Harvest Rain has come a long way – from the 350 seater Cremorne Theatre, to the 850 seater Playhouse, to the 1600 seater Concert Hall. And with more to come, Tim O'Connor hinted at the beginning of the 2014 season launch.
But first Angela Harding and Ian Stenlake with a cast of singers and dancers gave us a selection from "Guys and Dolls" which is to open the 2014 season, in the Concert Hall. And the surprise addition to the cast is Darryl Summers, no less, playing Nicely Nicely Johnson. Already there was a buzz through the delighted audience. Great music, great dancers, terrific lead singers. A great start to the season.
But wait, there is more. Would you believe an arena performance in the Convention Centre of Cats, starring Marina Prior, and a cast of 500 performers?
Harvest Rain was showcasing its innovative intern program, as dozens of energetic and enthusiastic young people in cat mode danced and sang a storm on stage, and later mingled with the audience in the foyer. Marina Prior sang "Memories" and showed us that she has still "got it" in spades, even if, as she confided, her first performance of "Cats" on stage was in 1987.
Top that if you can. Well it would be hard, but on stage comes a wacky bunch of soldiers, followed by Simon Gallagher and Jon English, to launch "Spamalot" to a roar of approval from the delighted audience. And as if that isn't enough, Julie Antony and Simon Gallagher sing a "Song which Goes Like This" and everyone, audience included, joins in "Always look on the Bright Side of Life".
I, for one, am convinced that this has all the makings of the biggest and best season of musical theatre that Harvest Rain has ever had. We will keep you posted.