Posts Tagged ‘john frost


The King and I previews in Brisbane Tonight!

“The most ravishing show you may ever see…”


How excitement! Are you one of the lucky ones? Are you seeing it first?




The King and I presented by Opera Australia and John Frost opens as a glittering national premiere at QPAC on Saturday 19 April 2014 and previews tonight! If you didn’t secure seats already, you still have a chance to see this sumptuous production…


Final tickets have been released for the Australian premiere season of the Rodgers and Hammerstein masterpiece, The King and I which will play for strictly limited seven week season in QPAC’s Lyric Theatre until Sunday 1 June 2014.


Australia’s favourite leading lady and four-time Gold Logie winner Lisa McCune plays English governess Anna Leonowens opposite internationally acclaimed baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes as the King in the Brisbane and Sydney seasons, hot from their success performing together in the national tour of South Pacific, also presented by Opera Australia and John Frost.


In the roles of British Diplomat Sir Edward Ramsey and Captain Orton is John Adam (The School For Wives) while The Kralahome is played by Marty Rhone (The King and I – West End, Godspell). Lady Thiang will be played by Chinese-born Australian opera singer Shu-Cheen Yu (The King and I – 1991 Australian tour) and in the roles of the Burmese young lovers Lun Tha and Tuptim are Adrian Li Donni and Jenny Liu.


The ensemble performers are Bianca Baykara, Novy Bereber, Iggy Cabral, William Centurion, Leo Cornelius, Jade Coutts, Teresa Duddy, Vivien Emsworth, Elle Evangelista, Carolyn Ferrie, Chris Fung, Kiana Gallop-Angeles, Erin James, Ella Jarman, Patrick Jeremy, Leah Lim, Anna Magrath, Seann Matthew Moore, Matthew Nguyen, Alexis Pedraza-Sampang, Hayanah Pickering, Marcus Rivera, Michelle Rozario, Ariya Sawadivong, Victor Siharath, Nicholas Sopelario and Yong Ying Woo.


The Brisbane production also stars 27 Queensland children aged 5 to 13, many making their stage debut in The King and I.


The principal role of Prince Chululongkorn will be shared by Timothy Ho and Sebastian Li, and principal role of Louis Leonowens will be shared by Riley Brooker and Bailey Kelleher. Jayden McGinlay will understudy the roles of both Louis and Prince Chululongkorn.


The 22 children who will play the young princes and princesses of Siam are Hannah Bahr,   Leilani Joy Burke-Court, Mia Byrne, Katitlin Cheung, Lucy Chin, Oliver Chin, Izellah Connelly, Chloe De Los Santos, Rocco Frediani, Jai Godbold, Jessica Kim, Kai Koinuma, Chloe Liew, Cameron McDonald, Lachlan McDonald, Siaa Panapa, Rhetta Pulou, Charlotte Rubendra, Jayden Siemon, Laila Mia Steele, Zayden Stevens and Shivani Whala.




The King and I was Rodgers and Hammerstein’s fifth musical together and is considered one of the jewels in their crown. It was based on Margaret Landon’s 1944 novel Anna and the King of Siam, which took its inspiration from the memoirs of Anna Leonowens, a British governess to the children of King Mongkut of Siam (now Thailand) in the early 1860s.


The beautiful score includes the songs “I Whistle a Happy Tune”, “Getting to Know You”, “Shall We Dance?” and “Hello, Young Lovers”.


A hit on Broadway in 1951, where it starred Gertrude Lawrence (who died during the season) and Yul Brynner, the show ran for three years before touring. The first London production opened in 1953, enjoying similar success. In 1956 it became a famous film starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner who won an Academy Award for his performance.


John Frost’s now legendary Australian production premiered at the Adelaide Festival Theatre in 1991. Directed by West End director Christopher Renshaw and starring Hayley Mills as Anna, it played to sell out houses around the country. In 1996, the production went on to win four Tony Awards on Broadway: Best Revival of a Musical, Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical (Donna Murphy), Best Scenic Design (Brian Thomson) and Best Costume Design (Roger Kirk). The Broadway season was followed by a US tour. In 2000, the production opened at the London Palladium with Elaine Paige as Anna where it played for nearly two years before embarking on a UK tour.


