AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN Opens in Sydney; Australia to Become Springboard for Broadway?

According to a report by Variety, more and more musicals, such as An Officer and a Gentleman, which opened in its world premiere today, May 19 at the Lyric Theater in Sydney, are using Australia has a stepping stone to larger Broadway and West End productions.

An Officer and a Gentleman's director Simon Philips told the publication, ""The more we do it, the more U.S. producers will get used to the idea."

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Priscilla, Queen of the Desert did this successfully, as did The Boy From Oz, starring Hugh Jackman, in 2003. Last year's Dr. Zhivago also made the jump.

Some benefits of going this route include avoiding too-soon subjection to U.S. critics and recouping production costs.

"Officer" is co-written by Douglas Day Stewart and composer and lyricist team Ken Hirsch and Robin Lerner, with choreographer Andrew Hallsworth and musical director Dave Skelton.

A hit across the ages, 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 timeless tale of struggle, success, friendship and love promises to be the musical blockbuster of 2012.

The cast that are bringing this timeless story to life are 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.

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