Janine Amelia Swainson to Star in New Zealand International Premiere of BOOBS! THE MUSICAL; Cast Announced!
The Riverlea Theatre Company, which is located in Hamilton, New Zealand, will present the New Zealand premiere of the Off-Broadway hit, Boobs! The Musical: The World According To Ruth Wallis. The holiday performances will run from Nov 25-Dec 16, 2017.
The cast includes Janine Amelia Swainson as Ruth Wallis, Jolandi Ford, Lily Gladstone Gallagher, Sarah Mills, Sarah Meeks [Dance], Olivia Philpott [Dance], Steve Grey, John McKee, Fiona Teale and Georgia Pollock.
Dennis Ralph is directing with Jean Greedy (Choreographer), Dorothy Carr/Georgia Pollock (Costume Design), Nathan Hancock (Technical), Alex Ross (Lighting Design) and Jono Ross/Phil Jones (Stage Management).
The New Zealand premiere production is a project close to the heart of its kiwi director, Dennis Ralph. "When I was a child, listening to my parents entertain, it was a highlight when the Ruth Wallis records were brought out. Such was their impact, they became the first songs I learned to sing as a child! Of course, on occasions, my performance would be followed by a terse note from teachers or parents, whose feigned shock, never quite dulled their fun," he said.
The history of Ruth Wallis influence on New Zealand entertainment stems from her tour of Australia, and her successful engagement at Sydney's Chequers Night Club. Such an appearance might possibly have been overlooked, until the Australian Customs Officials of the time deemed fit to ban her recordings! Taking up the challenge, legendary New Zealand 1960's entertainer Noel Mackay recorded the songs and in a series of albums, creating the often 'hidden from view' party favourites of its generation. Subsequently, the Ruth Wallis albums also gained an audience, and such items were treasures and considered collectables of the time. Her 'Johnny's Little Yoyo', performed by Noel Mackay, became the top selling disc in the year of its issue throughout New Zealand.
"It is with some pride that the Riverlea Board choose to produce the New Zealand premiere of this off-Broadway gem," Ralph added.
Boobs! The Musical: The World According to Ruth Wallis is a musical revue with lyrics and music by 1950s and 1960s star Ruth Wallis. Using 23 of Wallis' songs, Boobs! tells the story of Ruth Wallis' international career and struggles in performing her naughty songs.
Boobs! The Musical opened at the Triad Theater in New York City on May 19, 2003 to critical praise and eventually transferred to Dillon's Reprise Room; by closing date it had played nearly 300 performances. It had subsequent long runs in New Orleans (2004) and Wichita (2005). Lawrence Leritz was producer and choreographer, Donna Drake, director. Also notable were the costumes by J. Kevin Draves and Robert Pease and set by Eric Harriz. The book adaptation was written by Steve Mackes and Michael Whaley.
Boobs! first had a workshop at The Pulse Ensemble Theatre on the Off Broadway 42nd Street Theatre Row in Dec. 2000. Various notable cast members from the three New York productions included J. Robert Spencer, Jenny-Lynn Suckling, Robert Hunt, Kristy Cates, Clyde Alves, Alena Watters, Max Perlman, Brad Bradley and the New York theatre debut of Gennifer Flowers.