Burke Replaces 'Burke' as Captain Von Trapp in Toronto's THE SOUND OF MUSIC, 12/8
Producers Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Ian and David Mirvish have welcomed Simon Burke to their Toronto production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Burke, a versatile star of stage and screen originally from Australia but with a large body of work in the U.K., will take over the role of Captain von Trapp, having played the role in the West End London production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, opposite the "Marias" of Connie Fisher and Summer Strallen.The Princess of Wales Theatre on January 3, 2010.Simon Burke is one of Australia's most accomplished, respected and versatile performers, Mr. Burke began his career at the age of 13 when he starred in Fred Schepisi's acclaimed feature film The Devil's Playground for which he won the AFI Award for Best Actor. Since then he has enjoyed great success both in Australia and the UK in film, television, stage, concert appearances and cabaret.
An acclaimed and popular star of London's West End, Mr. Burke has recently completed a highly successful run as Georges in Terry Johnson's award-winning production of La Cages Aux Folles at The Playhouse Theatre, opposite John Barrowman. Prior to that he starred as Captain von Trapp opposite Connie Fisher then Summer Strallen, in The Sound of Music at the London Palladium. Earlier this year he appeared as Joe in When The Rain Stops Falling at The Almeida Theatre.
Other UK theatre credits include Carl-Magnus in A Little Night Music (opposite Dame Judi Dench Royal National Theatre), Raoul in Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty's Theatre), Leonardo in Leonardo - A Portrait of Love (Old Fire Station Oxford) Cliff in Cabaret (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield) Steve in Jeffrey (Greenwich Theatre) and The Life of the World to Come (Almeida Theatre)
Australian musical theatre credits include Marius in the original Australian cast of Les Miserables, Vernon in They're Playing Our Song, Harry in Company, Billy Flynn in Chicago, Whizzer in Falsettos (nominated Best Musical Performance Sydney Theatre Critics' Circle Awards), Dexter in High Society, Burrs in The Wild Party, George Puttnam in Take Flight and Billy Crocker in Anything Goes for which he received the Green Room Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
Mr. Burke's many television credits include Hustle, The Alice, All Saints, Small Claims III, Thank God You're Here, South Pacific, Brides of Christ, Scales of Justice, Water Rats, Danielle Steele's The Ring, The One That Got Away, Heroes Mountain, After the Deluge, Grass Roots, Preservation and Postcard Bandit, and his 20-year stint as one of the most popular presenters on ABC TV's Play School. In 2006 he hosted his own television variety series Studio A With Simon Burke on Australia's FOXTEL network. Feature films include Passion, Pitch Black, and Travelling Light.
His first solo album Something About Always, has just been released. For more information, visit is www.simonburke.com.
This production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC will have played 68 weeks -- setting a record for the longest run of a revival in Toronto -- and will have been seen by over 900,000 people. It is estimated that the production will have generated an economic spinoff to the city of Toronto in excess of $450,000,000. That's certainly a "long, long way to run."
THE SOUND OF MUSIC employed a company of more than 170 actors, musicians and technicians, famously introducing many new bright talents to the professional theatre -- including the two Marias, Elicia MacKenzie and Janna Polzin, and more than two dozen young actors who portrayed the von Trapp children throughout the show's engagement and who no doubt will go on to lead brilliant careers in the performing arts. This production is also noted for being the first in Canada to cast its leading role through a television series, the top-rated CBC TV program "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?". Elicia MacKenzie was chosen by the Canadian public to play Maria, a choice applauded by all who attended the production. (The runner-up in the television series, Janna Polzin, was cast as the alternate Maria and performed the role twice weekly.)With music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse (suggested by "The Trapp Family Singers" by Maria Augusta Trapp), THE SOUND OF MUSIC is one of the most beloved musicals of all time. The score for THE SOUND OF MUSIC touches the hearts of all ages and brims over with some of the most memorable songs ever performed on the musical stage including My Favorite Things, Do-Re-Mi, Edelweiss, Climb Ev'ry Mountain, Sixteen Going On Seventeen, The Lonely Goatherd and, of course, the glorious title song The Sound of Music. The film adaptation of the original 1959 Broadway production won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture in 1965. In 2006, producers Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Ian opened a new production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC at the legendary London Palladium, the first major revival in London since the West End premiere in 1961. The production at Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre is the North American premiere of the London smash and is overseen by the same, award-winning creative team -- director Jeremy Sams, choreographer Arlene Philips and designer Robert Jones.
For a complete performance schedule and to purchase tickets, visit www.soundofmusiccanada.com