Jersey Boys for Sydney

It has been announced that Jersey Boys - The story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons - will play its final Melbourne performance at the Princess Theatre on July 25, by which time the Tony Award winning hit musical will have played 453 performances. Jersey Boys will open in Sydney, at the Theatre Royal, on September 18.

Prior to the Melbourne season, Bobby Fox spoke to Stage Whispers about auditioning and preparing for his first lead role, as Frankie Valli.

Star Crossed Lovers’ Opera.

Four centuries ago Shakespeare immortalised the lovers Romeo and Juliet. Their tragedy has been retold ever since, across genres from the musical West Side Story, to film versions including Baz Luhrman’s startling re-interpretation. Irish director Orpha Phelan, here to direct Opera Australia’s production of her acclaimed interpretation of Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi, spoke to Neil Litchfield.

Adelaide Cabaret Festival a Hit

The Adelaide Cabaret Festival under the new Artistic Direction of David Campbell is proving an artistic success and being well patronized.

Kate Peters reports that the mood around the Festival theatre is euphoric.

There’s a buzz that I haven’t felt for a long time. With up to 4 venues all featuring excellent shows (lasting well into the night with a visit to the classy Piano Bar), this is a well-funded, enthusiastically supported festival which is now regarded as world class.

Top Broadway Award for Geoffrey Rush

Actor Geoffrey Rush has won a Tony Award - Broadway's most coveted prize - for his heralded performance in Exit The King. Rush won in the Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play category. The win is the latest honour for the 57-year-old Australian, who has won an Oscar, two Golden Globes and three Screen Actors Guild awards for his film work. The win was predicted by Peter Pinne in the current edition of Stage Whispers Magazine.

Kookaburra's Founder Broke

Kookaburra Founder Peter Cousens says the demise of his music theatre company has cost him his reputation and his home. Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald Mr Cousens revealed the great personal financial cost of the failed venture. "Having guaranteed the debts of the company, I have materially lost everything - my home job and no doubt, my reputation," he said.

Dances, Puppets and Elephants on a Grand Scale : Postcard from Thailand.

The hit song from Chess claims “One night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster,” but frankly you’re going to need much more than one night to savor Thailand’s theatrical delights, as Peter Pinne found out when he became Stage Whispers’ first official foreign correspondent.

Chicago Rocks Warnie's Socks Off

It was a tale of two musicals in one big city.

Opening night after Chicago at the Lyric Theatre in Star City had a big splashy party.

Pictured, Jeanne Little, Maria Venuti and friend celebrate after receiving a copy of Stage Whispers Magazine.

Across town at the opening of Warnie the Musical - the Producer's cancelled opening night drinks.

The news is grim, because while Warnie the Musical ran for five months in Melbourne it is scheduled to run for three weeks in Sydney.

Hundreds farewell Charles 'Bud' Tingwell


Hundreds of friends, family members and fans packed Melbourne's St Paul's Cathedral on Wednesday May 21, 2009 for the state funeral to farewell legendary actor Charles 'Bud' Tingwell, who passed away at the age of 86.


The eulogies focussed as much on his war record as his acting career.

"People asked what was it like to have a famous actor for a father,"  said his son Dr  Christopher Tingwell.

"I was prouder of him being a Spitfire pilot ... that fitted the bill more of a hero."

TOURING MAGNOLIAS. Director Darren Yap speaks to Neil Litchfield

A new production of Robert Harling’s 1986 play Steel Magnolias, complete with a fully functioning hair dressing salon set, commenced a 23-week Australian tour on June 5, 2009, at Sydney’s Seymour Centre, followed by 100 performances across 30 venues. Steel Magnolias saw Jacki Weaver, Jennifer Hagan, Ana Maria Belo, Debra Lawrance, Geraldine Turner and Marian Frizelle touring in a Tarago to venues as far afield as Adelaide, Ballarat, Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne, Launceston, Rockhampton, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga.


John Bell can’t ever remember being ripped off. When I spoke to the artistic Director of the Bell Shakespeare Company he was knee deep directing a play about crooks.

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