There is only one more week left to see the Australian premiere of Half Time, a new musical directed by Helen Dallimore and starring some of Australia’s most treasured performers including Nancye Hayes AM, Stefanie Jones, Donna Lee, Wendy-Lee Purdy and more.
Half Time is the true story of ten ordinary seniors with extraordinary dreams who audition to dance at halftime for a major basketball team. Only after making the cut do they learn they won’t be dancing tap, salsa, or swing – instead, they will bring down the house with a style that is entirely new to them: hip-hop.
“What a thrill to be back on stage at the Hayes in the new musical Half Time. A show about not acting your age. How could I resist! Especially as I will be joined by some friends with whom I last performed in the original production of Chicago 40 year ago – Dolores Dunbar and Joy Miller. So many of the cast and the creative team have been colleagues, and I so look forward to working with this truly impressive line-up. Some challenges to conquer but we will all be forgetting our age and loving it,” said Nancye Hayes AM.
The month-long Australian premiere season features Gabrielle Chan (Chimerica, Australian Graffiti), Lena Cruz (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Shortland Street), actor and director Dolores Dunbar (Funny Girl, My Fair Lady), Jaime Hadwen (Bring It On the Musical, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), dancer Chaska Halliday (Pippin, Velvet), stage royalty Nancye Hayes AM, Stefanie Jones (Muriel’s Wedding, Once The Musical), showbiz veteran Donna Lee (Oklahoma, Les Miserables, Beauty and the Beast), stage and TV star Joy Miller, acclaimed West End performer Wendy-Lee Purdy plus Zoe Carides, Deni Gordon, Coby Njoroge, Eric Rasmussen, Tom Sharah and Monica Sayers.
The creation of Half Time began in 2008 when Tony Award winning producer and documentary filmmaker Dori Berinstein arrived to film auditions for the New Jersey Nets’ first ever ‘over 60’ dance team, the NETSationals. Following a meticulous documentation of the senior dance team and their performances, she created the film Gotta Dance, which debuted with a massively successful Tribeca Film Festival run before opening to the public in 2009.
When developing Gotta Dance, Berinstein quickly realized there was a potential theatrical life in this story beyond the big screen. Having had produced Broadway smashes Legally Blonde and Thoroughly Modern Millie, Berinstein reshaped the documentary into a narrative, musical theatre feature and in 2015, Berinstein’s anticipated stage adaptation of Gotta Dance was renamed Half Time and premiered in Chicago.