AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN Scribe Responds to Negative Reviews

An Officer and a Gentleman, directed by Simon Philips and co-written by Douglas Day Stewart and composer and lyricist team Ken Hirsch and Robin Lerner, made its world premiere performance on May 18 at the Lyric Theater in Sydney, Australia. 

Despite the hype of the much anticipated musical, which is believed to have Broadway aspirations, the production was received with little enthusiasm by many critics (revisit the Review Roundup here). Now, the movie and show's scribe, Douglas Day Stewart, has taken to the media to defend the piece in an open letter in The Australian against their negative reaction. 

He writes: "I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that many critics pretend to represent the popular taste but often only represent an eclectic, overly intellectual point of view that allows them to insulate themselves inside a cocoon of superiority. I like to think of them as that unpopular outsider from school who can now wield a cudgel of revenge against those of us who feel true emotion. When you read a review of a new artistic effort that has only harsh negativity to offer (like the one in this paper) that is your warning that you have run into such an emotional cripple. The truth, as everyone who has seen it so far will tell you, and as a plethora of five-star reviews agree, An Officer and a Gentleman The Musical is the crowd-pleasing and inspirational love story it was as a movie, but even more thrilling and emotional because of it’s great score and innovative direction."

For more from Stewart in The Australian, click here.

The 1982 film has become a phenomenon in cinema history, recently listed by the American Film Institute as one of the top ten love stories in cinema history. Based on the hugely successful Academy Award-winning film, this new production has been adapted for the stage by the original screen writer, Douglas Day Stewart and co-writer Sharleen Cooper Cohen, produced by Sharleen Cooper Cohen and John Frost, and directed by Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical). Featuring the iconic hit song “Up Where We Belong” and a new score by hit song writer Ken Hirsch and Grammy nominee Robin Lerner, this is a timeless tale of struggle, success, friendship and love.

The cast includes Ben Mingay as Zack Mayo, Amanda Harrison as Paula Pokrifki, Alex Rathgeber, Kate Kendall, Bartholomew John, Bert LaBonte, Josh Piterman, Tara Morice, Zahra Newman, JoseF Brown, Bernard Angel, Elise Brennan, Bianca Baykara, Kirby Burgess, Lena Cruz, Sam Devenport, Akina Edmonds, Zoy Frangos, Sheridan Harbridge, Peter Hardy, Brendan Irving, Tanya Mitford, Thern Reynolds, Simon Roborgh, Michael Whalley and Patrick Williams.

For tickets and more information, visit

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