Christopher Renshaw has returned to Australia to revive the production, with its stunning Thai-inspired set design by Brian Thomson, sumptuous costumes by Roger Kirk, lighting by Nigel Levings, sound design by Michael Waters and musical direction by Peter Casey. Susan Kikuchi has recreated the original Jerome Robbins choreography as well as the choreography of her mother Yuriko who appeared in the 1951 Broadway production and the 1956 film.




The Rocky Horror Show Opens Tonight!

Get ready to do The Time Warp again!

The Rocky Horror Show. Photo by Jeff Busby.



The 2014 Australian tour of Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show kicks off tonight at a Gala Premiere at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane attended by the writer and composer Richard O’Brien.


The Brisbane season will be followed by seasons at the Crown Theatre Perth in February, the Festival Theatre Adelaide in March, and the Comedy Theatre Melbourne in April.


The talented and extraordinary cast is led by television and theatre star Craig McLachlan in the coveted role of Frank N Furter, alongside musical theatre favourites Christie Whelan Browne as Janet, Tim Maddren as Brad, Kristian Lavercombe as Riff Raff and Erika Heynatz as Magenta. Ashlea Pyke plays Columbia, Eddie and Dr Scott are played by Nicholas Christo, Rocky is Brendan Irving and the Narrator is played by Tony Farrell. Completing the cast are Vincent HooperLuigi LucenteJames Maxfield, Meghan O’Shea and Angela Scundi.




“We are thrilled to have found the perfect cast for the 40th Anniversary Australian tour of this much loved iconic musical,” said producers Howard Panter and John Frost. “We thought audiences would love to do the Time Warp again with these wonderful performers, and with ticket sales going through the roof in every city, we’ve been proved right. Previews have been sold out, and the audiences have given themselves over to absolute pleasure. If you have voyeuristic intentions, you know what to do – buy a ticket before it’s sold out, and before madness takes its toll.”


The Rocky Horror Show is a true classic and one of theatre’s most endearing and outrageously fun shows. It opened at London’s Royal Court Theatre on June 19, 1973, quickly developing a cult following, and was adapted into the 1975 film The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which has the longest-running release in film history. This iconic brand holds a unique place in theatre history, a show which has defied the decades and continued to grow in popularity. In 2010 the music of Rocky Horror was showcased in the smash hit TV show Glee, seen by over 20 million people worldwide. Rocky Horror even has its own postage stamp.


The Rocky Horror Show. Photo by Jeff Busby.


Millions of people all over the world have seen and continue to see  productions of The Rocky Horror Show, and sung along to classics like Sweet Transvestite, Dammit Janet, I Can Make You A Man, Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me, Over At The Frankenstein Place and of course The Time Warp.







A chat about The Rocky Horror Show with Tim Maddren and Christie Whelan Browne


I caught up with Tim Maddren and Christie Whelan Browne – Australia’s new Brad and Janet – during their road trip to promote the 40th Anniversary tour of The Rocky Horror Show, which will enjoy its premiere season in Brisbane from January 10 2014.




We meet at Lot 104 on The Esplanade, Mooloolaba, right after school, over sparkling mineral waters and iced tea, as you do after a steady stream of Veuve during Melbourne Cup week!


These two have enjoyed varied and quite illustrious careers already, Christie in a spate of musical theatre hits, and Tim best known as a member of the second generation of Hi-5. Both started in community theatres and have since worked with some of the best in the biz. They are both relaxed and chatty, completely engaging, and enjoying the time to share their stories and tricks of the trade. I warn them that many of our readers are industry peeps so the tricks of the trade are precisely what we want!


