Theatrical Presents The Boy From Oz – Set To Dance Into Melbourne’s National Theatre This July

Prolific independent musical theatre company Theatrical will present the Peter Allen story ‘The Boy From Oz’ in Melbourne this July.

'The Boy From Oz' - Image © Nicole Cleary

Peter Allen tribute artist Matthew Hadgraft, who has been performing his own Peter Allen show across the country since 2015, is the perfect selection for the starring role.

“There is no one quite like Peter Allen. His infectious energy, love for his audiences, free-wheeling enthusiasm and sense of fun is still so captivating decades after his death. He’s a true Australian icon, and I feel very lucky that I get to play him and perform his legendary songs,” Matthew says.

Peter’s own coming out journey can be heard if you pay close enough attention to the words in the music.

“Peter came out as a bisexual, and although it’s not explicit (he always talks about you/me/us and never used gendered pronouns), you can hear his coming out journey through some of the lyrics in his songs,” Matthew, who identifies as gay, says.

“When you listen to ‘I Honestly Love You’, I believe the lyrics speak to his love for a straight man. While in ‘Not The Boy Next Door’, Peter says ‘we made plans but we won’t work out if I don’t fit in’ when talking about coming back to a childhood sweetheart in regional Australia from New York.”

BoyFromOz NicoleCleary2
Image © Nicole Cleary

‘The Boy From Oz’ has a true ‘Peter Allen in concert’ feel to it. It’s a musical story about one of Australia’s most beloved entertainers – a biographical musical following his fascinating global career, and life with Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli in bars, nightclubs and concerts across the world.

“Following the huge success of our mostly sold-out production of ‘The Sound Of Music’, we are really happy to be bringing ‘The Boy From Oz’ to Melbourne in July. It’s been wonderful to see a real community emerge around Theatrical musicals, with so many audience members coming back again and again,” Executive Producer and Theatrical Founder Andrew Gyopar says.

‘The Boy From Oz’ features a total of 46 songs, including ‘I Still Call Australia Home’, ‘I Go To Rio’, ‘I Honestly Love You’, and ‘Tenterfield Saddler’.

The original ‘Boy From Oz’ Peter Allen – Todd McKenney – knows the show back to front.

“Theatrical are doing ‘The Boy From Oz’ at one of my favourite theatres in Melbourne, the National,” he says. “I am pretty familiar with ‘The Boy From Oz’. . . Let me tell you, the audiences love that show!”

Tickets are on sale now.

‘The Boy From Oz’ plays National Theatre (Melbourne) 6-21 July.

This story originally appeared on our sister site, scenestr.