Touted as a possible Broadway success even before its opening in Australia in
1998, The Boy from Oz -- the Australian-made musical about the life and times of
the late entertainer Peter Allen -- has been on a slow boat to the US.
Producer Ben Gannon has made numerous trips to the Big Apple sounding
out possible deals but, according to Todd McKenney, it has been difficult dealing with
American unions and red tape.
"I would hope to be doing it at some point late next year," he said, "but
getting a show on over there is a monumental task. Dealing with unions and other
organisations is not an ideal world to be in, I think.
"It's incredibly frustrating. It took eight months of deliberations
just to get (American Actors Equity) to let me in. Entire American casts come to
Australia and put on shows; we only wanted three people to go over with Boy and they
said no. That was very frustrating but if anyone can do it, Ben can. Ben is
McKenney said one of the great positive results from Boy's local
success was to give Australian-produced musicals a much needed boost.
"I think there was a period where everyone thought that all Australian
musicals should be like Seven Little Australians, with someone sticking chewy at
the end of a bed post," he said.
"One of the great things about Boy is that it will attract stories
from other sides of Australian life, it has generated a real confidence."