A bustling crowd makes its way up the escalators to the Grand Ballroom at the elegant Sofitel Wentworth. As we enter we are showered with foam snow and everything is sparkling! Three massive screens and an ivory grand piano are on stage and everywhere lights, lights and more lights.
We’re all here for the launch of Doctor Zhivago ‘The World Premiere Engagement’ of this new musical. Alan Jones opened the evening and acted as compere. He was joined onstage by the creative team of the musical: choreographer Kelly Devine, producer John Frost, director Des McAnuff, composer Lucy Simon (yes, the sister of You’re So Vain singer Carly Simon) and of course the crowd favourite, Anthony Warlow.
Warlow sang two songs, one duet with Lucy Simon and one entitled ‘On the Edge of Time’ which allowed a sneak peak of the flavour of the score for this new production.
These songs didn’t grab me, I must say I was fairly underwhelmed by them even though they were delivered by an icon of musical theatre. Warlow sang with the usual distinguished finesse and yet I wasn’t very engaged at all.
Being somewhat younger than 90% of the guests at the launch I felt I was in a bit of a time-warp, had I missed something? Or was it because I didn’t have the same nostalgia that these folks had, probably remembering the film when it first came out in 1965.
All in all it was a delight to see excited people scurry about in ‘Zhivago Frenzy’ pre-purchasing tickets and receiving their ‘goodie bag’ which I was lucky enough to snafflle. In it was a few posters, brochures and a copy of the original DVD of Doctor Zhivago starring the hollywood heavyweight of the time, Omar Sharif.
I think I’ll have to watch the film to get a final feel on whether I’ll be booking a ticket and being a part of Zhivago Fever!
Emma Bell is a writer, reviewer and interviewer and can be found at www.emmabell.com.au