Marketing the Second Coming of Christ – DreamSong: A New Musical

By Jack Fowles

What if I told you there is a fantastic new Australian musical gracing a stage near you? … You might feel surprised. After all, how often do they come along? But what if I also told you that it’s about an evangelical mega church that, having lost millions in the finandreamsongcial struggle of the Global Financial Crisis, decide to fraudulently stage the second coming of Jesus Christ and market him as a Christian pop star in a ploy to make millions?! … Well, you might think I’m pulling your leg. But I’m not.

Though the concept may seem a little bizarre on paper, the new musical “DreamSong” by Hugo Chiarella and Robert Tripolino has done just that! And done it with flair! In a market that is too thin on new Australian musicals as it is, it was with warm welcome that the public was introduced to DreamSong at the World Premiere last night. Presenting a wickedly satirical view of an Australian evangelical church, DreamSong led its audience on a winding path of religion and corruption and Christian pop culture. Though the show hasn’t been marketed on the same scale as some of its national competitors, it has managed to develop quite a following through social media and word-of-mouth. A medium that will only continue to grow for them as more go to see it!

One particularly clever move by the creative team was in their choice to invite some members of the audience up on stage to join in the action during the show. Not only does it give people a chance to be even more immersed in the story, they will also leave with a deeply unique experience (and one that hopefully inspires them to pass on the good word!). But DreamSong has done more so than just that. Importantly, as a product, it has been marketed not only as a new musical, but a new Australian musical. This only sets it a part more so. That, in combination with its involvement with the Melbourne Comedy Festival, should serve it well!

Directed by Dean Bryant (Next to Normal, The Producers) and choreographed by Andrew Hallworth (The Producers, The Boy From Oz), DreamSong is currently on at Theatre Works, St Kilda as part of the International Melbourne Comedy Festival. The musical was originally developed at the Victorian College of the Arts, but has now taken its full form with a lively and talented cast. Here is your opportunity to support Australian musicals – but best be quick, DreamSong will close April 20.

9th – 20th April
Theatre Works, St Kilda