theatre". 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.
Bryce Hallett in The Australian says " a long overdue heaven-sent musical which speaks directly to Australian audiences at a time when we are grappling with issues of identity and independence".
Lead performances are all being praised : in particular Todd McKenney as Allen , former pop star Chrissie Amphlett as Judy Garland, and Angela Toohey as Liza Minnelli. McKenney is praised by Bryce Hallett of The Australian :"When he sings, prances, hoofs it out with the Rockettes at Radio City or cavorts on the white grand piano in a mirror-ball jacket, McKenney easily persuades us that Allen is back from the dead and up where he rightfully belongs."
James Thwaites sums up the evening:"we are taken on a fantasy journey which, at the end, leaves the entire audience gasping for breath on a wonderous high". The show has an open season at Her Majesty's Theatre Sydney. Bookings (61-2)92664029.
--By Peter Ford