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Wayback Machine

Review: The Boy From Oz shows local talent
By Matt Akersten
12th September 2008 - 04:20 pm

It's the jukebox musical which was always in the shadow of Priscilla, but now that the glittering drag-bus has trundled out of the queen city, the Auckland Music Theatre gets a chance to shine with another Aussie gay stage classic – The Boy From Oz.

Richard Neame & Glen Pickering as Peter Allen & Greg Connell (pic: John A Ferguson)

Based on a true story, the show tells the tale of Peter Allen, a little singin' and dancin' tyke with big dreams, who grows up to befriend Judy Garland, marry Liza Minnelli, then run off with a bloke. Such a camptastic life – but just wait until you hear the songs!

We went to see it last night. Richard Neame (fresh from directing gay play Beautiful Thing a few months back) kept the energy up in the starring role, but many supporting cast members stole the show and the audience's hearts. Katie Evans reminded me instantly of Liza Minnelli and she had a good go at her distinctive – and to my mind hilarious – speaking voice. Sherrin Scelly didn't really resemble Judy Garland but belted out her songs gorgeously to an enraptured audience. Alexander Hawkins, who played the young Peter, would only be around 10 years old, but was a fantastic actor, and you can tell he was loving being there. Well, all twenty of them on stage were loving it… that's what makes this theatre company such fun to spend an evening with.

Katie Evand shines as Liza Minnelli (pic: John A Ferguson)

The small company do their very best to bring you a full-on spectacular show, with a larger cast than you'd expect, and a brilliantly large prop rolled out for a flamboyant finale. Lovely stuff.

The Boy From Oz is on until next Saturday 20 September at the Westpoint Performing Arts Complex. Booking details are on the link below.

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