Christie tells me about her first ever callback. You know, the totally unexpected one, in which you feel like a freak, the odd one out. She says, “I had no guidance. I went to a callback (for The Producers). It was the final call back. Mel Brooks was there. I was in jeans and runners.” Christie told the woman at the door that nobody had told her what to wear – the other girls were in leotards and stockings – and the woman looked her up and down and told her, “You’ll be right!” Christie was doing a Barbie gig in a shopping centre when her agent gave her the news that she’d won the role. “I learned as I went,” she says. “I picked up tips as I went along.”


“You need good representation.”


Community theatre helped show Christie how hard you have to work to get a show on. “Get the experience that you can’t get anywhere else.”


Tim started out treading community theatre boards in New Zealand (“It gave me the bug!”), and a friend suggested he audition for WAAPA. “I started singing and I could tell they were interested.” Tim did the naïve/uber confident dance call thing too, turning up to the callback barefoot, wearing a rugby shirt. (“What the hell is dance gear?!”) He explains, “In New Zealand I grew up in a rural area and learnt by doing in an amateur theatre group.” He adds, “WAAPA was a really confusing time,” and it was during productions that he was able to put all the pieces together.


Tim played Fyedka in Tim Lawson’s Fiddler on the Roof, and says the cast, which included Topol, Anne Phelan, Octavia Barron Martin, Jennifer White and Sheridan Harbridge (I forget to mention that I’m looking forward to seeing Sheridan in The Beast at MTC on Friday night!), and they taught him so much during the run of the show. “Barry Crocker would give me vocal advice every show.” He would tell Tim, “Bring it up here!” Tim gestures with both hands at the level of his top lip to demonstrate. “They took me under their wing.”


Christie has the same fond memories of working with seasoned performers in Grease. She says, “You’d watch these people – Nat (Bassingthwaite) especially – and Kellie (Abby) was very hard on me. She disciplined me.” Christie confirms, “If you’re surrounded by great people you’re going to learn twice as much.”


“Never stop working. We’ve all got more to learn.”


Tim agrees and says James Millar told him a top tip from Kellie Abby; that was to do something every day that will improve your profession.


“It’s a lifetime career. You can always improve.”


“It’s not talent. It’s hard work.” (Well, Tim, we know that SOME of it’s talent!)


I always wonder about everybody’s keep fit tips and Tim says his fitness is largely dependent on eating well. “If you’re not eating well you’re pushing uphill.” Also, Tim tries to do something completely opposite to what he is involved in doing during a show. “So during The Addams Family I surfed.” While on tour with The Rocky Horror Show Tim plans to race competitively his brand new remote control yacht! He’s looking forward to meeting the competitors in every city and doing something different with his time off stage. He notes, “It gives context to what you’re doing.”


Christie agrees. “You don’t want to be in the bubble. I’ve always been very aware of holding onto reality.” What we do as artists in showbiz, she says, is not reality.


There must be a certain amount of pressure that comes with an iconic show, with a cult following, and I wonder what sort of impact the expectations of audiences has on these two seemingly fearless performers.


“There is a pressure that comes with the expectations” (of a known show with a cult following), observes Christie. And there’s another thing too.


“I’m not gonna’ lie,” Christie smiles, “I’m a little nervous about stripping down to my bra and undies.”


(I know. I hear you. If Christie-Legs-Whelan Browne is worried about how she looks in her underwear what hope do the rest of us have?!)


But seriously, we have to stop and consider for a moment the usefulness of these feelings in terms of creating a character. It was the same consideration when Christie created (with Dean Bryant) Britney Spears: The Cabaret. “It’s a vulnerability thing that you need.” She reminds me that it’s Janet, not Christie,  in her bra and undies.


Tim wonders what effect a relatively unknown ballad might have on audiences. “I’ve got a ballad that no one knows. It’s called Once in a While.” He sings us a couple of lines, much to the amusement of the businessmen trying to stitch up a deal at a nearby table. I ask about that creating-a-role gambit, you know, the tricks of making an iconic character all your own. Tim says, “You pay homage to the original. As an actor, you try to marry up the expectation (of the audience) and the role.”


We joke that the audience will be more dressed than the performers, and they’ll be singing along. Tim says of the audience, “They’re like another character.” Christie says, genuinely delighted, “They’re coming with that…energy!”


