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The Production Company Celebrates 10th Anniversary
The season opens in the State Theatre of the Arts Centre on July 16 with a production of Stephen Sondheim’s legendary show, Follies. More than three decades after its Broadway premiere, Follies remains a landmark musical filled with songs that are now classics of the musical-theatre repertoire. And who better to direct The Production Company’s first musical by Stephen Sondheim, than Roger Hodgman who is considered the leading interpreter of his work in Australia. The cast Roger has assembled are themselves legends of Australian musical theatre and includes such renowned performers as John Diedrich, Anne Wood, Debra Byrne, Philip Gould, Nancye Hayes, Judi Connelli, Melissa Langton, Judith Roberts, Kenneth Collins, Monique Brynnel and Patti Newton. The iconic Bud Tingwell will play the role of Follies’ impresario, Dimitri Weismann.
The Broadway team of Richard Adler and Jerry Ross are at the core of the second show for 2008 - Damn Yankees. This duo was also responsible for The Pajama Game, which was a major hit with Production Company audiences in 2006. This delightful musical fantasy will bedevil audiences with its charm. It commences on August 20. Director Terence O’Connell, who has been at the helm of several hit Production Company shows since 2003, will oversee a cast that includes David Harris as Joe, fresh from his leading role in Miss Saigon, Pia Morley as the vixen Lola and Matt Hetherington as the devilish Mr. Applegate.
The final show of the 10th anniversary season is a revival of the very first show staged by The Production Company in 1999 and features two of the original stars, Rhonda Burchmore and Alan Fletcher, in Jerry Herman’s effervescent and much-loved classic - Mame. Opening on October 1st, with direction by Gary Young, the cast will also include a Production Company audience favourite in the form of Nicki Wendt as Mame’s closest friend, and actress Vera Charles. Mame is a timeless musical considered by many critics to be the perfect musical. London’s musical director of The Lion King, Anthony Gabriele is returning to Melbourne specifically to take musical charge of this production.
The Production Company is a not-for-profit company, specifically established to promote and showcase new and well-known theatre talent.