An Exclusive Update from Frosty – The Showman , part 1

 I sat down to chat with with Producer John Frost (Wicked, Dr. Zhivago, Legally Blonde) to get the inside scoop on the next few months in theatre… 

  I sat down to chat with with Producer John Frost (Wicked, Dr. Zhivago, Legally Blonde) to get the inside scoop on the next few months in theatre…  Over the last few weeks, there have been speculations, rumours, questions and assumptions made about the Australian theatre scene. 
I sat down to chat with with Producer John Frost (Wicked, Dr. Zhivago, Legally Blonde) to clear up some of the confusion and to get the inside scoop on the next few months in theatre… 
Of course, Frost can only confirm information about his own shows, but his production company (the Gordon Frost Organisation) certainly has a lot in the pipeline. With between 3 and 4 shows on the go at once, Frost certainly has his work cut out for him. But with a little bit of luck, this ex-wardrobe-master-turned-influential Producer will help send the Australian theatre industry booming into 2012. 
Annie Annie
Firstly, we are able to confirm that the smash hit musical Annie will be making its way to Melbourne next year, following its Sydney and Brisbane seasons. 
The show will open at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre in May 2012, and judging by the way ticket sales and bookings are going in Brisbane and Sydney, will be an overwhelming success. 
Anthony Warlow, Nancye Hayes, Todd McKenny and Chloe Dallimore, are expected to play all three cities, but the young ladies playing the title role of Annie are set to change in each state. This means three new faces to play the lead role in Brisbane and in Melbourne. 
The three lucky girls who have scored the role for the Sydney season are: 
Marley Aspinall, aged 12Siena Elchaar, aged 11Ella Nicol, aged 9 (all pictured, right, with Jasper the lucky pooch who will play Sandy) 
We can expect more announcements on the Annie front soon. Three children’s casts are needed for each state, each consisting of one Annie and seven orphans. This means a total of 24 girls will also be needed in Brisbane and Melbourne, giving young girls across Australia a chance to shine in this opportunity of a lifetime.

An Officer and A GentlemanAn Officer and A Gentleman
Following the official launch of An Officer and A Gentleman on August 15, can now confirm that an official casting announcement is expected to take place in mid-September. 
Despite rumours that the show was pre-cast, Frost has told that the show’s director Simon Phillips (Love Never Dies, Priscilla) hasn’t quite finalised the casting yet.
“Simon has been away in Brazil casting a new production of Priscilla, and he returns to Australia this weekend. We have another casting round yet to happen, and I will see Simon next week”.  An Officer and A Gentleman will open in May in Sydney at the Lyric Theatre, the same month as Annie opens in Melbourne at the Regent.   Related articles:
Officers, Gentlemen: Sydney will host new musical, May 2012 Another Coup for Sydney: An Officer and A Gentleman  
Dream Lover
Another exciting project which Frost was eager to discuss is the upcoming workshop of Dream Lover, the Bobby Darin musical, written by John-Michael Howson and Frank Howson and featuring some of Bobby Darin’s songs (as well as others from the 1950s and 1960s). Frost told that several actors recently were involved in a preliminary reading of the show. The reading, which lasted for 3 or 4 days, enabled the creative team to make any necessary changes to the script, ahead of the workshop in Melbourne next week.
“We start the workshop on Monday [5 September] in Melbourne. At
the end of that week, we will sit down and figure out how we are going
to [produce the show]. It will come down to theatre availability and Simon Phillips’
availability”, said Frost.    
It seems that the John Frost/Simon Phillips partnership, which is set to turn An Officer And A Gentleman into a worldwide musical hit, can partly be attributed to Simon Phillip’s creative genius: “I
like working with him, he knows how to construct a musical, and that’s
certainly an asset to have. I’d love to do more with him, definitely,
but he’s so busy! He’s just coming back from casting a new production of
Priscilla in Brazil… he’s terrific”
Stay tuned for part 2 of our exclusive update with Frosty the “Show” Man.

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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