Friday, July 31, 2015

Musicals / What's On / Industry News / Tips & Tricks


With a starring role in a high profile Australian tour and a freshly minted debut album, Alex Rathgeber is riding high.

Unwinding in his dressing room after a matinee with a refreshing brew of The Five Vocal Tea, Rathgeber shared his insights, recollections and future dreams. Read on to discover the famous stars he has worked with, the worst audition he ever had, and the time he was forbidden to be in a musical.

Rathgeber has recently won a Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role, for his performance as charming, love-struck broker Billy Crocker in ANYTHING GOES. “It’s a really lovely thing to be recognised, especially three weeks after we’ve opened. For the whole show to be nominated nine times in different categories and to get that kind of celebration happening when we’re so new has just been a really nice thing for everyone.”

Alex Rathgeber and Caroline O'Connor
ANYTHING GOES, Opera Australia and John Frost
Photo by Jeff Busby


» Read More

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Musicals / What's On / Industry News / Tips & Tricks


Fast rising choreographer Michael Ralph has a distinct style that has seen him in increasing demand. During rehearsals for The Production Company’s highly anticipated season of WEST SIDE STORY, Ralph took time to share his background, his inspirations and the techniques he employs to create his unique choreography.

After several years of mixing performing and choreographing, Ralph is moving to a phase of his career where he will focus exclusively on choreography. In May this year, he choreographed the world premiere of NED – A NEW AUSTRALIAN MUSICAL, and December will bring another world premiere with The Seekers’ musical GEORGY GIRL.

Currently, Ralph is re-creating the work of legendary Broadway choreographer Jerome Robbins for WEST SIDE STORY, one of the best-known musicals of all time. The Production Company’s 50th show will also feature direction by Gale Edwards and Music Direction by Guy Simpson.

“It’s so iconic, so I am definitely familiar with the show and the dancing. I’ve never been in the show but I have assistants who have helped me to build the repertoire into my head in preparation.

“They gave me a choreographic manual; it’s like a bible that has the whole show written in it from start to finish - every step, every count. It also has all the spacing diagrams written down, because the spacing has to stay the same. I tried to watch as many productions on YouTube as possible and see where they made a few changes here and there over the years, some by Jerome Robbins and some since he’s died, and find what my version is going to be and also how that’s going to tie in with Gale’s vision for the production.”

Specific requirements in the choreography, along with the shared vision for the production, affected the auditions. “The type of dancer that I like, regardless of what type of show, is a dancer who has a technical foundation but who has a terrific sense of style and character and storytelling within their dancing. I always like people who can kick and turn, of course, but if they don’t have storytelling or if they don’t understand certain periods of rhythms, then that’s just not my kind of dancer.


West Side Story rehearsal
Photo by The Production Company


» Read More

Compare (up to 3 items)