Hugh Jackman The Boy From Oz Tour Gets New Director, Cast and Dates for Oz Return

By Ernio Hernandez
13 Feb 2006

Hugh Jackman in The Boy From Oz.
Hugh Jackman in The Boy From Oz.
Photo by Joan Marcus

The cast has been announced for the upcoming Australian tour of The Boy From Oz starring Hugh Jackman in his Tony Award-winning role as Peter Allen.

Ben Gannon and Robert Fox — the producers of the Broadway run — present the work in association with Seed Productions which will tour to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane. Tickets will be on sale Feb. 27.

Kenny Ortega ("High School Musical," "Newsies") directs and choreographs the musical's return to Australia (since debuting there in 1998) which will be a brand new production designed specifically for the arena stages.

"I am so excited and honored 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 by Chrissy Amphlett and Angela Toohey — reprising their roles from the original Australian production as Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli — and Colleen Hewett as Peter's mother Marion. The production will also feature an ensemble of 40 singer-dancers, a 25-piece orchestra, elaborate sets, state-of-the-art lighting, and over 400 dazzling costumes.

The design team for The Boy From Oz features Roger Kirk (costume), Brian Thomson (production), Patrick Woodroffe (lighting) and Michael Waters (sound). Kelley Abbey serves as co-choreographer. Michael Tyack is musical director.

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.

The tour lineup will be as follows:

 

 

  • Sydney Entertainment Centre (Aug. 3-6)
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  • Melbourne - Rod Laver Arena (Aug. 11-13)
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  • Adelaide Entertainment Centre (Aug. 24-26)
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  • Brisbane Entertainment Centre (Sept. 1-3)

    Tickets will go on sale Feb. 27 for the various venues. For more information, visit The Boy From Oz - The Arena Musical website at www.theboyfromoz.com.au.