New Staging of Mel Brooks’ THE PRODUCERS Set for Arts Centre Melbourne, July
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by BWW News Desk
The Production Company opens its 2012 Season on July 11 with the Mel Brooks comic masterpiece, The Producers. This brand new staging by Andrew Hallsworth and Dean Bryant will star seven of Australia's best comic talents in a company of fifty singers, dancers and musicians.
Artistic Director, Ken Mackenzie-Forbes said 'We're thrilled to announce this brilliant line up of stars for our season of this great musical. Its success is dependent on razor sharp wit, glamorous show girls and outstanding musical performances. This season of The Producers abounds with all three.'
Wayne Scott Kermond (Anything Goes, Singin' in the Rain) is the opportunistic Broadway producer, Max Bialystock. 'Your Honor, I've been a lying, backstabbing despicable crook. But I had no choice…I was a Broadway producer.'
Brent Hill, winner of the 2011 Green Room Award for Best Male in a Musical, (Rock of Ages), is the stage-struck accountant, Leo Bloom. Bloom dreams of a life in show business but is afraid to take a chance. Bialystock and Bloom soon discover that they need each other to realise their dreams!
To shimmy and shake her way through 'When You've Got It, Flaunt It' is Christie Whelan in the role of Ulla. Whelan wowed audiences in 2011 with her performances in Anything Goes and The Importance of Being Ernest.
Trevor Ashley (Hairspray, Fat Swan, Liza on an E) is Franz Liebkind, an ex-Nazi, who performs a Bavarian folk dance to the 'Guten Tag Hop Clop' accompanied by his singing pigeons.
Rohan Browne (A Chorus Line, The Drowsy Chaperone) is Carmen Ghia, former dancer and the 'common law assistant' of Roger De Bris.
And Mitchell Butel (Kismet, The Mikado) is the extraordinary over- the- top theatrical stage director turned star, Roger De Bris with the hit number Springtime for Hitler
Virginia Gay (Winners and Losers) makes her debut with the company in the role of Hold Me Touch Me, one of the troupe of 'little old ladies' who invest in Bialystock's shows.
The cast of 30, which will be performing with Orchestra Victoria, start rehearsals on June 18 in Melbourne.
The Design Team are Set Adam Gardnir, Costumes Kim Bishop, Additional costumes Paris, Lighting Paul Jackson and Robert Cuddon, and Sound System Sound.
Wayne Scott Kermond plays Max Bialystock. Wayne is best known for his role as CosMo Brown in Singin' in the Rain. His other musical credits include Gypsy, Barnum, Chicago, Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, A Chorus Line, the STC's Jonah Jones and the MTC's Urinetown. Recently Wayne appeared in Smoke and Mirrors at the Spiegeltent and for The Production Company as Moonface Martin in Anything Goes for which he received a Green Room nomination. In April, he played the rogue Fagin in the Sydney season of Oliver. Wayne's film credits include Rebel, The Heroes, Kings in Grass Castles and Happy Feet. He recently recreated the role of Love Lace in Happy Feet 2. Wayne has been nominated for a Helpmann Award, two Green Room Awards as well as An Australian Dance Award. Wayne is a recipient of six MO Awards.
Brent Hill plays Leo Bloom. Brent graduated from WAAPA in 2008. His theatre credits include Maria in Twelfth Night for Bell Shakespeare, Cassius in Julius Caesar and Pet Shop Boy in The Distance from Here for Griffin Theatre. His musical theatre credits include the starring role of Lonny in Rock of Ages and the Musical Composer in Risky Love. Brent's Awards include the 2011 Green Room Award Winner – Male Artist Leading Role for Rock of Ages, 2010 Cranston Cup Champion, 2009 National Theatresports Team Champion, 2005 Actors Equity Guild Award for Best Newcomer, Outstanding Achievement Award – WAAPA Screen Academy and the award for Course Excellence in Performing Arts at Curtin University
Christie Whelan plays Ulla. Christie most recently appeared as Gwendolyn with Geoffrey Rush in The Importance of Being Ernest for the Melbourne Theatre Company. Christie's musical theatre credits include Erma in Anything Goes, Sugar Kane in Sugar, and Maisy in The Boy Friend, all for The Production Company. In 2011, Christie starred in Xanadu, the Musical. Christie was nominated for a Green Room Award for her performance of Janet Van De Graaf in The Drowsy Chaperone. In 2009 Christie was critically acclaimed for her one woman show Britney Spears: The Cabaret, which premiered at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and went on to successful season in Sydney and Melbourne (Sydney Critics Award Nomination and Green Room Award Nomination – Best Cabaret)
Trevor Ashley plays Franz Liebkind. Trevor made his musical theatre debut creating the role of Miss Understanding in Priscilla Queen of the Desert - The Musical. He followed this with Gale Edwards' hit, Jerry Springer the Opera. Trevor won accolades and was nominated for Best Actor in a Musical at the Sydney Theatre Awards, for his portrayal of Edna Turnblad in Hairspray. With his long time collaborator Phil Scott, he created the Adults-Only-Panto Fat Swan which has had sold out seasons in Sydney and Melbourne. His new one man show is Diamonds are for Trevor, a tribute to Shirley Bassey. Trevor has performed in cabaret in New York, London and across Asia. Over the past three years his controversial show Liza on an E has sold out seasons nationally.
Rohan Browne plays Carmen Ghia. Rohan's most recent success has been playing the roles of Zach and Greg in A Chorus Line in Melbourne and Singapore. Rohan performed the role of Riff in the Australian tour of West Side Story and George in the Australian premiere season of The Drowsy Chaperone for MTC. Rohan was nominated for Green Room Awards for both of these roles. Rohan played the role of Fred Casely in the most recent Australian tour of Chicago. Rohan has toured through Asia and Europe performing Rum Tum Tugger in Cats and Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar. Other credits include Kiss Me, Kate, Anything Goes, Thoroughly Modern Millie Follies and Mame all for The Production Company.
Mitchell Butel plays Roger De Bris. Mitchell's recent theatre credits include Meow Meow's Little Match Girl (Malthouse/Sydney Festival), The Mikado (Opera Australia), A Life in Three Acts (Sydney Festival). Mitchell has performed major roles with The Production Company in Kismet, Sugar, Little Me, Oklahoma! and Hair. Music theatre credits also include the roles of Princeton and Rod in Avenue Q, Assassins, Dusty, Man of La Mancha (Grease and Saturday Night Fever. Mitchell received Helpmann Awards for Best Actor in a Musical for The Venetian Twins and Avenue Q, Helpmann nominations for Little Me, Summer Rain and The Republic of Myopia, Green Room Awards for Hair and Piaf, Green Room nominations for The Mikado, Avenue Q, Little Me and Oklahoma! and AFI nominations for Best Supporting Actor in a Feature Film for Gettin' Square and Strange Fits of Passion.
Virginia Gay plays Hold Me Touch Me. Virginia is a WAAPA graduate and on graduation was cast in the role of Gabrielle in All Saints. The role of Gabrielle was specifically written for her talents. In 2008 Virginia appeared in It Takes Two. Virginia and her professional partner, Ian Moss scored a 10 in their first ever performance on the show. In the same year Virginia was cast in the musical Breast Wishes in support of Breast Cancer. For the past fifteen months Virginia has portrayed Frances James in the TV series Winners and Losers. Currently Virginia is performing in Robert Reid's On The Production Of Monsters for the MTC.
The show runs 8 to 15 July on Sundays at 3pm, Tuesday at 6.30 pm, Wednesday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Saturday at 2pm.
Ticket prices range from $45 to $105 from artscentremelbourne.com.au or call 1300 182 183.