Express from the US

I promised you a second reason why the 2014 MTC program is so awesome. Here’s a clue: It’s the main reason why people download America’s Next Top Model, Last Man Standing, The Mentalist, Bones and Arrow off the internet. If that clue wasn’t enough, let me explain . . .


Why do people illegally download television shows from the US or the UK? Because they take such a long time to actually make their way over to Australia!

I mean, I don’t illegally download TV shows because frankly I don’t have the time in my week to watch them. But it has been 5 months since Broadway-inspired TV show SMASH! finished in the US and I still haven’t been able to see it because they haven’t brought it to Australia or released it on iTunes for Australian residents. NOT HAPPY JAN!

Sorry, that is my rant for today. But you get what I mean, don’t you?

Surely you have been desperate to watch a TV show and by the time it is actually on Australian TV you are already seeing spoilers for the following season on the show’s Facebook page. It’s annoying isn’t it?

Melbourne Theatre Company are breaking this trend. Well, not on television – SMASH! is still caught in transit somewhere – but they are changing things in the theatre with their production of Once!

I once worked out that it took roughly 6 years for a Broadway show to make its way to Australia.

  • Legally Blonde opened on Broadway in 2007 and opened in Australia at the end of 2012.
  • The Lion King started growling on Broadway in 1997 and opened in Australia in 2003.
  • Wicked opened on Broadway in 2003, arrived in Melbourne in 2009.

I mean I can excuse Legally Blonde and The Lion King, but Elphaba can fly and it still took her 6 years!

Reason #2: Express from the US

Proving that it can be done in a third of the time, Melbourne Theatre Company is bringing Once to Australia in 2014 when it only opened on Broadway in 2012. THAT’S TWO YEARS.

But why is that so important?

It is important because there is a lot of buzz around new shows and by the time that a new show usually makes it to Melbourne or Sydney, it might be new for Australia, but the rest of the world is over it. And that means that potential theatre lovers may already be over it because they waited, and waited, and waited, and finally just watched a bootleg copy on YouTube. Or found a newer show that they were more excited to see. Or, if they were rolling in money, went on a trip to New York and saw it four years before the announcement was even made that they were bringing it to Melbourne.

But that isn’t the case for MTC. Once will be arriving at the Princess Theatre in November 2014 while the theatre community is still excited about the production and audiences won’t have already moved onto the next big thing.

And this IS a big show. It pushes many boundaries, but one in particular that I am excited about. And I’ll tell you about that later in the week.

What new show would you like to see hit Australian cities? Leave me a comment below letting me know if you are dying for Newsies, Matilda or Kinky Boots to announce an Australian season. Who knows, if Once goes well we may not have to wait until 2019!