Don’t Be Nervous: The Importance of Star Power
When a new show – or a new revival of a show – opens on Broadway or the West End, it isn’t uncommon for the lead to transfer with the show to the other major theatre capital of the world. But they have never come as far as Melbourne . . . that is, at least until The Graduate opens tomorrow night.
Idina Menzel, Broadway’s original Elphaba in Wicked, travelled to the West End to originate the same role when the London production opened. James Cordon, who led the West End company of One Man, Two Guvnors, later reprised his role when the show opened on Broadway and won himself a Tony Award for his trouble.
It isn’t uncommon for performers to freely move between the two theatre capitals when they take on a role to great acclaim. Not only is it a good opportunity for audiences to see these stellar performers, but it provides greater confidence in the show when it reaches a new market because the lead member of the cast has already proven themselves in that role.
And this means that audiences are can have greater confidence that they are going to enjoy the show even if they have never seen the lead performer before!
Well, generally this never happens for our theatre scene in Australia – probably because we are just too far away on the other side of the world! That is until plans were made to bring The Graduate to Melbourne . . .
Featuring an Australian cast supporting international model and actress Jerry Hall in the lead role of Mrs. Robinson, we finally have a lead who has travelled all the way down to Australia after originating the famous role in the revival on Broadway and the West End.
So what does this do for potential audience members?
Well, it adds a couple of extra reasons why audiences must go and see it. No longer are the incentives only that the revival has been received with great acclaim and that the Australian cast will be fantastic. But you can add to that list that the performer in the lead (and rather crucial) role of Mrs. Robinson has blown away critics across the world – a guarantee of enjoyment even before the incredible Australian cast has been announced.
All creating a pretty weighty argument in the potential audience member’s mind to purchase a ticket to the strictly limited season as they can be pretty sure it is going to be a world-class performance!
The play opens tomorrow night at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne. To purchase tickets to this strictly limited season visit www.ticketek.com.au.