Arts & Entertainment

Dear World

Genevieve Lemon

When the first production of Dear World played New York in 1969 the reception was lukewarm. With songs by Jerry Herman, who at that stage was at the very top of his craft, it perhaps suffered by comparison with his other contemporary works, Mame and Hello Dolly. Based on The Madwoman of Chaillot, it’s a stark contrast with the heroine living in a Paris sewer. Apparently, Herman never intended the piece to be a commercial success, claiming “there are times when you should just do something you love and believe in.” Today it has something of a cult following amongst Broadway aficionados and Neglected Musical brings it to the Hayes Theatre for two performances only.

Producer Michelle Guthrie is a big fan of the musical, as well as the rapid-fire process that brings it to the stage. “It is strictly script in hand with one days rehearsal, and only two performances,” said Guthrie. Having assembled some remarkable talent including Simon Burke, Genevieve Lemon and Amanda Bishop, it’s a very special audience experience. “It’s fun to be part of,” says Guthrie. “You feel like you’re on the ride with the cast”.

Pitched as the ensemble piece that Herman had originally intended, the sparse accordion accompaniment evokes the streets of Paris. Michelle described: “The music is amazing, the script is gorgeous and it is very, very funny.”

August 3, 2pm and 8pm. Hayes Theatre Co, 19 Greenknowe Ave, Potts Point. $40. Tickets & info: hayestheatre.com.au or 80657337

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