Missy Higgins joins the cast of Miracle City for Musical Theatre debut

After premiering at Sydney Theatre Company in 1996, Nick Enright and Max Lambert’s acclaimed musical Miracle City hadn’t been seen on Sydney’s stages for nearly 20 years.

Missy Higgins as Bonnie May, Gus Murray as Ricky, Kellie Rode as Lora Lee. Image by Daniel Linnet
Missy Higgins as Bonnie Mae, Gus Murray as Ricky, Kellie Rode as Lora Lee. Image by Daniel Linnet

From 12 – 29 October, Sydney audiences will have the chance to see the celebrated Australian musical for the second time in just three years when it opens at the Studio at Sydney Opera House starring ARIA award-winning vocalist Missy Higgins in her first music theatre role.

A successful resurrection of the show played at Hayes Theatre Co in 2014 (with five Sydney Theatre Award nominations to boot), directed by Darren Yap and musically directed by composer and conceptualist, Max Lambert. Yap and Lambert reunite for this all new, born-again production, thanks to producers The Theatre Division, along with choreographer Kelley Abbey.

Set in the early 1990s, at the height of televangelism, Miracle City tells the story of the Truswells, a family with a dream to build a religious theme park, and the extreme lengths the patriarch, Ricky Truswell, will go to in order to make their dream a reality.

The new production features Missy Higgins as Bonnie Mae (part of the powerhouse trio, the Citadel singers), alongside Lara Mulcahy (Les Miserables, Mamma Mia!, Strictly Ballroom) and returning actor Josie Lane (Little Shop of Horrors, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Miracle City). Gus Murray (The Great Gatsby, McLeod’s Daughters, Packed to the Rafters) will play the Reverend Ricky Truswell, Kellie Rode (Mamma Mia!, Rocky Horror Show, Mother & Son) as his wife Lora Lee and Jessica Vickers (Light in the Piazza, Fiddler on the Roof) as their apple-pie-fresh daughter Loretta.

Liam Nunan (Away, The Golden Age) will play Loretta’s love interest, and Anthony Phelan (Seven Types of Ambiguity, The Wild Duck) will feature as evangelist Pastor Millard Sizemore.

“It’s been said by many that Miracle City is an undiscovered gem of Australian musical theatre. I’m thrilled to champion local work with a cast and crew of formidable talent. Miracle City is a story that still resonates, loudly, today”, said Danielle Harvey, Sydney Opera House Head of Contemporary Performance.

Producer, Alistair Thomson of The Theatre Division, says: “Miracle City is a unique, powerful and exhilarating Australian musical written by one of our finest musical theatre partnerships. We are delighted to bring this show to a wider audience with a stellar cast at The Studio at Sydney Opera House, a venue perfectly suited to this contemporary work.”

The late great Australian dramatist Nick Enright (The Boy From Oz, Lorenzo’s Oil, Cloudstreet) wrote the book and lyrics for Miracle City, based on a concept by Max Lambert (Hairspray, King Kong, Strictly Ballroom), who also wrote the music.

Contemporary Performance at Sydney Opera House champions brave, genre-straddling work and the reinvention and reinterpretation of classic art forms. In recent years, The Opera House has staged several musical theatre productions which have previously played at Hayes Theatre Co including Heathers: The Musical  and Sweet Charity.

Erin James

Erin James is AussieTheatre.com'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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