Playlovers Get Their Skates on for Kander and Ebb Premiere.

Playlovers Get Their Skates on for Kander and Ebb Premiere.

THE Australian premiere of a musical written by the team behind Chicago and Cabaret opens in Perth on November 9, 2012.

Written by Kander and Ebb and directed by Alida Chaney at Playlovers, The Rink is set in a rundown 1970s rollerskating rink on the US east coast.

It’s a story of forgiveness between a mother and daughter – played by Chita Rivera and Liza Minnelli in the original Broadway production – as they try to find a way of letting go of the past to move into the future.

Some of the songs featured, such as The Rink, Marry Me, We Can Make It and Coloured Lights, later featured in the Kander and Ebb musical revue And The World Goes Round.

Chaney says she has wanted to directThe Rink ever since she heard the song The Apple Doesn’t Fall Very Far From The Tree featured in the show.

“The show came to a local fringe theatre near my home town in England in 1998 and happened to star Perth’s Martin Crewes,” she said.

“By coincidence, I was directed by his late father David at Playlovers some years ago in the show Il Fornicaziano.

“All my friends in the UK loved The Rink and I vowed to direct the show – it was the first time I had shown interest in directing rather than performing.”

First stepping on the stage in the UK as an 11-year-old in Oliver, Chaney has performed with a variety of theatres including Limelight, Playlovers, Garrick and Stirling Theatres since arriving in Perth 14 years ago.

Most recently, Chaney appeared in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Lucky Sods and When We Are Married at Limelight Theatre and directed the musical Blood Brothers at the end of 2011.

The Rink is a musical with many highs and lows,” she said. “It’s a tricky show because the men all play several roles and the two women have to be brilliant all-rounders.

“My youngest daughter Amy is the choreographer and not all the men are natural dancers but her patience and determination is now paying dividends.

“The roller skating is also not as easy as it looks but Ian Cross, who was in the English and German productions of Starlight Express, is mentoring the cast with his vast skating and theatrical knowledge.

“I am excited by this show because it has no benchmarks to live up to here in Australia – our show will be setting the standard and I feel it will be a hard one to follow.”

The Rink plays at 8pm, November 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30 and December 1 with a 2pm matinee November 18, followed by a high tea, and a 7pm show November 25.

Bookings: 0415 777 173 or online at www.playlovers.org.au.

Playlovers is located at Hackett Hall, Draper Street (off Underwood Avenue), Floreat.

Images: (top) Alex Tibbitt, Ian Griffin, Susan Flood, Mirella Renel, Brad Beckett and Alan Shaw in the Australian premiere of the musical The Rink and (lower) Susan Flood and Mirella Renel play mother and daughter in The Rink with Kate Sisley and McKinley Severson alternating as the young girl.

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