“It’s exciting. It’s fun. We’re interacting with cast members on a very intimate level. It’s a very hard place not to have fun.”


It’s a comparatively brief tour, just six months, but still, I’m always interested to know how other performers stay connected and committed to their roles. Tim tells us about working with Topol and watching him play Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof night after night; “After 40-something years, every night he cried, and it was real,” Tim says. “Every night they’re paying the same amount of money so you do the same performance. You want t go home with your head held high, know that you did a really good job.” Christie says her trick is to focus on the audience.


“It’s a pride thing as well. It’s about keeping yourself in check.”


And what happens when you screw up? “It’s part of live theatre,” admits Christie. Tim says you apologise “and make sure it doesn’t happen again!”


Both Christie and Tim have partners in the industry, and eyes shine when they speak of the other half. “Sometimes it works really, really well,” says Tim, “…and sometimes really, really not well.” Communication is key, and “giving energy… Saying at the end of the day, this is what I went through today.” Christie says, “It’s really, really hard and you have to work double – triple – hard! I would be equally as devastated if his (Rohan’s) dreams weren’t coming true as well.” Both Christie and Tim understand the value of Skype, and phone calls and texts. They stay in touch. “We’re both newlyweds so we get it.”


Tim asks me, “Who will you dress up as?” Clearly, the cast have expectations of their own! So brush up on the lyrics, dress up as your favourite Rocky Horror character, and get to QPAC from January 10 2014 to see Tim Maddren and Christie Whelan Browne as Brad and Janet in (the world’s favourite Rock ‘n’ Roll musical!), Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show.







John Frost with Elizabeth Williams, Power Arts, QPAC, Jerry Frankel, Two Left Feet Productions, and SEOL & Company

QPAC Lyric Theatre

20 August – 6 October 2013


Reviewed by Xanthe Coward 


GREASE Image by Jeff Busby

Everybody loves Grease! They really do. No matter what anybody does with this clunky iconic show, WE LOVE IT!


I feel like I shouldn’t even have to tell you to go see it because this is guaranteed quality: a John Frost production of a modern classic that just keeps on keeping on, with an all Australian star cast who make the characters their own, fabulous production values and MD Stephen Amos out there in front of a real live rockin’ onstage band! (The slick new musical arrangements are by Mike Dixon). And then of course, there’s the glossy souvenir program, the cool merch and the memories. What’s not to love?


GREASE Image by Jeff Busby


For this revival, Frosty brought over the English director, David Gilmore, and choreographer, Charlotte Bull, to work with our Australian cast, which features Gretel Scarlett as Sandy, Rob Mills as Danny, Lucy Maunder as Rizzo and Stephen Mahey as Kenickie. In addition to that stellar team, we see Todd McKenney as Teen Angel (he brought the house down on opening night!), Val Lehman as Miss Lynch and Bert Newton as Vince Fontaine. Anthony Callea makes a high voltage cameo in Act II as Johnnie Castle, pint-sized rock and roll special guest star at the Rydell High School dance.


Francine Cain nails Frenchy, a role she has coveted since childhood, and Laura Murphy (Jan), Chris Durling (Doody), Sam Ludeman (Sonny) and Duane McGregor (Roger) bring the rest of the gang to life.


If you don’t know it from personal experience, and you don’t appreciate it as it’s happening, you could easily mistake Grease as a basic high school musical that’s a bit naff, skirting around serious teen issues such as Queen Bees and Wannabees, peer pressure and teenage pregnancy. This production deals with everything very nicely, very neatly indeed, keeping the focus on fun.


More than anything, this Grease is FUN!




We’re able to identify instantly the characters we love – and love to hate – and each is reconsidered by the artist, a fresh take on old familiar faces. It’s much more difficult to fill well-known shoes. We expect things of them, don’t we? And we have our expectations of the show that we know and love so well. We expected to do the original Greased Lightning choreography in our seats – Poppy did it anyway – and we anticipated the hand jive (we even practiced it at Interval!), but everything old is new again, and you’ll find, as we did, that this production is refreshingly different.


GREASE Image by Jeff Busby


With three consecutive opening numbers, Poppy enjoyed learning the famous song We Go Together from Lehman, who set the high school scene by referring to the lyrics on a blackboard and giving us the pre-show warning re mobile phones and cameras. She also enjoyed the petite Dagwood dogs and hotdogs, and meeting everybody and posing for photos at the after party. As you do when you’re a seven-year-old theatrical old hand. This is what Poppy told me about Grease


I loved how they put the word grease in the hair of the logo. It made it exciting as soon as we sat down. The direction was beautiful and the song Sandy almost made me cry in Mum’s lap. Sandy is a beautiful song and Rob Mills sang it perfectly. I’m sure I saw the movie, but I thought this version was much better than the movie.


I wish everybody in the world could see Grease. It would make them happy and it would tell them about life. Actually, it would let them see life. Mum asked me why I think this story is an important story to keep telling and I think it’s because, we can get ready and prepare ourselves for the rest of our life when we see stories like Grease on stage. Mum was Rizzo and Dad was Kenickie in 2004, 2 years before I was born but let’s not get off track with my birthday, let’s stay on track with Grease. Well, now it is Mummy’s turn.




If you think you’re over it, and you’re sure you’ve seen Grease too many times already, think again! Grease is timeless and the rockin’ band is a highlight in itself. You’ll love those songs all over again. While this production is faithful to the 1950s and our nostalgia for an era that has been so romanticised (but isn’t every era?), there is something for all ages here. Being a parent who’s never shied away from discussing the tougher issues with the seven year old, I’m hoping that many younger people will get along and experience this production.


If you’re not as open to the younger kids getting a glimpse at the more challenging parts of life (you know your kids hang with other kids and watch TV right?), you’d better book for Tim Lawson’s gorgeous production of Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which comes to an end in Brisbane in November. In the meantime, if you don’t mind putting rose coloured glasses between you and the teen angst it’s famous for you can’t miss Grease.


It’s all good, and one of the best short scenes in between iconic songs is when Marty divulges the news that Rizzo is pregnant. It’s unrushed and sensitive. And Maunder’s There Are Worse Things I Could Do is certainly a highlight, but there are many and everyone will have a favourite number. It’s good old-fashioned family fun with an amazing new cast and the satisfying flair of multiple millions in its appearance. This is the Grease that we know and love, yes, but it’s been given a shiny new coat of paint. And it’s dazzling, and even better than before.




Craig McLachlan to do the Time Warp Again!



Last night at the opening night of GREASE at QPAC we knew Frosty was keeping us in the dark for just a few more hours before revealing who would play Frank N Furter in the return season (AGAIN!) of The Rocky Horror Show. He acknowledged Brisbane audiences and media for our support, our warmth and enthusiasm, noting that there is just no better place in Australia to open a show.



Producers Howard Panter and John Frost today announced that the coveted role of Frank N Furter in the new Australian production of Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show will be played by television and theatre star Craig McLachlan. The much loved iconic musical will open in January 2014 at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane followed by seasons at the Crown Theatre, Perth in February, and the Festival Theatre, Adelaide in March.


Fresh from shooting the title role in the second series of ABC TV’s top rating drama series The Doctor Blake Mysteries, McLachlan will again don the fishnet stockings of the character he played to great acclaim previously. Remaining cast members will be announced shortly.


“There is no one who can play the character of Frank N Furter like Craig McLachlan,”


said John Frost and Howard Panter. “Craig oozes that risqué charm that an actor playing Frank needs, as well as bucket loads of sex appeal. He captivated all of us in the audition room and we instantly knew Craig had to play Frank in our new production of The Rocky Horror Show. Audiences are going to love doing the Time Warp with Craig again.”


The Rocky Horror Show is a true classic and one of theatre’s most endearing and outrageously fun shows. It opened at London’s Royal Court Theatre on June 19, 1973, quickly developing a cult following, and was adapted into the 1975 film The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which has the longest-running release in film history. This iconic brand holds a unique place in theatre history, a show which has defied the decades and continued to grow in popularity. In 2010 the music of Rocky Horror was showcased in the smash hit TV show Glee, seen by over 20 million people world wide.  Rocky Horroreven has its own postage stamp.


