New Ramones Musical — Gabba Gabba Hey! — Debuts in August

By Andrew Gans
July 1, 2004

A new musical featuring the music of the rock group the Ramones will debut in Perth, Australia, in August.

Featuring songs by the famed rock group and a book by Michael Herrmann, Gabba Gabba Hey! will play the Monkey Bar Aug. 17-21. Andy Goldberg, who helmed Off-Broadway's Bomb-itty of Errors, directs with choreography by "Strictly Ballroom" star Paul Mercurio and musical direction by Tommy Ramone. The creative team also features David Larwill (set design), Vicki Sheppard (costume design), Mark Howett (lighting design) and Rex Ranieri and Gavin Tempany (video FX and sound design).

Librettist Herrmann, who is also the show's producer, said in a statement, "Gabba Gabba Hey! is a fun show that aims to reinvent the traditional stage musical for performance in rock clubs. As the first musical to celebrate the perennially popular music of New York’s rock scene – specifically, the Ramones and New York Dolls – this show has a definite edge and attitude, in keeping with the aesthetic demands of its target audience. But Gabba is also very sweet and lyrical."

Theatregoers will hear such tunes as "I Wanna Be Sedated," "Beat on the Brat," "Biltzkrieg Bop," "53rd & 3rd" and "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker." The cast includes Ben Watts, Cle Wootton, Julie Yammanee, Mark Mcaullay, Lynda Nutter, Ethan Tomas, William Ferrier and Corey Harrison with the band led by Nick Sheppard, Dave Kavanagh and Ant Milne.

About Gabba, producer Herrmann, who hopes to bring the show to the U.S., added, "Think Grease-on-speed and you’re on the money – albeit with a generous dollop of colorful Lower East Side characters. With 18 high energy Ramones songs and a rather touching love story all performed in 70 minutes, Gabba Gabba Hey! is streetwise yet heartfelt; retro but also new and innovative. Plus there’s not a dull moment in it, I promise!"

The Monkey Bar is located at 393 Murray Street in Perth, Australia. Tickets, priced $25-$39.90 are available by logging on to www.bocsticketing.com.au.