Bowie, Millie & Ragtime

The Production Company’s 21st Season

Three Diverse Musicals on Offer

Chairman of The Production Company, Jeanne Pratt AC, announced the company’s 21st season which will comprise three musicals in 2019. The 2019 season will feature two Australian premieres ⏤ David Bowie’s LAZARUS, and RAGTIME, as well as Broadway favourite THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE.

The Season begins in May with the Australian premiere of the David Bowie and Enda Walsh musical, Lazarus.  Inspired by ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’, Lazarus is a ground breaking piece of music theatre. Starring Chris Ryan and iOTA, and featuring 18 David Bowie songs including ‘Changes’, ‘Heroes’ and ‘Absolute Beginners’, Lazarus is directed by Michael Kantor.

In August, take a fun-filled ride into the heart of the roaring twenties with Thoroughly Modern Millie! Starring Annie Aitken as Millie Dillmount, a small-town girl who lands in New York City ready to make her dreams come true.  Australia’s favourite leading lady Marina Prior is Mrs Meers – a dragon land-lady audiences will love to hate – and also starring Michael Falzon and Claire Lyon. Thoroughly Modern Millie is based on the 1967 Academy Award-winning film, and won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

And in November, don’t miss Ragtime, a sweeping musical portrait of early 20th century America based on the best-selling book by E. L. Doctorow. With a Tony Award winning book and score, Ragtime will star Kurt KansleyJosh Piterman and Chloe ZuelRagtime bursts to life with music that will sweep you off your feet and a story that will break your heart.

“The premiere of David Bowie and Enda Walsh’s music theatre masterpiece, Lazarus, will open our season,” said Jeanne Pratt AC, Chairman of The Production Company. “It’s a great pleasure and an honour for The Production Company to be staging David Bowie’s final masterpiece with an outstanding creative team headed by the acclaimed director Michael Kantor.”

“I love to  feature a comedy in our seasons  and there are few shows more joyous than Thoroughly  Modern  Millie – a fun-filled ride into the heart of the roaring twenties. Our third musical, Ragtime, is a sweeping musical portrait of early twentieth century America, based on the bestselling novel by E. L. Doctorow.”

“We couldn’t have done this for the past twenty years without our musical loving audiences. Thank you, Melbourne. This is a not to be missed season by Melbourne’s lovers of musical theatre,” Mrs Pratt added.


Lazarus was David Bowie’s final project and was first staged in New York in 2015. It’s a ground breaking music theatre work featuring eighteen David Bowie songs including Changes, Heroes and Absolute Beginners.

Inspired by the Walter Tevis novel, ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’, Lazarus is about an alien Thomas Newton, as he remains on earth, unable to die. We follow him during the course of a few days when the arrival of another lost soul might finally set him free. David Bowie co-wrote Lazarus with Enda Walsh – who also wrote the book for the award winning musical, Once. Chris Ryan, whose performance as Monty Navarro in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love Murder wowed Melbourne last year, takes on the lead role of Newton.

Iconic singer iOTA makes his debut with The Production Company in the role of Valentine. Emily Milledge (La Cage aux Folles) returns to TPC in the role of Girl, Phoebe Panaretos (Strictly Ballroom) is Elly and Mike McLeish (Beautiful) makes his TPC debut as Michael. Stephanie Lake is the choreographer.

Thoroughly Modern Millie

It’s the height of the jazz age in the roaring 20’s, and small-town girl Millie Dillmount has just arrived in New York City, ready to make her dreams come true. Millie’s plan is simple: find a job as a secretary  for an eligible bachelor, and then marry him. It doesn’t take long for Millie’s “thoroughly modern” plan to go awry.

Annie Aitken is featured in the starring role of Millie. Annie’s recent performance in Candide with the Sydney Symphony was hailed as “a show-stopping tour-de-force” (SMH). Australia’s favourite leading lady, Marina Prior is conniving landlady and part time slave trader, Mrs. Meers – a dragon lady audiences will love to hate. Michael Falzon (Evita) is Millie’s boss and dream husband, Trevor Graydon, and Claire Lyon (Phantom of the Opera) is her best friend and aspiring actress, Miss Dorothy Brown.

The winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie is based on the 1967 Academy Award-winning film and was Broadway’s most awarded new show in 2002. Director Chris Parker (Oklahoma!) returns with Maestro Peter Casey (The Sound of Music) conducting The Production Company Orchestra. Renowned tap king, Christopher Horsey (Swing on This) is Choreographer.


At the dawn of a new century everything is changing … and anything is possible! Set in the melting pot of New York, three distinctly American tales are woven together – that of a stifled upper-class wife, a determined Jewish immigrant, Tateh and the daring young Harlem musician, Coalhouse Walker Jr. and his fiancee, Sarah. Together they confront history’s timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice and what it means to live in 20th Century America.

The winner of the 1998 Tony Awards for Best Score, Book and Orchestrations, and both the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical and Best Score, Ragtime is filled with pageantry, emotion and hope. A truly unique and powerful portrait of America, Ragtime is sure to inspire.

Kurt Kansley stars as Coalhouse Walker Jr – who Melbourne critics have hailed for his recent performance as Che Guevara in Evita, Chloe Zuel (Dusty, Beautiful) plays Sarah, while Josh Piterman (Beautiful) plays Tateh. TPC Founding Director Roger Hodgman (A Gentleman’s Guide) will stage this modern American classic with Dana Jolly’s Choreography.



18 May – 9 June
Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse

3 – 11 August
Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre

2 – 10 November
State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne