||This article may be written from a fan's point of view, rather than a neutral point of view. (May 2011)|
14 January 1969 |
Mackay, Queensland, Australia
|Occupation||Director, choreographer, producer, actor, presenter|
Drew Anthony (born 14 January 1969) is an Australian performer, director, choreographer and producer. He is currently the associate artistic director for David Atkins Enterprises (DAE) and was the associate artistic director for the Ceremonies of the 12th Arab Games, Doha 2011, Rugby World Cup 2011, and the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony, in Vancouver. Anthony directed the Sony IFA event in Berlin, Germany and the Olivia Newton-John and Friends charity gala event at the State Theatre in Sydney.
Anthony was born in Mackay, Queensland, and raised on the Gold Coast with his four brothers and sisters. At the age of 4, he had his first dance lesson. During his childhood years, and while a student at Currumbin SPS and later Palm Beach Currumbin State High, he performed in many musicals for the local Spotlight Theatre Company and won numerous trophies and awards in local dance competitions. Anthony gained notoriety when, in 1984, he won the Fred Astaire International Jazz and Tap Championship in New York City in both the tap and jazz finals for his age group. This experience was the beginning of his love affair with New York City and cemented his passion for musical theatre.
While still a student in Queensland, and in his early teens, Anthony sang, danced and acted in a number of concerts, corporate shows and local theatre restaurants. At 16 years old, he was given an opportunity to join the famous Regmat Productions in Australia's (then) only casino, Wrest Point Hotel Casino in Hobart, Tasmania, as a dancer. After six months he returned to Queensland and immediately received a phone call from the producers of the J.C. Williamson production of Me and My Girl (directed by Mike Ockrent) offering him, without audition, an ensemble role for the Australian tour on the recommendation of Australian showbusiness legend Sheila Bradley, with whom he had performed a few years earlier in Brisbane.
After finishing his contract with Me and My Girl, Drew was cast in a succession of Australian musical theatre productions including Cats (musical), Rasputin, 42nd Street (musical) and Hot Shoe Shuffle. He was a member of the notorious Pardon Me Boys with Ignatius Jones and made regular appearances on variety television programs Midday, Good Morning Australia and Mornings with Kerri-Anne. He has appeared in Home and Away, Dirtwater Dynasty, Logie Awards, Royal Command Performances and worked on the Kennedy Miller hit feature film Happy Feet. He continues to perform and recently played The Narrator in Stephen Sondheim's Putting it Together.
Anthony's choreographic credits include the Australian musicals Jolson, Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story and the world premiere of the West End theatre musical Jailhouse Rock: The Musical and the John Williamson (singer) Australian folk musical Quambatook (which costarred his son, Benson). He chorographed Orpheus in the Underworld for Opera Australia, segments of Red Hot and Rhonda for Rhonda Burchmore and Young Judy for Rachael Beck.
Most recently, Anthony directed the Sony IFA event in Berlin, Germany and the Olivia Newton-John and Friends charity gala event at the State Theatre in Sydney. The night raised money for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre Appeal. The line-up included Christine Anu, Carl Barron, Daryl Braithwaite, Kate Ceberano, Chantelle Delaney, Tim Freedman, Mark Gable (The Choirboys), Todd McKenney, Ian Moss, Paulini, Carl Riseley, Melinda Schneider, James Reyne, Guy Sebastian, Tempus, Axle Whitehead and the Brent Street Dancers along with the 25-piece Symphony Orchestra.
In June 2008, Anthony wrote and directed A Musical Send Off, an all-star concert to benefit the Australian Paralympic Team, which raised over $100,000. A critic wrote:
"If any of the other charity benefits that hit Sydney each year wanted to really learn how to do a benefit properly, organisers should have been well and truly present last night at the Capitol Theatre for the spectacular A Musical Send Off, a charity benefit to assist the Paralympic team go to Beijing later in the year."
Anthony served as associate director on the Australian national tours of Pirates of Penzance, Me and My Girl, Jolson (Mo Award Nomination), 42nd Street, Singin' in the Rain and the US and UK tours of Hot Shoe Shuffle.'
Anthony has worked on countless corporate and large-scale events, both in Australia and overseas. He was associate director of the closing ceremony for the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics and in 2006 relocated to Doha, Qatar, as the associate artistic director of the largest entertainment event staged in the world, the 2006 Asian Games. He most recently served as the associate artistic director for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, Vancouver 2010.
Anthony appeared as the Australian Olympic team mascot at the Seoul 1988 Summer Olympics – recreated the famous 'Dancin Man' character to lead the VP Day Parade through the streets of Sydney – received a Mo Award nomination for 'Achievement in Musical Theatre' – taught 5000 people, in Melbourne's Federation Square, the famous Gene Kelly routine from Singin' in the Rain to open the 2003 'Dancin in the Streets' arts festival.