The 1930 stage musical Girl Crazy is famous for making stars of Ethel Merman and Ginger Rogers and has the most endearing and wonderful Gershwin songs I Got Rhythm, Embraceable You, But Not for Me and Strike Up The Band. This will be the second presentation of Neglected Musicals at the Darlinghurst Theatre on Monday 26 July at 2pm and 8pm.
Neglected Musicals is a new theatre initiative dedicated to presenting musical theatre that has never or rarely been seen in Australia. Earlier this year Neglected Musicals presented the Douglas J Cohen musical No Way To Treat A Lady. The musicals are presented as a reading with scripts in hand and with the musical numbers sung through, after only a few rehearsals. The presentations do not have set or costume design – just the book, the songs and the performers.
There have been several film versions of Girl Crazy, all quite different in plot with added and omitted songs including the 1943 film with Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney. The 1990’s musical Crazy For You takes its essence from Girl Crazy – we thought we would like to see what started it all.
“Presenting Girl Crazy gives the audience a rare chance to witness the birth of the American Musical – with George and Ira Gershwin as proud parents,” said director Nicholas Hammond.
According to his father, Danny Churchill is too focused on girls and parties and therefore goes girl crazy. So Danny’s father ships him off to a mostly male town in Arizona with the goal of getting Danny’s attention focused on more serious matters. However, soon after arriving, Danny falls in love with the local postmistress, Molly Gray. He wins Molly’s affections – but can he beat off a New York rival?
Ian Stenlake (Sea Patrol, Guys and Dolls) will play Danny the girl crazed New Yorker singing duets with new comer Emma Cooperthwaite as the embraceable local girl Molly. Ian’s real life wife Rachel Beck (It takes Two, Singing In The Rain) plays Danny’s old flame Kate, singing up a storm with I Got Rhythm to her husband James Miller (Love Bites). Chris Horsey (Tap Dogs, 42nd St) plays the comic taxi driver who delivers Danny to the Ranch and hangs around with the possibility of becoming the local sheriff. Sam Luke Joslin (Avenue Q) turns up from New York to give Danny a run for his money while flirting with another old flame of Danny’s Tess Belinda Wollaston (Shane Warne The Musical) while she and the other girls from New York Patsy, Kate Parry (Shout) and Flora, Octavia Barron Martin (The Hatpin) try to make a go of it on the Dude ranch. John Rowe (Grease) rounds out the cast as local hotel owner Lank.
“We are so lucky to have such a great cast and creative team for the second Neglected Musical,” said producer Michelle Guthrie. “With so much talent this wonderful Gershwin score will sound spectacular.”
Nicholas Hammond has worked as a highly regarded actor in New York, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne and Sydney for more than 35 years. He has been featured in over thirty five feature films and a hundred and fifty television shows. As a writer, his credits include A Difficult Woman and Secret Men’s Business. In 2009 the one man play Lying Cheating Bastard marked Nicholas’s directorial debut. He is currently co-starring with Mick Molloy in Movie Extra comedy series The Jesters. Nicholas’s feature film script Wrong Girl is currently in pre-production, with Nicholas to direct, and he has a US motion picture musical in development.
Craig Renshaw has worked on countless musicals playing for auditions as associate musical director including Cats and The Phantom of The Opera, Craig is currently the MD for Kiss Of The Spider Woman. Tia Jordan has danced in many musicals over her career including Chicago and has been assistant choreographer for West Side Story and Godspell. Tia is currently working with new talent at AIM.
Monday 26 July at 2pm and 8pm
At the Darlinghurst Theatre
Tickets on sale now – All tixs $35