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The Boy from Oz – original company virtual reunion fundraiser

Todd McKenney as Peter Allen

The Boy From Oz – Original Company I Go To Rio Virtual Reunion was launched today as a fundraiser for the Actors Benevolent Fund of NSW

The Original production of Gale Edward’s musical made its World Premiere in 1998. This year is the 20th anniversary of the closing of Ben Gannon’s and Robert Fox’s record-breaking home-grown production based on the life Peter Allen who died 28 years ago.

The purpose of this virtual reunion of the original company of the production, dancing to I Go To Rio, is a celebration of the Australian arts community, an empowering trip down memory lane with the original cast, crew and creatives: a reminder that life in the arts is a long, wonderful, sometimes heartbreaking journey.

In the words of Nick Enright, who wrote the book, “. . . you will have a wonderful life. There’ll be good bits and bad bits, but you will make the most of every moment. You will tell your life like a story and it’ll be a real adventure . . .”

The adventure the industry is currently in, is navigating a nearly complete industry shutdown, a chapter akin to a ‘bad bit’.

The video will feature appearances by more than 103 members of the original cast, crew and creatives.

Fundamentally, The Boy from Oz, was conceived as a valentine to Peter Allen - one of the greatest entertainers that Australia has produced. His death in 1992 at the age of 48 prompted an outpouring of grief throughout the world, such was his irrepressible wit and electrifying presence as a singer, dancer and songwriter.

The catchy, flamboyant song I Go To Rio encapsulated Allen’s sheer exuberance and sense of fun yet his illustrious songbook is full of biographical gems, notably Tenterfield Saddler, I Honestly Love You, Quiet Please There’s a Lady on Stage and Don’t Cry Out Loud, plus, the Australian anthem I Still Call Australia Home.

The Boy from Oz with the Todd McKenney as Peter Allen, it struck an immediate chord with Australian audiences, for here was a wish-fulfilment story of underlying tragedy and struggle, but one that brought the entertainer’s survival instincts, indomitable spirit and charisma to the fore.

The musical was a huge hit. Audiences adored the stage celebration just as Allen had loved those closest to him and his devoted fans.

Globally the industry is navigating unprecedented times. Just like Peter Allen, The Boy From Oz always had a great sense of generosity, empathy, humanity and humour. And much hard work. So pull together, celebrate the industry, encourage support for the arts, and donate to the Actors Benevolent Fund of NSW.

New York based, Australian Performer and Editor, Ben McHugh, and Sydney based Music Producer, Sean Peter, are acknowledged for their huge contribution in creating this virtual video.

Video Link – Youtube “The Boy From Oz 2020”

Donate via ABF website: -

Donate via ABF direct contacts: - 02 9333 0915 /

ABF Instagram:- @abfnsw

ABF Facebook:- Actors Benevolent Fund

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