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The Boy from Oz - National Theatre, St Kilda (VIC)

Music and Lyrics by Peter Allen, Book by Nick Enright. 

Smacked in the face with sequins in the best way possible, The Boy from Oz still calls Australia home in Theatrical’s production of the show that cemented Aussie talent as one to be taken seriously. 

Reviewed by Matthaios Hortomaris

National Theatre St Kilda

Dates and times: On sale now for performances until 21st July

Tickets: $58-$79

If you have been kept in the dark about Australia's first show to be a smash hit around the world, The Boy from Oz tells the incredible story of singer, songwriter, and entertainer Peter Allen. On paper, this story seems like your standard small-time boy next door trying to make it big on broadway. However, during this production, we were exposed to the heart and dedication of Allen, played by Matthew Hadgraft as an adult Allen, and Rueben Koronczyk as a young Allen.

Hadgraft imbued this role with an almost impossible amount of energy, running around on stage with so much spirit, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was attached to wires.

Throughout the production, we were taken through Allen’s chance meeting with Judy Garland (played by Saskia Penn), and eventual marriage to Liza Minnelli (played by Sarah Monteaux). From Penn’s entry in a toe tapping cabaret scene, her old time performance and voice transported us back to the 1960’s, with attitude and pride to boot! Her characterisation of Garland was spectacular, showcasing her skills. Monteaux was my personal stand out of the night however. With a sultry voice, and charm scattering throughout the auditorium, Monteaux is one to watch.

The Angels trio (Sylvia Kokkinos, Tara Lichtenstein, and Agelina Sevastopoulos) were a perfect accompaniment to Hadgraft’s Allen, while also having the opportunity to show off their own powerhouse talent in the song ‘Somebody's Angel’. 

By far the biggest surprise of the evening was the production design. The stage would continuously transform, from black and white piano steps, to hollywood light arches, and a piano that would glide around the stage throughout the whole evening. 

The finale was so unexpectedly lively, with everyone involved giving it their absolute all

The ensemble cast and dancers were such a joy to watch on stage. While not entirely polished, this ensemble cast had so much fun on stage! The type of teamwork and comradery that made me jealous in a sense, wanting to be part of a tight knit community just putting their all on stage, with beaming faces, and vibrant energy. Not to mention the amount of costume changes the ensemble cast went through, with quick turn around as well.

The show ended with ‘I Go to Rio’ which was hyped up throughout the production. With the setup of this song throughout the play, and as someone who has never seen this production, I was concerned it would be a let down. Oh but how wrong I was! The finale was so unexpectedly lively, with everyone involved giving it their absolute all. It was an absolute pleasure to experience.




Peter Allen Matthew Hadgraft

Young Peter Allen Reuben Koronczyk, Ethan Lockhart

Marion Woolnough Maureen Andrew

Judy Garland Saskia Penn

Liza Minnelli Sarah Monteaux

Greg Connell Leighton Garwin

Dick Woolnough Mark Eather



Director & Choreographer: Rhylee Nowell

Musical Director: Alex Byrne

Musical Supervisor: Matthew Hadgraft

Production Coordinator: Caitlin Greenhill

Executive Producer: Andrew Gyopar



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