Millions of people all over the world have and continue to see  productions of The Rocky Horror Showand sung along to classics like Sweet Transvestite, Dammit Janet, I Can Make You A Man, Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me, Over At The Frankenstein Place and of course The Time Warp.


Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show has not been seen in Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide for 15 years. Tickets go on sale on Monday September 2. If you have voyeuristic intentions, you know what to do – buy a ticket for a night of fun, frolics and frivolity before madness takes its toll.


Lyric Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane


Season:                       From 10 January 2014

Price:                            From $59.90*

Bookings:          or phone 136 246


Save with Groups of 8 or more (07) 3840 7466

VIP, Premium Tickets & Packages visit SHOWBIZ.COM.AU or 1300 4 SHOWS



Let’s Do the Time Warp Again! It’s the Return of the Rocky Horror Show!

Got plans yet for New Year’s Eve? Now you do!



You must know by now that Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show is back! Fish out the fishnets and sharpen those stilettos for the rockiest ride of your life!


Producers Howard Panter and John Frost have announced that the 40th anniversary production of Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show will open December 31, 2013, at QPAC’s Lyric Theatre, followed by seasons at the Crown Theatre, Perth in February, and the Festival Theatre, Adelaide in March.



This exciting new production is currently showing to sell out houses in the UK and will feature a sexy and very surprising all new Australian cast.






SYDNEY 27 – 29 JUNE 2013








Who is your favourite Frank N Furter?






Grease Media Launch

Meredith spoke with Rob Mills, Lucy Maunder and Anthony Callea on Monday night! Sorry, it’s taken a couple of days to let you know…


What a start to the week! Poppy and I haven’t been 100% so this week turned into early holidays for her (poor honey, not much of a holiday so far!), and on Monday our dear friends, Min Swan & Grant Goodrum, brought their darling baby boy SMITH into the world! At home! With Midwife Mary! I tell you what, I met Mary and if any further baby craziness ever happens in our house, Mary will be the first second third to know! I know, it sounds like I was totally there but I didn’t meet Smith (or Mary) until 2pm this afternoon (and then I couldn’t leave!). And yes, I did mention Samantha’s SMITH (you knew I would!), which was a reference I hadn’t dared put across social media in case it was taken by others to be an insensitive, shallow comment! Yes! Judgement! On Faceboook! Yikes! If you’re a BIG fan (see what I did there?) of Sex and the City, you’ll understand that this reference is a compliment and, well, IF ONLY there were more SMITHS in the world!



Anyway, you know that life gets in the way sometimes, of deadlines and shows and press launches, etc so on Monday night it was our pleasure to send Meredith McLean to the Grease launch event at QPAC. I’m just going to take this opportunity to thank Meredith and Michelle, who between them, get to everything we don’t! What an amazing couple of gals, to be studying, working, teaching, keeping up with family and friends, taking time out for themselves AND taking the time to share with us their thoughts about what they see! THANK YOU GIRLS! Also, a big thank you too, to Andy, Matty, Emilie and Reb who have covered so much for us.


Look, it might seem like yesterday’s news here sometimes but as we continue to cover as much of the arts industry near us as we can, and work towards creating a website that looks the way we want it to, and works the way we want it to, we are still working. That’s right. If you’ve found us already on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest (with Pinterest currently proving to be the other other other work-in-progress), you may have noticed the occasional clue about our day jobs, and a heap about where we like to hang out and what we eat and drink too, because we are living, as much as we can, the entertainment lifestyle we love so much!


