Officers, Gentlemen: Sydney will host new musical May 2012



On board a Navy Destroyer (HMAS Sydney) in Sydney Harbour, it was announced this morning that Sydney has secured the World Premiere season of the new musical An Officer and A Gentleman.




On board a Navy Destroyer (HMAS Sydney) in Sydney Harbour, it was announced this morning that Sydney has secured the World Premiere season of the new musical An Officer and A Gentleman.

Set to open at the Lyric Theatre, Star City on 24 May, 2012, and based on the iconic Academy Award-winning Film, the new production has been adapted for the stage by Douglas Day Stewart (original screen writer) and Sharleen Cooper Cohen, with music and lyrics by Grammy Award nominees Ken Hirsch and Robin Lerner.

Barry O’Farrell, Premier of NSW, said, “It is with great pleasure that I am able to announce another World Premiere musical for Sydney, An Officer and A Gentleman. Sydney is now officially the number one city for first run musicals in Australia. Sydney was chosen over London and New York for the World Premiere of this new stage production.”

The musical will be co-produced by John Frost and Sharleen Cooper Cohen, and will feature a cast of 28 Australian performers.

An Officer and A Gentleman is the latest in a string of new musicals to be announced for production in Australia, sparking claims that ‘Down Under’ has become the new out-of-town try out for Broadway shows.

Co-producer and co-writer Sharleen Cooper Cohen agrees that there is certainly a trend forming:

“More people are seeing the marvelous talent pool in Australia, the wonderful facilities that are available and the opportunities to get away from the mainstream gossip of America and work on a product free from that where you can really see it from the ground up”, she told in an exclusive interview.

“It’s a much better investment because we can do a commercial run here and our investors can earn money rather than what goes on in the United States. If you were to mount a brand new musical in a regional theatre, it would be a short run … and the investors don’t make money”

The musical will be directed by Simon Phillips (Love Never Dies, Priscilla), and after completing it’s Australian season, the creative team are confident that this production will transfer to Broadway.

“Oh absolutely – we are sure it’s going to happen!” said Douglas Day Stewart, who based the original film script on his own experiences as a Naval Officer.

The team are quick to explain the current focus is certainly not on a Broadway season sometime down the track, but rather making sure they ‘do it right’ here in Australia.

“We are thrilled to do this wonderful show in Australia. I think that’s our main objective right now – to perfect it for the Australian audiences”, said Cooper Cohen.

Day Stewart concurred: “This was a very conscious choice on all of our parts to come here to Australia because we knew we could find the actors to do it! And the theatres are so large and they give you a chance at a more spectacular kind of production. And we are just finding it great to work with the Australians!”

Over the past few weeks, the audition process for the show has taken place, culminating in a workshop with 7 actors to perfect the script, transitions and put the finishing touches on the music. Casting has not been finalised for the production.

The show will feature an original score (by Grammy nominees Lerner and Hirsch) and fans of the film will be pleased to learn that the iconic song from final scene, ‘Love Lifts Us Up Where We Belong’ will most certainly appear in the musical adaptation, albeit slightly modified in orchestration and presentation.

“I always believed that this moving and timeless romance, one of the most popular films of all time, would make the perfect musical, so I began pursuing it back in 2000. Now, I am thrilled to see it coming to fruition”, said Cooper Cohen. 

This timeless modern day Cinderella story of struggle, success, friendship and love promises to be the musical blockbuster of 2012.

Creative Team:

Written by: Douglas Day Stewart and Sharleen Cooper Cohen
Music and Lyrics by: Robin Lerner and Ken Hirsch

Directed by: Simon Phillips
Set Design: Dale Ferguson
Choreography: Andrew Hallsworth
Associate Director: Dean Bryant

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *