Magnormos

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Magnormos is an independent musical theatre production company based in Melbourne, Australia, that specialises in producing musicals written by Australian writers, and landmark international works.

In May 2010 Magnormos staged the Australasian premiere of Broadway musical title of show, which was well received by the critics,[1] and led to members of the Broadway company (Jeff Bowen, Heidi Blickenstaff and Michael Berresse) flying to Melbourne to see the production for a specially added matinee performance which also included a question and answer session. The Q&A session was attended by Tony Award winner Geoffrey Rush.[2] Media personality Julia Zemiro was impressed with the production and said, "Magnormos has always stood for excellence. With [title of show], they have surpassed themselves." A return season was announced shortly after to play in August 2010, following a brief tour to regional city Frankston.

Also In 2010, Magnormos produced A Sondheim Triptych to celebrate the 80th birthday of Stephen Sondheim. The Triptych included presentations of Saturday Night, Merrily We Roll Along, and Anyone Can Whistle. The 2010 season concluded with the annual OzMade Musicals showcase on November 15, for the first time presented at Melbourne's iconic Comedy Theatre.

The Magnormos 2011 season includes the Melbourne premiere of The Hatpin, and the world premiere of flowerchildren - the mamas and papas story starring Matt Hetherington, Laura Fitzpatrick, Dan Humphris and Casey Donovan as Mama Cass. Another triptych at Melbourne Recital Centre celebrated the career of Jerry Herman.[3]

In 2013 the company staged a commercial season of flowerchildren - the mamas and papas story and will present a Stephen Schwartz celebration triptych in September featuring Godspell, Pippin and Children of Eden, with the composer himself in attendance.

History[edit]

Magnormos was founded in 2002 by Aaron Joyner.[4] The inaugural production was Stephen Schwartz's 'working' at the Athenaeum Theatre as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival. The production was an Australian adaptation by Aaron Joyner, with permission and involvement by Stephen Schwartz himself.

Magnormos produces the annual OzMade Musicals concert, the Prompt Musical Program, the Musical Theatre Readings Program and Musical Theatre Trivia Nights.[5]

OzMade Musicals[edit]

OzMade Musicals[6] is an annual gala concert of Australian musical theatre. The first OzMade was in 2003 at Theatre Works in St Kilda, and the newly opened Federation Square. In 2004 it was held at the BMW Edge, Federation Square and in 2005 it moved back to Theatre Works where it played until 2006. In 2007, for the fifth birthday of Magnormos, OzMade Musicals was moved to the Athenaeum Theatre in Collins Street Melbourne, where it also played in 2008. In 2010 it will be held in the Comedy Theatre Melbourne.

OzMade Musicals debuts new musicals through the 'On The Drawing Board' program. Submissions are accepted across Australia, and successful applicants are provided with development assistance and then presented as a fifteen-minute segment at the concert.

Existing musicals are celebrated as 'OzMade Flashbacks', one song highlights from Australian musicals that have been performed.

Musicals which have been presented in OzMade Musicals concert's include Paris, Metro Street, Eurobeat, and Virgins.

Productions[edit]

Until 2007, Magnormos predominantly presented readings of musicals, and these included Stephen Sondheim's Saturday Night, Mel Brooks' Archy & Mehitabel, Craig Christie's Water Into Wine and Peter Pinne's A Bunch of Ratbags.

From 2007, Magnormos shifted to producing full productions again under the name of the Prompt! Musicals Program. Musicals shown through Prompt! include Mary Bryant (Nick Enright/David King), Life's A Circus (Anthony Costanzo), Love Equals (Craig Christie/Kristin Keam), Flora the Red Menace (John Kander/Fred Ebb/David Thompson) and The Thing About Men (Joe DiPietro/Jimmy Roberts).

As of 2010, with the Australasian premiere of [ title of show ], Magnormos stopped using the Prompt Musicals tag for its full productions. In 2011 Magnormos produced the Melbourne premiere of The Hatpin and the world premiere of flowerchildren - the mamas and papas story.

Another initiative of Magnormos was the presentation of writers triptychs. The first was A Sondheim Triptych in 2010 to celebrate the 80th birthday of Stephen Sondheim. This event included one-night -only presentations of three Sondheim musicals across three consecutive Mondays: Saturday Night, Merrily We Roll Along and Anyone Can Whistle. In 2011 Magnormos presented a Jerry Herman Triptych which included Milk and Honey, Dear World and Hello, Dolly!

Other productions include an orchestral concert of Kevin Purcell and Victor Kazans 'Rebecca - the Musical', and workshops of new musicals 'Flowerchildren' (Peter Fitzpatrick) and 'Better Than Broadway' (Melvyn Morrow, David Mitchel, Ray Cook).

Artists[edit]

Many Australian musical theatre stars have appeared on the Magnormos stage including Toni Lamond, Tony Sheldon, Nancye Hayes, Silvie Paladino, Anne Wood, Terence Donovan, Michael Cormick, Robert Grubb, Shaun Murphy, Sally Bourne, Jane Badler, Matt Hetherington, Chelsea Plumley, Casey Donovan, Jessica Featherby and many more.

Magnormos has been aligned with Theatre Works since 2003. Other supporters include the City of Port Phillip.

References[edit]

External links[edit]