Richmond Triangle Players is ending its season with the spirited musical The Boy From Oz, a popular show that is selling out night after night.
The musical is based on the life and songs of Australian Oscar-winning singer/songwriter Peter Allen. The show takes us on Allen’s up-and-down, happy-and-tragic journey from growing up in Australia to performing with The Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. Allen always had the heart of a performer and the determination to make it big in entertainment. Growing up, he found support from his mother, but not his alcoholic father. That prompted the youngster to set out on his own early in life.
A chance meeting with the legendary Judy Garland led to Allen’s seven-year marriage to Garland’s daughter, singer/actress Liza Minnelli. Allen’s practice of suppressing his emotions and burying them in his work didn’t bode well for the marriage. After it ended, he announced he was gay and later met his partner Greg Connell.
Allen’s career soared over the years after a slow start. His song list includes “I Honestly Love You,” “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” “I Go to Rio” and the Oscar-winning theme from the film “Arthur,” “The Best That You Can Do (Is Fall in Love).”
This engaging show has lots of energy and pizazz. Jeanie Rule, who plays Allen’s mom, brings sincerity and understanding to the role. Her motherly persona is warm and caring.
Grey Garrett lives and breathes the role of Judy Garland. She has the looks, the mannerisms and the voice – and what a voice it is. When she belts out a song, you really feel like your watching Judy perform. She is credible and extremely talented.
Anna Grey Hogan takes on the role of Liza Minnelli like a pro. She is a mirror image of Liza and also has a voice that can shake the rafters. She has an honest chemistry with Chris Hester, who plays the central role of Peter Allen.
Hester is a dynamo in his portrayal of the bold and outspoken Allen. He moves through Allen’s life with grace and energy. He brings all of the self-reflection, creativity, spunk, talent, and flamboyance that was Peter Allen. He skillfully captures Allen’s more thoughtful moments as well as his never-ending moxie.
“The Boy From Oz” is a lively, entertaining show about living life before it escapes us. Hopefully, we all come away with that message. The show is is recommended for children about twelve and up. It runs through July 30 at Richmond Triangle Players’ theater at 1300 Altamount Avenue.
Reserved seat tickets ($35 for Fridays and Saturdays, $32 for Thursday and Sundays, with discounts for groups and students) can be purchased online at RTP’s web site at www.rtriangle.org, on RTP’s facebook page, or by leaving a message on the RTP Ticket hotline at 804-346-8113.