Theatre Club Luncheon
Coralie Wood Publicity
Guest Speakers: Nancye Hayes & Todd McKenney
Compered by Bill Stephens – Canberra City News
Bosom Buddies ACT Inc
Crowne Plaza Hotel 6 December
Report by Len Power
Coralie Wood, Canberra’s publicist extraordinaire, presented a Theatre Club luncheon at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Civic. Part of the proceeds from the lunch went to ‘Bosom Buddies ACT Inc.’, the local charity that supports women living with breast cancer.
The lunch was compered by Canberra City News’s Bill Stephens. Guest speakers at the lunch were theatre icons, Nancye Hayes and Todd McKenney who showed that they were indeed long-time bosom buddies with a fascinating talk about their joint theatre experiences. Both very entertaining speakers, their stories about things going wrong on stage were hysterically funny.
Nancye Hayes started in the chorus of the first production of ‘My Fair Lady’ in Australia and got her big break in 1967 playing Charity Hope Valentine in the musical, ‘Sweet Charity’. Since then she’s been in just about every musical of importance and continues to wow audiences with her fine performances. Off stage, she’s very friendly, approachable and down-to-earth. She’s even had a theatre named after her – the Hayes Theatre in Sydney.
Todd McKenney has been performing professionally since 1983 in shows such as ‘42nd Street’, ‘Singin’ In The Rain’ and ‘La Cage Aux Folles’. He rose to fame in 1998 with his portrayal of Peter Allen in the highly successful Australian musical, ‘The Boy From Oz’. He’s a really easy-going guy with a delightfully wicked sense of humour.
Nancye and Todd worked together in ‘42nd Street’, ‘Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks’ and the 2012 production of ‘Annie’. In that one, along with Chloe Dallimore, they stopped the show with their performance of the song ‘Easy Street’.
During the luncheon, Nancye and Todd announced that they will be teaming up in 2018 to perform in a new autobiographical show called, coincidentally, ‘Bosom Buddies’. After hearing some of their stories during lunch, this will be a show not to miss. It will be at the Canberra Theatre Centre in May next year.
The stars finished up their talk with a very funny, personalized version of the song ‘You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me’ from ‘42nd Street’. It will be heard in their ‘Bosom Buddies’ show in 2018.
Oh, yes, and the buffet lunch at the Crowne Plaza gets a good review from me, too. According to Todd McKenney, Nancye Hayes was up all night making the sandwiches!