Celebration Theatre to Stage West Coast Premiere of THE BOY FROM OZ

Celebration Theatre at the Lex in association with Nicholas Caprio, Michael C. Kricfalusi, Todd Milliner and Jack Morrissey presents, under the artistic direction of Michael Matthews & Michael A. Shepperd, the West Coast premiere of THE BOY FROM OZ, music and lyrics by Peter Allen, book by Martin Sherman, original book by Nick Enright, choreography by Janet Roston, musical direction by Bryan Blaskie, produced by Andrew Carlberg and directed by Celebration Theatre co-artistic director Michael A. Shepperd. THE BOY FROM OZ will begin previews on Friday, April 22 at 8pm; will open on Friday, April 29 at 8pm and perform through Sunday, June 19 at the Celebration Theatre's new home, Celebration at the Lex Theatre, 6760 Lexington Ave. in Los Angeles.

THE BOY FROM OZ was a huge Australian success that found its way to Broadway. Nominated for 5 Tony Awards in 2004, including Best Musical, and won Best Actor in a Musical (Hugh Jackman), the musical focuses on the extraordinary life of legendary singer/songwriter Peter Allen, from his birth in 1944 and humble beginnings to his meteoric rise to fame as an international star. The story covers Peter's life and career in Australia and the United States, as well as his relationships with the legendary singing stars Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli.

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM AND CAST

PETER ALLEN (Music and Lyrics) was a songwriter and exuberant cabaret-style performer who had his greatest fame in the 1970s and 1980s. He was "discovered" in 1964 by Judy Garland, who hired him to perform with her and introduced him to her daughter Liza Minnelli. Allen and Minnelli were married in 1967, but separated in 1970. Later, Peter Allen co-wrote the pop hits "Don't Cry Out Loud" for Melissa Manchester and "I Honestly Love You" for Olivia Newton John, and won an Academy Award for his contribution to the theme from Arthur, Minnelli's hit 1981 movie. (His co-writers on that tune were Burt Bacharach, Carol Bayer Sager and singer Christopher Cross.) Peter Allen's own albums includedTenterfield Saddler (1972), Bi-Coastal (1980) and Not the Boy Next Door (1982). Allen also composed the short-lived Broadway musical Legs Diamond. He died in 1992 from AIDS after giving his final concerts in Sydney, Australia.

MARTIN SHERMAN (Book) was born in Philadelphia, educated at Boston University and now lives in London. His early plays include Passing By, Cracks and Rio Grande, all originally presented by Playwrights Horizons in New York. Bent premiered at the Royal Court in 1979, transferred to the Criterion Theatre and was then presented on Broadway, where it received a Tony nomination for Best Play and won the Dramatist Guild's Hull-Warriner Award. Bent has been produced in over forty-five countries, and has been turned into a ballet in Brazil, and, in 1989, was revived at the National Theatre. It has been voted one of the NT2000 One Hundred Plays of the Century. His next plays were Messiah (Hampstead and Aldwych Theatres, 1983), When She Danced (King's Head, 1988; Gielgud, 1991), A Madhouse in Goa (Lyric Hammersmith and Apollo, 1989), Some Sunny Day (Hampstead, 1996) and Rose (National Theatre, 1999). Rose received an Olivier nomination for Best Play and transferred to Broadway the following season. Sherman has written an adaptation of E. M. Forster's A Passage to India for Shared Experience (Riverside Studios, 2002; Lyric Hammersmith, 2004) and a new version of a Luigi Pirandello play, Absolutely! (Perhaps) (Wyndhams, 2003). He has also written the book for the musical The Boy From Oz which opened on Broadway in 2003. His screenplays include The Clothes in the Wardrobe (US title: The Summer House), Alive and Kicking, Bent, Callas Forever and The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone. Martin Sherman Plays: One was published by Methuen Drama in 2004.

NICK ENRIGHT (1950-2003) trained for the theatre at New York University School of Arts after early experience in Australia including with Nimrod and MTC. He was an actor, director and teacher as well as a writer. His plays include On the Wallaby, Daylight Saving, St James Infirmary, Mongrels, A Property of the Clan, The Quartet from Rigoletto, Blackrock, Good Works, Spurboard and A Man with Five Children. With Justin Monjo he adapted Tim Winton'sCloudstreet for the stage. He has also written for film and television, including co-writing with George Miller the screenplay for Lorenzo's Oil which was nominated for an Oscar. He has written a number of musicals including The Venetian Twins and Summer Rain with composer Terence Clarke. He wrote the book for the Australian production of The Boy From Oz. Among many awards were two Green Room Awards for Best Play, and four Gold AWGIE Awards, the 1998 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award and the NSW Premiers' Special Award. As well as being a prolific writer, Nick was a noted acting teacher, particularly at NIDA and WAAPA.

