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Boy, oh boy, what a show!

THERE was plenty of razzle dazzle on opening night of The Boy From Oz in Wonthaggi on Saturday night.
Leading man Josh Gardiner as Peter Allen was sensational, from the opening song The Lives of Me right through to the outlandish I Still Call Australia Home in his full sequinned, sparkling Australia flag shirt and the brilliantly colourful I Go to Rio.
Wonthaggi Theatrical Group’s The Boy From Oz is an electrifying, spirited yet sensitive musical and the show was a big hit and appreciated by the sell out audience in the revamped Wonthaggi Union Comunity Arts Centre.
The Boy From Oz, a 2004 Broadway hit that won Hugh Jackman a Tony Award, depicts the life of singer/songwriter Peter Allen.
The show hits a chord with many Australians and definitely did with opening nighters judging from the rousing applause and standing ovation at the end.
It really doesn’t seem to matter whether you were a fan of Peter Allen or not, Wonthaggi’s ‘Oz’ is jam packed with toe tapping music, great dance routines, a colourful splash of stunning costumes and creative lighting effects that provided a feast for the senses.
No stranger to local stages, Josh Gardiner, who still calls Leongatha home, seemed right at home in his all singing and all dancing lead role.
He not only managed to bring some to tears but drew much laughter, often adding his own touches to the script.
Josh was the star of the show and deserved the raucous applause on opening night. He was the standout but this was no one-man show, and others took their opportunities to shine. Korumburra’s young Coby Fowles as the young Peter Allen was gorgeous; his singing and dancing, a delight. His mother, Marion, played by Jazz Kaye, was a constant presence and moved audience to tears with her poignant Don’t Cry Out Loud to her young son after her husband’s suicide. Well done Jazz!
Wonthaggi’s stunning Abi Boucher looked every bit the young and vulnerable Liza Minnelli.
She lit up the stage and Mary MacKillop teacher and talented performer Bron Kalos was every bit her demanding mother, Judy Garland, and gave a polished performance with her lovely singing and dancing.
Lachlan Moore plays Greg Connell, Peter’s brooding partner, and his heartfelt I Honestly Love You was very moving.
The glamorous Cluanie Swanwick, Nicole Cooper and Lauren White were an excellent trio of backing singers and the marvellous ensemble performers can also take a bow, especially seasoned performers Anthea Donohue and Michael Giles who both really relished their roles.
Allen’s music, superbly overseen by musical director Kirk Skinner, is a show highlight.
Combine this with director Brad Beach’s creative touches, along with artistic directer Colin Mitchell’s magnificent costume parade coordinated by Jo O’Connor, choreographer Rose Wray-McCann’s entertaining dance routines, Trevor Wyhoon’s creative lighting, Nick Jeremiah’s artistic projections and the wonderfully talented cast, this is first-rate theatre.
Tickets to the other performances are selling quickly, so don’t miss out on seeing this sparkling musical. The show runs until Sunday, June 10. For tickets go to www.wtg.org.au.

Stunning performance: Josh Gardiner was every bit ‘the boy from Oz’, Peter Allen on opening night on Saturday in Wonthaggi, backed by his talented singing trio Cluanie Swanwick, Nicole Cooper and Lauren White.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=24983

Posted by on May 29 2018. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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