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Australian broadcasting legend Alan Jones will demonstrate his singing skills when he makes his musical theatre debut in a new Australian production of Annie - The Musical.
Jones will star alongside Anthony Warlow, Todd McKenney and Nancye Hayes in producer John Frost's latest show.
The musical marks a return to the role of Daddy Warbucks for Warlow, who played the character in a 2000 production of Annie, about an orphan girl taken in by the multi-millionaire in Depression-era New York.
"It was a wonderful experience then. People say never work with children and animals, but in this case the children were wonderful," Warlow said.
Jones, who will perform a musical number in his role as president Roosevelt, was handpicked by Frost, who advised he had Jones in mind from the early casting days.
"I wanted to pull a rabbit out of the hat in a way," Frost said.
In a video message played at the show's launch on Monday, NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell said he couldn't believe Frost had taken Jones on, "because he never ever takes direction".
Jones talked down his part in the production, requesting news media to direct questions to "the stars" of the show.
He said he just hoped he could do the role justice.
"I have a lot of good people to help me. I hope I'm going to do alright and not let the team down," he said.
Frost, who is the man behind the smash hit Australian productions of Wicked, Chicago and Phantom of the Opera, is confident Jones will not need any acting or singing lessons, despite having no previous theatrical experience.
Frost knows Jones is a safe bet.
"He's full of confidence and he holds a tune well," he said.
"If anything I'd love to put another song in for him, but I can't."
He said the show will be a true performance of the original stage production.
"The timing now is right to bring it back. With a fresh cast, I think it's got a good chance of being a great success," Frost said.
The battle for the Australian entertainment dollar continues, and certainly Sydney's The Star is going full speed ahead and betting that world class entertainment will remain paramount in the quest to bring more punters to land based casinos and entertainment complexes.
Media blurb we secured...
The timeless tale of Little Orphan Annie is back, giving a whole new generation the chance to experience this classic musical about never giving up hope. Boasting one of Broadway's most memorable scores, including It's the Hard-Knock Life, Easy Street, N.Y.C. and the ever-optimistic Tomorrow, Annie is one of the most awarded and loved musicals of all time. Reprising one of his all-time favourite roles as the charismatic and sophisticated New York ‘zillionaire' Daddy Warbucks, is Anthony Warlow. He will be joined by the ever-popular Nancye Hayes playing everyone's favourite villain, Miss Hannigan. Todd McKenney, Chloë Dallimore and Julie Goodwin also bring their talents to this delightful musical. And in a special treat, radio star Alan Jones will join the cast in the role of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
A MESSAGE FROM PRODUCER JOHN FROST
It gives me great pleasure to bring ANNIE back to Australian audiences. When I produced this show 12 years ago I was overwhelmed by the response it received. ANNIE is such a well known, well loved production that appeals to so many different age groups. Its popularity means that it is staged once a year in many countries around the world, and I have no doubt that the Australian audiences are well and truly ready to see it again.
This time around, I am especially delighted to be able to work once more with Australia's favourite leading man, Anthony Warlow and theatrical legend Nancye Hayes.
To be taking this wonderful show and the star studded cast on tour in 2012 presents a unique and exciting opportunity to reach a new generation of Australians and it gives me enormous pleasure to think that people Australia wide will again be able to experience this special production.
Annie The Musical
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Eva Rinaldi Photography
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