Sydney Lyric's OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN Musical Begins Rehearsals

Producers John Frost and Sharleen Cooper Cohen, along with NSW Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Arts, George Souris, today welcomed the full cast and crew of the new musical An Officer and a Gentleman to their first day of rehearsals, ahead of the World Premiere on 18 May, 2012 at the Sydney Lyric Theatre, The Star.

The cast gathered met for the first time today to read through the script and sing the songs, together with co writer of the musical Douglas Day Stewart, composer and lyricist team Ken Hirsch and Robin Lerner, director Simon Phillips, choreographer Andrew Hallsworth and musical director Dave Skelton.

John Frost said, “Ever since the first workshop in Melbourne over two years ago, I’ve known we had something special here; that the story of this classic film would translate beautifully to the stage. And now we’re finally in the rehearsal room with this outstanding cast and the best creative team we could have hoped for, working with the US writers of the show. Thanks to the NSW Government, Destination NSW, the City of Sydney and our other partners, our dreams have come to fruition and we’re creating a new musical here in Sydney destined for world stages.”

US Co-producer Sharleen Cooper Cohen said, “I began pursuing this project back in 2000 as I always believed that this moving and timeless romance, one of the most popular films of all time, would make the perfect musical. And now today we’re in the rehearsal room finally bringing An Officer and A Gentleman to the stage. Sydney is the perfect place to premiere this wonderful show, and I’d like to thank everyone who has gotten us to this stage today. I can’t wait to put this terrific show in front of Sydney audiences.”

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.

The World Premiere of An Officer and a Gentleman will be held in Sydney at the Lyric Theatre on 18 May, 2012.

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