Finishing touches for our Doctor Zhivago

The finishing touches are being put on the premiere musical Doctor Zhivago, which opens in Sydney next month.

The finishing touches are being put on the premiere musical Doctor Zhivago, which opens in Sydney next month.

Rehearsals for the new musical began in Sydney just after Christmas, with the full cast assembled for the first time.

The creative team, a mix of US and Australian, were thrilled with the excitement and energy in the rehearsal room. Director Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys) arrived in Australia from Canada just before Christmas to commence rehearsals, and others had flown in from the US including composer Lucy Simon, choreographer Kelly Devine, music supervisor Eric Stern, orchestrator Danny Troob and US co-producer Anita Waxman. Lyricists Michael Korie and Amy Powers and book writer Michael Weller have also arrived. 

Lead cast members Anthony Warlow (Yurii Zhivago), Lucy Maunder (Lara), Taneel Van Zyl (Tonia), Martin Crewes (Pasha), Peter Carroll (Alexander), Bartholomew John (Komarovsky) and Trisha Noble (Anna) are being joined in rehearsals by ensemble cast members Johanna Allen, Gavin D Andrew, Anton Berezin, Caitlin Berry, Tony Cogin, Mischana Dellora-Cornish, Tony Farrell, Todd Goddard, Natalie Gamsu, Frank Hansen, Scott Hili, Glenn Hill, Luke Joslin, Todd Keys, Elise McCann, Kathleen Moore, Shaun Murphy, Chris Scalzo, Stephanie Silcock, Annie Stanford, Belinda Wollaston and Jamie Ward.

Australian co-producer John Frost was invigorated after the score was sung through by the cast in the rehearsal room.

“We have an incredible group of people crafting this production, both cast and crew,” Frost said. 

“There were some breathtakingly beautiful songs and moments in rehearsal.”

In great news for the show, tickets are selling well ahead of the premiere at the Lyric Theatre.

“Box office figures for the Sydney and Melbourne seasons have already exceeded projections,” Frost said.

The overseas creative team is excited about what is ahead.

“Australia is rich in musical talent,” said US co-producer Anita Waxman

“The amazing cast we’ve assembled is testament to that. It’s wonderful to be among a committed, enthusiastic and talented bunch of people that is the Doctor Zhivago team. Australian performers really have something special – a pride in what they do, a willingness to thrown themselves into it and give anything a go.”

Doctor Zhivago, considered one of the riskiest shows to be produced in Australia for some time, opens in Sydney on February 11 before moving to Melbourne from April 9.

Top photo: The cast of Doctor Zhivago at the launch of the show
Second photo: The cast in rehearsals

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