Moonshadow: Melbourne World Premiere for Cat Stevens / Yusuf Musical
Moonshadow announces last four weeks.
Moonshadow, which opened in May will end its Melbourne World Premiere season early on Sunday 5 August, with no indication of any intention to tour other capitals. According to the producers, to prepare to tour the musical overseas.
Producer / composer Yusuf/Cat Stevens is now overseas and is looking forward to launching the musical in other countries including London’s West End.
The producers of Moonshadow state theyhave been thrilled with the response the musical has had since opening in May.
“We are delighted with the success of Moonshadow in Melbourne and would like to thank everyone who has embraced the show,” says Anthony and Steve Georgiou, Company Directors. “We now look forward to taking Moonshadow to audiences around the world and hope they give us the same warm welcome that Melbourne has extended to Yusuf and our Moonshadow family.”
Written by Yusuf, the musical features the amazing songs which he penned as Cat Stevens, including Father & Son, Wild World, Matthew & Son, The First Cut Is The Deepest, and of course, Moonshadow; no less than 40 of his songs are woven into the narrative of this fable.
Available now - $350 for 4 tickets (*must include one child or concession ticket. Available for all performances Tuesday-Thursdays incl Wednesday matinee.
Our Earlier Coverage - Casting Announced.
“In this world of Darkness, evil rules by night, but somewhere in the shadows ... someone's seeking light.” – Cat Stevens.
Moonshadow, a new musical fantasy written by Yusuf, features the songs which he penned as Cat Stevens, weaving together new songs with his classics, hits such as Father & Son, Wild World, Matthew & Son, The First Cut is the Deepest and, of course, Moonshadow, open at Melbourne's Princess Theatre on May 31, 2012.
The cast features Gareth Keegan - Stormy, Gemma-Ashley Kaplan - Lisa, Jolyon James - Moonshadow, Blake Bowden – Pat Matthew, and Robert Grubb – Mr Hojja, with Marney McQueen, Sally Bourne, Tony Cogin and Rodney Dobson.
Lucy Graham caught up with Jolyon James and Blake Bowden at the Princess Theatre at the casting announcement.
Australian audiences can expect Moonshadow to take the jukebox musical to new heights according to Jolyon James and Blake Bowden.
“Moonshadow is different in a really good way,” said Jolyon James. “It’s incredibly magical and the songs are so evocative and beautiful and poetical, and universal in their messages. It’s autobiographical in a way but in a fantasy setting.”
James says his favourite song in the show is Sad Lisa and Bowden can’t resist Father and Son. They have not worked together before, but already their professional chemistry is evident.
Having landed lead roles late last year James, Bowden and other cast members workshopped the musical with Yusuf in a space in Brunswick last October. The experience of working in such close quarters with him is an experience they say they will never forget.
“Yusuf is incredibly gracious and you know he is genuinely supporting you,” said James. “I’m getting goose-bumps just talking about it. This is new territory in a way because Yusuf is very much involved as a scriptwriter. This is a man who had an extraordinary career, sold 60 million records, and comes without ego to let us interpret his music.’
Bowden reveals that Yusuf has wanted to write musicals since his youth. As a west sider himself, Bernstein’s musical West Side Story was the first Yusuf saw, and so now “coming back to it is kind of a childhood dream.”
While audiences can expect full-on dance scenes and magical costumes and set design, including ground-breaking projection techniques, James believes the show carries great integrity because this is the spiritual journey Yusuf has been on.
“It’s a journey we all go on whether we’re religious or not,” said Bowden, “the journey of searching for meaning. But it’s really great fun too. There are lots of laughs.”
Bowden says Cat Stevens fans will embrace the show with around 30 hit songs, excerpts, snatches and underscoring.
“The songs are such strong narratives in themselves that they really carry the story,” said Bowden.
Bowden reckons Moonshadow will also appeal to a broad intergenerational audience. Around 30% of the show is new material written by Yusuf for the musical.
“Yusuf’s personal journey is very public,” said James, “but the lovely thing about him is that he truly transcend boundaries, and we really hope it [Moonshadow] will attract an Islamic audience."
Image: Blake Bowden and Jolyon James
Through Yusuf's much loved songs Moonshadow will take the audience on a journey with a story of a young man and his moonshadow's struggle against the oncoming of darkness as the night planet prepares for the big blackout by the death of the Moon.
The World Premiere of Moonshadow opens at the Princess Theatre on 31 May, 2012. This $5 million production will have an Australian cast and creative team, together with Sweden’s top musical director, Anders Albien.
With an incredible fan base in both East and West, Cat Stevens / Yusuf has enjoyed one of the most unique careers in pop music history, appealing to audiences from all walks of life - young and old, worldly or spiritual - the prospect of a new musical conceived by him and spanning his amazing catalogue is a dream come true. Yusuf has chosen Melbourne for the global Launch of Moonshadow as he has a strong connection to the city through family and friends.
Moonshadow is about themes that are both powerful and universal. It’s about hopes and dreams; greed and power; right and wrong; but most importantly Moonshadow is about finding happiness and love.
“Leapin and hoppin’ on a Moonshadow”
Our review - www.stagewhispers.com.au/reviews/moonshadow
Our initial coverage
It was announced today (Monday Dec 5, 2011) that Moonshadow, a new musical written by Yusuf, featuring the music and lyrics of Cat Stevens/Yusuf, will make its World Premiere at the Princess Theatre, Melbourne, in May 2012. This $5 million production will have an Australian cast and creative team other than the director, Anders Albien from Sweden.
Embarking as a young singer-songwriter in the sixties and with 60 million records sold worldwide, Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) has enjoyed one of the most unique careers in pop music history. With an incredible fan base in both East and West, appealing to audiences from all walks of life - young and old, worldly or spiritual - the prospect of a new musical conceived by him and spanning his amazing catalogue is a dream come true. Yusuf has chosen Melbourne for the global Launch of Moonshadow as he has a strong connection to the city through family and friends.
“Well, if you want to sing out, sing out, and if you want to be free, be free,
‘cause there’s a millions things to be”– Cat Stevens
Through his much loved songs and music Moonshadow will take the audience on an incredible journey with a magical story of a young man and his moonshadow's struggle against the oncoming of darkness. As the night planet prepares for the big blackout by the death of the Moon, the odd duo battle to overcome the hidden enemy, in search for the mythical land of the lost sun ... and everlasting happiness.
“There's a way and I know, that I have to go – away,
I know I have to go” – Cat Stevens
Moonshadow is about themes that are both powerful and universal. It’s about hopes and dreams; greed and power; right and wrong; but most importantly Moonshadow is about happiness and love.
“Oh baby, baby, it’s a wild world, it’s hard to get by just upon a smile”– Cat Stevens
Moonshadow weaves together exciting new songs with Yusuf's most famous and beloved classics from his expansive back catalogue. With hits around every corner, such as Father and Son, Wild World, Morning Has Broken, Peace Train, and First Cut is the Deepest, this musical will not fail to send audiences out happily singing the songs they know so well.
“Leapin and hoppin’ on a Moonshadow” - Register Now for Priority Booking ahead of general sales in February 2012.