Jeanne Pratt AC, Chairman of The Production Company announced the 2010 Season at Raheen this week.
Set up 12 years ago by Jeanne Pratt and with an initial investment from the late Richard Pratt and the Pratt Foundation, The Production Company has successfully presented at least three concert-style musicals for Melbourne audiences each year, attracting the cream of Australia's musical creative talent.
The season opens in July with Roger & Hammerstein's The King and I, starring Juan Jackson (Miss Saigon) and Chelsea Gibb (in her first major stage role since Chicago 10 years ago). This production also features Silvie Paladino, Adrian Li Donni and Emily Xiao Wang. Terence O'Connell directs with Peter Casey the musical director/conductor and Alana Scanlon the choreographer. The production will have a two week season, rather than the usual one week/six performances.
Todd McKenney makes his debut with the company in August when he reprises his career-making performance as Peter Allen in a new production of The Boy from Oz. Also returning to the show are Amanda Harrison (as Liza Minnelli), David Harris (as Greg) and Robyn Arthur (as Marion Woolnough). This new staging will be directed by Nancye Hayes, with John Foreman (musical director) and Andrew Hallsworth (choreographer).
The third production is Sugar, based on the classic Billy Wilder comedy Some Like it Hot, and teams Matt Hetherington (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hair) and Mitchell Butel (Little Me, and currently Avenue Q) in the dual roles of Joe/Josephine and Jerry/Daphne respectively. Playing the Marilyn bombshell role of Sugar Cane is one of the fastest rising stars of Australian musical theatre, Christie Whelan (fresh from the sell-out Melbourne season of The Drowsy Chaperone). Adam Cook directs with Christopher Horsey (choreography).