Casting Announced for World Premiere of An Officer and a Gentleman Musical
By Andrew Gans
Casting has been announced for the musical version of the 1982 film "An Officer and a Gentleman," which has been adapted by original Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Douglas Day Stewart and will debut at Sydney's Lyric Theatre May 10 with an official opening May 18.
Australian director Simon Phillips, who staged the Melbourne reincarnation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies and the jukebox musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert, directs the musical about a Navy airman and the woman he loves. Richard Gere and Debra Winger starred in the original film.
The musical is co-authored by Sharleen Cooper Cohen and has music and lyrics by Ken Hirsch and Robin Lerner (the film's hit song, "Up Where We Belong," is also part of the score). The production also features choreography by Andrew Hallsworth and musical direction by Dave Skelton.
The cast includes Ben Mingay as Zack Mayo, Amanda Harrison as Paula Pokrifki, Alex Rathgeber, Kate Kendall, Bartholomew John, Bert LaBonte, Josh Piterman, Tara Morice, Zahra Newman, Josef Brown, Bernard Angel, Elise Brennan, Bianca Baykara, Kirby Burgess, Lena Cruz, Sam Devenport, Akina Edmonds, Zoy Frangos, Sheridan Harbridge, Peter Hardy, Brendan Irving, Tanya Mitford, Thern Reynolds, Simon Roborgh, Michael Whalley and Patrick Williams.
A New York workshop took place in June 2010. At that time, the creative team stated plans to debut the musical at the Sydney Theatre Company in 2012 with Canada and New York to follow. No plans beyond the 2012 Sydney run have been announced.
Phillips also helmed the Australian production of Priscilla, which took a similar route to Broadway, with stops in London and Toronto in between.
Sharleen Cooper Cohen and John Frost produce. Sydney won out over offers to premiere the musical in New York and London.
For tickets, priced $70.90-$135.90, call 1300 795 267 or visit ticketmaster.com.au.
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