I was thinking about it again today, holding the baby and chatting away with Min for several hours; I was thinking, “Min, omg, you could totally blog all of this!” and at the same time I was thinking, “Or you could enjoy being with your brand new baby! Idiot!” (me not Min, obviously). If you’ve been with us for a while now, you will have noticed that we’ve lived this philosophy far longer than it’s taken me to realise it! Even if it’s a bit hit and miss, even if I feel guilty for delaying posting something that the girls have filed right after an event (sorry, girls!), I usually choose to live – and sometimes to sleep – first. That’s why you’re not seeing at the top there yet. That’s why you’re not seeing a full story about something here, despite the fleeting references about it via Twitter, or photos on Instagram. Seriously though, how good is Instagram?! (Social media is why I don’t have a manuscript yet!). But it’s all happening, eventually, and sometimes it’s when too much is happening that we feel nothing is getting done. WELCOME TO MY WORLD. I struggle with the focus part (and prioritising), but I’m trying harder to focus (and prioritise) here.


I’m excited about this year, not least because I’ll be attending Darren Rowse’s Problogger event (#PBEVENT) in September. I can’t wait to meet and to hear from a heap of the country’s best bloggers, at QT Gold Coast, where I have an OCEAN VIEW ROOM waiting to be shared with another blogger. Check this place out! Awesome! Of course, without a roomie I’ll need to do a few more days teaching or copy writing. Don’t get me wrong, I love the teaching and the writing, I’ll take it! But I’d love a roomie too! If you’ve snapped up an early bird ticket and no accommodation, or if you know you’ll secure a new release ticket in May and you’re interested in sharing a funky room with me that weekend (the same weekend as Sam’s West Side Story is opening at Noosa Arts Theatre… Sorry, honey!), let me know! I figure I have a few more weeks to play around with the website, and get serious about what the hell else I’m doing (monetising it, starting a new blog, writing a book, writing a thesis, whatever) before the conference in September. What do you think? Is that fair?


Otherwise, dear roomie, please give me a good shake and tell me, “NO! NO, NOT GOOD ENOUGH!”



Right. I’m glad I told you that. Actually, that’s just the half of it. But now here’s Meredith’s sneak peak at Grease as promised!




Exciting things are coming to QPAC this August! I’m sure you’ve heard the word but I just love saying it – Grease is the word. When the cast sang that number I couldn’t help smiling.


With a stellar and versatile cast coming there are some old favourites as well as rising stars. From the King of Television Bert Newton to the young (and cute) Anthony Callea. Legally Blonde’s Rob Mills is set to the play the lead of Danny Zuko. This is his first chance in a lead role too but I have a good feeling about him. Gretel Scarlett is rising in her first leading role too as Sandy. But see, I’m not surprised they’ve cast mostly new stars.



The way I see it, theatre is moving forward and it needs some new energy.



The new generations are stepping up the stage and I’m glad for it. Grease is such a classic and well-known musical that they simply can’t rest on the laurels of the show. The actors need to give it new life, and I think they will.


After seeing the promo and hearing the tunes I got to speak with some of the cast too. Anthony Callea was beaming when he talked about playing the role of Johnny Casino.


He mentioned at the press launch that he didn’t do much theatre and was actually rather selective of his roles. I asked him to elaborate and tell me why Grease made the grade. Anthony said, “I grew up with Grease…who hasn’t heard of it? The show is just so much fun. I get to play such a great role, and it’s really easy too (laughs) don’t tell anyone I said that.” (Sorry Anthony!).


Lucy Maunder gets to have the real fun as Rizzo in this production of Grease. Her main reflection on the show was that she can’t wait to dance again, even if it means getting fit. I asked her if she’s getting on with such a versatile range of stars and she replied “It’s been a great crew. Don’t you think Rob?”
Rob, who had been intently listening instantly jumped in and said, “I hate her.” Before laughing and kissing Lucy on the shoulder.

It’s easy to see there’s already a family unit growing with these guys. I hope that energy comes out on the stage. The night was so relaxed and welcoming. Champagne went around as well a costume contest for the best Pink Lady and T-Bird.


I was too shy to dress up but I did take note that there will be some fun group discounts for the show.


The premiere is not until 27th of August 2013 but the early bird specials are rolling out so get excited and get ready to book!



It’s time to dust off your leather jacket and your poodle skirts because Grease is on its way to Brisbane!