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Caroline O’Connor

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Caroline O’Connor

Roz Keith

Caroline O’Connor

Roz Keith

Caroline O’Connor has the kind of career most performers dream of. From the theatres of Broadway and the West End, to the world’s preeminent concert stages, Caroline’s international renown shines light not only on her immense creative skills and talent, but also her passion, dedication, boundless energy and sheer hard work. She remains one of the most respected, admired and sought after triple threats internationally. On Broadway, Caroline recently created the role of Lily Malevsky-Malevitch in the world premiere of the hit musical Anastasia (Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Award Nominee) followed by a season of The Rink in London’s Southwark Playhouse (Best Actress, Off West End awards). She is currently starring in the much anticipated Melbourne Theatre Company production of Kiss Of The Spiderwoman. Caroline began her professional career as a ballet dancer with the Australian Opera after studying at the esteemed Royal Ballet School in London. She went on to perform extensively throughout the UK and Europe, most notably making her West End leading lady debut in 1995 as Mabel Normand in Jerry Herman’s Mack and Mabel, earning her first Laurence Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. In Australia, Caroline’s credits are firmly stamped in theatrical history. Reviewing her starring role as Rose in The Production Company’s sell-out season of Gypsy, the Herald Sun wrote, “Gypsy is a star vehicle showcasing luminary Caroline O’Connor in a role that confirms her position in musical theatre royalty.” In addition to the recognition she received for her roles as Velma Kelly in Chicago (Mo Award, Green Room Award, Australian Dance Award), Anita in West Side Story (Mo Award, Green Room Award) and Aldonza in Man of La Mancha, Caroline also garnered accolades for her peerless interpreting of Edith Piaf in Piaf (Helpmann Award, Green Room Award), Judy Garland in the world premiere of End of the Rainbow (Helpmann Award, Sydney Stage Award) and Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes (Helpmann Award). She recently played Fanny Brice in Funny Girl (State Theatre, Melbourne) and created the roles of Polly/ Mary Douvan in the World Premiere of Dream Lover, the Bobby Darin Musical. Caroline came to world attention in 2001 as tango dancing Nini Legs in the Air in Baz Luhrmann’s Academy Award winning film Moulin Rouge. In 2002, Caroline made her Broadway debut as Velma Kelly in Chicago at the Shubert Theatre. Following rave reviews, her successful season was extended, and Caroline was later invited to perform at the show’s 10th Anniversary Galas in New York and London, alongside legends Chita Rivera and Joel Grey. The one-woman play Bombshells was commissioned by the Melbourne Theatre Company and written for Caroline by award-winning playwright Joanna Murray-Smith. It played seasons in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide, before touring to sell-out performances at the Edinburgh Festival, where it won the coveted Fringe First Award. It also played at the Arts Theatre in the West End, where Caroline received her second Laurence Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Play. Caroline has since taken Bombshells to America and Canada and it was filmed for Australian television. In 2008, distinguished Australian playwright David Williamson penned Scarlett O’Hara at the Crimson Parrot for Caroline. Caroline’s UK theatre credits include Life of the Party, Gypsy, Chicago, Romance Romance, West Side Story, Hot Stuff, Street Scene, Hold Tight it’s 60s Night, Budgie, Showboat, Talent, Baby, Salt of the Earth, Damn Yankees, A Chorus Line, Matador, Cabaret, Is There Life After High School, Me and My Girl and Into The Woods. In 2010 Caroline’s solo show The Showgirl Within was produced at London’s Garrick Theatre. Her US theatre credits include Sarah Jane Moore in Assassins (Milwaukee Rep), Phyllis in Follies (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), Bombshells (Milwaukee Rep), The Hatpin (NYMF) and her sold-out concert series The Girl from Oz at New York’s landmark jazz club, Birdland. Caroline starred in the English National Opera’s production of On the Town, and later in Paris at the Chatelet Theatre. She also had the honour of headlining both the BBC Proms’ Hooray for Hollywood concert and Stephen Sondheim’s 80th birthday celebration at the Royal Albert Hall. Caroline became the “toast of Paris” in La Monde when she played Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd at the Chatelet Theatre. Caroline has workshopped two new Broadway musicals with Woody Allen and Hal Prince, both directed by Susan Stroman, and in 2012 originated the Broadway role of Miss Shields in the Tony Award nominated A Christmas Story: The Musical at the Lunt Fontanne Theatre. She reprised the role the following year at Madison Square Garden, and went on to perform the musical’s showstopper You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out, to a televised audience of over seven million people at The 67th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall. In a role she seemed destined to play, Caroline was cast as Ethel Merman in the Cole Porter biopic De-Lovely, and starred in the Australian film Surviving Georgia. She portrayed Les Girls choreographer Sheila Cruz in the ABC television film Carlotta and has appeared in the cult comedy series Lowdown. Her many concert performances worldwide include From Broadway to La Scala (Australian national tour), From Broadway with Love (Sydney City Recital Hall), Bernstein’s New York with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (Sydney Opera House), Night of 1000 Voices Salute Kander and Ebb (Royal Albert Hall), A Tribute to the Musical (Palermo, Sicily), Hollywood Symphony (Lille, France), Charlie Chaplin’s Smile (Amsterdam) and Lincoln Center’s American Songbook, Andrew Lippa and Friends amongst many more. Caroline has recorded four solo CDs, What I did for Love, Stage to Screen, A Tribute to Piaf and A Tribute to Garland, and has appeared on numerous cast recordings and television variety programs.

