Following seasons at both the Sydney Lyric Theatre and Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre, Strictly Ballroom the Musical is set to hold its opening night at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s (QPAC) Lyric Theatre this evening. Bringing no shortage of sparkle to the stage, this stage adaptation of the classic 1992 film is being performed in Brisbane for six weeks – with the final show currently planned for October 17 2015.
This theatrical production is being presented by Global Creatures, and has been directed and co-written by Baz Luhrmann and co-written by Craig Pearce. It also features sets and costume designs by Catherine Martin and choreography by John “Cha Cha” O’Connell. Those familiar with the original film may recognise these four as all being members of the original creative team more than twenty years ago.
In terms of main cast members, the lead roles of Scott Hastings and Fran (Just Fran) are portrayed by Thomas Lacey and Phoebe Panaretos respectively. They are joined by a lead and ensemble cast of 43 Aussies, including Bob Baines as Les Kendall, Natalie Gamsu as Abuela, Robert Grubb as Barry Fife, Fernando Mira as Rico, Heather Mitchell as Shirley Hastings and Mark Owen-Taylor as JJ Silvers. Replacing Drew Forsythe as Doug Hastings is the Brisbane born actor Darren Gilshenan – who took over the role in July 2015.
Adding some local talent to the show, Baz Luhrmann also cast eight children in the roles of Kylie Hastings and her dance partner Luke. Kylie will be represented by Hermione Denning from Salisbury, Alice Lowther from Cashmere, Zoe Davidson-Wall from Newmarket and Chloe Guy from West End. Representing Luke will be Bailey Kelleher from Tingalpa, James Portas from Carindale and Damon Poletto from North Lakes and Sebastian Witt from Woodypoint. These children will be rotated around for different shows.
Strictly Ballroom the Musical is set to run from September 9 until October 17 2015 at the QPAC Lyric Theatre. Ticket prices are between $50 and $150 dependent on session and seating preference. Unlike some other recent shows at the Lyric Theatre, there are no concession tickets available for this production. In addition to standard tickets however, select sessions will also have one or two bonus packages associated with them. The $99 ‘Tina Sparkle’ package includes an A-Reserve ticket and a glass of sparkling, wine, beer of soft drink. The $100 ‘Dine on Us!’ package also includes an A-Reserve ticket, and a meal package from either The QPAC Cafe or Zeus Street Greek.
More information on ticket sales and the special packages can be found via the official QPAC website. A review for the Queensland leg of Strictly Ballroom the Musical will be posted up on this site soon. Also check back soon for my interview with Phoebe Panaretos.