MICHAEL A. SHEPPERD (Director) is currently the Co-Artistic Director of Los Angeles' multiple award-winning Celebration Theatre (CT). Directing credits include: The Next Fairy Tale, [title of show] and numerous others in his 11 year career at Celebration. CT producing credits include The Women of Brewster Place, Take Me Out, The Next Fairy Tale, Coffee Will Make You Black and numerous others in those same 11 years. As an actor in LA, feature roles include Fences (Troy; Ovation, LADCC Nominations, Lead Actor), Booty Candy (Man 3 ; LADCC, Stage Raw Nominations, Supporting Actor), The Color Purple (Mister; Ovation Nom, Lead Actor), Steel (John Henry, Ovation Award, Lead Actor), Master Harold and the Boys (Sam, NAACP nom, Lead Actor), Intimate Apparel (George, NAACP Theatre Award, Supporting Actor), Choir Boy (Headmaster). Broadway/Off-Broadway/Regional credits include: Cathy Rigby is Peter Pan (Starkey); Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey Two); Caroline, or Change (Bus/Driver); 5 Guys Named Moe (Big Moe), Smokey Joe's Cafe (Fred) and The Whipping Man (Simon). TV credits include "Soul Man," "Hot In Cleveland," "Adoptable," "Wizards of Waverly Place," "Monk," "Criminal Minds," "NCIS."

JANET ROSTON (Choreography) Choreography: "The Color Purple," Celebration Theatre (Ovation Award, NAACP Award, LA Weekly/LADCC Nominations); "Justin Love," Celebration Theatre (LADCC Nomination), "Once On this Island," International City Theater (NAACP Nomination); "Avenue X," Odyssey Theater (Ovation Award Nomination);"Failure, A Love Story," Couerage Theatre (Ovation Nomination); "Psyche: A Rock Opera," Greenway Court. As Director/Choreographer; "Striking 12," Laguna Playhouse, "Tonya and Nancy, The Rock Opera," Boston's American Repertory Theater; "Midsummer Night," Texas and Tennessee Musical Theater Festivals; "CarnEvil," Sacred Fools; "shAme," King King; "The Wanting," Highways Performance Space.

BRYAN BLASKIE (Music Director) Music direction: 110 in the Shade (Ovation Award Best Musical Intimate Theatre),The Max Factor Factor, Tonya Harding: The Musical. He is a co-founder and music director of A Little New Music. Composer: Assistants (StageScene Best World Premiere Musical, NYMF Finalist), iWish, Victorian Courting & Zombies. He graduated from Denison University and has studied with the Academy for New Musical Theatre. He currently serves on the voice faculty for the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

ANDREW CARLBERG (Producer) Recently named by Variety alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mindy Kaling and Andy Samberg as one of "Hollywood?s New Leaders," Andrew Carlberg is an award-winning feature film, television, new media, Broadway and Los Angeles stage producer. Carlberg?s first feature film, Some Girl(s), starring Adam Brody, Kristen Bell, Jennifer Morrison, Zoe Kazan, Mia Maestro and Emily Watson, written by Neil LaBute and directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer, premiered in the narrative spotlight at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival and was the first narrative feature to receive a day-and-date theatrical premiere via Vimeo?s on-demand platform. Other features include the 2015 release The Dramatics and the Official 2015 Tribeca Selection Dirty Weekend. Carlberg produced the festival-favorite short films Warning Labels, Double or Nothing and After-School Special. In television, Carlberg co-executive produced the limited series Full Circle, and executive produced the short film series Ten x Ten, both by Neil LaBute for DirecTV, and was the Creative Executive to the Executive Producer of ABC?s Castle, where he began his television career working on the hit series from development through its first four and a half seasons. Carlberg?s extensive theater credits include the 2014 Broadway revival of Side Show (directed by Bill Condon), the 2013 Broadway revival of Romeo and Juliet (starring Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad), the Ovation Award-winning intimate theater premiere of The Color Purple: The Musical for Celebration Theatre and the cult hit, improv-based show The Blind Date Project. Andrew is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an alum of Film Independent's Fast Track Producing Fellowship and New York's Independent Filmmaker Project, and actively involved in a host of non-profits and charities.

JACK MORRISSEY (Executive Producer) has been partnered with Academy Award-winning film writer and director Bill Condon for nearly twenty years. He has been a producer on Condon's recent films, including the cyberthriller "The Fifth Estate" starring Benedict Cumberbatch; "Mr. Holmes," with Ian McKellen as the Great Detective and Laura Linney as his housekeeper; and Condon's newest movie musical, Disney's "Beauty And The Beast," starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans and Josh Gad - opening in March 2017.

The Cast of THE BOY FROM OZ will feature: Andrew Bongiorno as Peter Allen, Jessica Pennington as Liza Minnelli, Bess Motta as Judy Garland, Michayla Brown as Young Peter and Kelly Lester as Marion Woolnough. The ensemble will feature: Marcus S. Daniel, Michael Taylor Gray, Erica Hanrahan-Ball, Chelsea Martin, Michael Mittman, Nathan Mohebbi and Shanta' Marie Robinson.

THE BOY FROM OZ has assembled an award-winning design team. Set Design is by Yuri Okahana. Lighting Design is by Derrick McDaniel. Sound Design is by Eric Snodgrass. Costume Design is by Michael Mullen. Wig, Hair and Make-up Design is by Byron J. Batista. Property Design is by Michael O'Hara. The Stage Manager is Jennifer Sears.

SCHEDULE AND PRICING

THE BOY FROM OZ will begin previews on Friday, April 22 at 8pm; will open on Friday, April 29 at 8pm and perform through Sunday, June 19 at the Celebration Theatre's new home, the Lex Theatre, 6760 Lexington Ave. in Los Angeles.

Performances are Thursdays, Friday & Saturday evenings at 8pm; Sundays at 2pm.

All tickets are $45.00 (Reserved); $40.00 (General Seating). For tickets, please call (323) 957-1884 or visit www.celebrationtheatre.com to purchase tickets online or to view a complete schedule or for further details.

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