Praise the musical theatre gods: three massive shows have just been announced for Sydney over the next two years. That means it’s time for local musical nerds to start saving up their pennies.
The biggest announcement is that Waitress will open at the Sydney Lyric Theatre, but not until 2020. The musical, based on the 2007 film of the same name, features a score by popstar Sara Bareilles and has become a runaway hit on Broadway and on its US tour. It tells the story of Jenna, a small-town cook and waitress who, with the right recipe, finds a way out of her dead-end life and relationship. And shockingly it’s the first Broadway musical ever to feature women in all four leading creative roles: a book by Jessie Nelson, a score by Bareilles, choreography by Lorin Latarro and direction by Diane Paulus.
Chicago is also returning to paint the town (and all that jazz) with a season at the Lyric Theatre in 2019. The John Kander and Fred Ebb musical is Broadway’s longest-running revival and spawned the 2002 Academy Award-winning film. Producer John Frost (behind all three of the shows announced today) said he’s looking forward to finding the Velma and Roxie for a new generation, which suggests Caroline O’Connor and Sharon Millerchip, who played the roles to strong acclaim in the 2009 Australian tour, won’t be reprising their roles.
Saturday Night Fever will also be boogying its way back into Sydney with a season at the Capitol Theatre in 2019. It’s based on the 1977 John Travolta film and is packed with disco classics and Bee Gees hits. It last played a major Australian tour in 2004, but Sydney is getting a new production which premiered in Paris last year.
There’s already plenty coming up in the next year for Sydney’s musical theatre fans to spend their hard-earned cash on: Evita, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Billy Elliot and Jersey Boys. But we’ll still have to travel to Melbourne to catch what will likely be the biggest theatrical event Australia has seen in years, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
What all this means is that Sydney’s major musical theatres will be pretty full up for the next few years, so we probably shouldn’t expect the show on everybody’s lips, Hamilton, to land here any time soon. Melbourne, on the other hand, has more theatres free.
There are no announcements yet about ticketing, dates or casting for these three shows, but keep your eye on Time Out or join the waitlists at waitressthemusical.com.au, chicagomusical.com.au and saturdaynightfever.com.au.
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