Marina Prior

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Marina Prior

Violet Newstead

Marina Prior

Violet Newstead

Marina Prior is known as Australia’s Leading Lady of Musical Theatre. Marina’s first professional audition resulted in her first lead role, that of Mabel in the Victoria State Opera's The Pirates of Penzance. She was subsequently invited to perform the role of Guinevere opposite Richard Harris in Camelot. Since then she has performed over 30 lead roles in stage shows throughout Australia, possibly her most memorable being the role of Christine Daae in the original Australian production of The Phantom of the Opera, which she performed for three years. Her other roles include Jellylorum in the Australian premiere of Cats, Cosette in the Australian premiere of Les Misérables, Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes, Maria in West Side Story, Lily in The Secret Garden, Magnolia in Showboat, the title role of The Merry Widow, Jane Smart in The Witches Of Eastwick, Belinda Blair in the comedy Noises Off, Mary O’Hara in Harp On The Willow, Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun, Miss Adelaide in Guys And Dolls, Muriel Eubanks in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Mrs Banks in Mary Poppins, Baroness Schraeder in The Sound of Music, Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly and the roles of Polly and Mary in Dream Lover. For Melbourne Theatre Company, Marina has played the roles of Rona Lisa Peretti in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Elmire in The Hypocrite, Frances in Jumpy and Judith Bliss in Hay Fever. Marina has performed with symphony orchestras throughout Australia including a critically acclaimed Australasian concert tour with international tenor, José Carreras and international vocal group, Il Divo. She is also well known to television audiences through her appearances on such shows as Carols by Candlelight, as a judge on Channel Seven’s It Takes Two and as Iris in The ABC series The Divorce. Marina has recorded eight CDs: Leading Lady, Aspects of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Somewhere – The Songs of Sondheim and Bernstein, Both Sides Now, Encore, Candlelight Christmas, Together - a duet album with Mark Vincent, The Two of Us - a duet album with David Hobson and Marina, her self-titled album. In 1999, Marina was guest of honour for the television program This Is Your Life which paid tribute to her career so far. Over her career, she has received numerous awards including the Advance Australia Award for her contribution to the performing arts and was inducted into Australia’s 100 Entertainers of the Century. More recently, Marina played the role of Mrs Meers in Thoroughly Modern Millie for The Production Company.

Samantha Dodemaide

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Samantha Dodemaide

Judy Bernly

Samantha Dodemaide

Judy Bernly

Most recently Samantha appeared as one of the Merry Murderesses, as well as understudy to Roxie Hart in the Australian tour of Chicago (John Frost and Suzanne Jones). Prior to this Samantha captivated audiences as Elphaba in HOTA’s Wicked (HOTA/ Matt Ward Productions) and performed in the acclaimed production of Evita (GFO/ Opera Australia) in which she was understudy to Tina Arena’s Eva Peron. Samantha’s breakthrough role came as Dorothy in the 2017-18 Australian tour of The Wizard of Oz (GFO/ Suzanne Jones). Before heading down the “yellow brick road” Samantha was a part of the Australia/Japan tour of Singin' in the Rain as Kathy U/S (Michael Cassel/ Dainty Group) and starred as the title role in Violet (Blue Saint Productions), for which she was nominated for a 2015 Sydney Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Her other credits include Anything Goes as Erma and Reno U/S (GFO/ Opera Australia), Sweet Charity as Charity Hope Valentine U/S (Tinderbox/ Neil Gooding/ Luckiest Productions), A Chorus Line as Cassie, Diana, Maggie, Sheila, Judy U/S (TML), as well as ensemble member in Wicked (Universal Studios Japan), King Kong Live on Stage (Global Creatures), A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (GFO), The Producers (The Production Company) and Anything Goes (The Production Company). Samantha was the proud recipient of the prestigious Rob Guest Endowment in 2013.

Erin Clare

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Erin Clare

Doralee Rhodes

Erin Clare

Doralee Rhodes

Erin Clare is an accomplished actor, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She was awarded a full scholarship to attend LASALLE College of the Arts where she graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts, First Class Honours in Musical Theatre. During her time in Singapore, Erin had leading roles in The Spitfire Grill and Gypsy and toured South East Asia and Dubai. Since returning to Australia, Erin has played the title role in Snow White Winter Family Musical alongside Magda Szubanski, directed by Bonnie Lythgoe at the State Theatre. In 2015 she performed the leading role of Christine in The Phantom of the Opera directed by Neil Gooding, and Heather McNamara in the Australian premiere and subsequent tour of Heathers the Musical, presented by Showqueen Productions and directed by Trevor Ashley. Erin starred as the leading role of Scaramouche in GFO's production of We Will Rock You to critical acclaim, touring nationally with the production written and originally directed by Ben Elton. Erin was given the opportunity to sing the National anthem at the 2016 Golden Slipper and State of Origin at ANZ stadium, reaching millions of viewers in Australia and internationally. In 2017 Erin appeared as Marie Lasalle in High Fidelity for Neil Gooding Productions and Highway Run Productions at the Hayes Theatre Co, then in the following year, performed in American Idiot as Alysha for Shake & Stir and We Will Rock You as Scaramouche for PeeWee Productions. In early 2019, Erin appeared in BB Arts Entertainment and Two Doors Productions’ sold out season of American Psycho at the Hayes Theatre Co, receiving rave reviews. Following this Erin appeared as Alana Bentley in Australia’s best loved drama, Home and Away. Erin performs regularly in Sydney venues performing on her own music and collaborating with other established artists, and most recently featured on the song Bullet by MOOG, which shot to Top 10 positions all around the world, and number 1 on the Australian iTunes Electronic Charts.

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