Hugh Jackman shows his fancy footwork in new commercial!

Hugh, from all of us at the ABN…. please come back to Broadway!


A msg from PRODUCTION COMPANY Artistic Director – Mark Armstrong

As an Australian in NY, I thought I would reach out to you and tell you a little bit about
my theater company, The Production Company. The home for contemporary Australian
theater in America, we have produced more Australian playwrights than any other
American theater company. The Production Company fosters challenging new work
for the theater by United States and Australian playwrights. By invigorating artistic
exchange between these countries, The Production Company provokes audiences to
consider the relationship between the US and Australia and the broader issue of cross-
cultural exchange. In addition to exploring cross-cultural connections between the US
and Australia, this work inspires artists to deepen the relationships they build with
collaborators in the these countries as well.
If you’re feeling a longing for some Australian culture – come see our amazing 2010/
11 season. We are busily preparing for our world premier production of Goodbye
New York, Goodbye Heart by Lally Katz, which will open on November 30th at HERE
Arts Center and run through December 21st! Last season’s The Angel in the Trees (a
collaboration between playwright Dan O’Brien and actor Jessica Dickey) was so popular
that we’ve decided to bring it back this season for a return engagement. 2010/11 will be
our biggest season yet!!
On October 18th, we’ll be throwing a fabulous party in honor of Goodbye New York,
Goodbye Heart, and we would love for you to come. You might have already heard about
this event, but we’ve changed the venue! The party will be at Klimat at 77 East 7th Street,
beginning at 7PM. For $25 you will receive entrance to the event, the chance to sample
scrumptious appetizers and an open bar and drink specials. You can look forward to
several mini-premiers of performances penned by some of the hottest US and Australian
playwrights (Bekah Brunstetter, Van Badham and more), a live band. If you can muster a
little more, for $75 you can enjoy an open bar all night long and one free raffle ticket. In
addition to performances, we’ll have a silent auction and raffle going all night with prizes
to include dinners at some of NYC’s best restaurants, great shows, and other exciting
Let us help you unwind after work. Come have a beer, enjoy a snack, meet some other
Aussie expats, be entertained and talk to us about our upcoming season. We’re not going
to be able to pull this off without the help of supporters like you, so if you can’t join us
for the gala on October 18, please make a donation in support of the event, which will be
subject to a matching grant and help us pull off this ambitious season.
We truly appreciate your support and enthusiasm, and now it’s back to work! See you on
October 18!
Mark Armstrong
Artistic Director

ROCK OF AGES – The Australian Connection

ABN founding member MiG Ayesa stars as “Stacee Jaxx” in the 1st US National Tour of ROCK OF AGES which opened in Chicago last night, 21 September, 2010 at the Bank Of America Theatre to a full capacity crowd. MiG was joined by Tony Award Nominee, Constantine Maroulis who left the Broadway production for the tour. Mitchell Jarvis, who created the role of “Lonny” on Broadway and is currently playing the role of “Stacee Jaxx” in the New York production, stepped into replace Patrick Lewallan, who had been cast as Lonny for the tour, while he recovers from laryngitis. Lewallen is expected to make a full recovery and join the show in a few days.

The rest of the cast includes Nick Cordero as “Dennis”, Rebecca Faulkenberry as “Sherrie”, Teresa Stanley as “Justice”, Casey Tuma as “Regina”, Bret Tuomi as “Hertz” and Travis Walker as “Franz”. The ensemble comprises Angela Brydon, Joey Calveri, Daniel Luis Domenech, Lindsay Janisse, Sean Jenness, Holly Laurent, Lauralynn McClelland, Rashad Naylor, Josh Sassanella and Erika Shannon.

The Rock of Ages tour reunites original director, Tony nominee Kristin Hanggi, and choreographer Kelly Devine. The musical was penned by Chris D’Arienzo and features music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations by Ethan Popp.

The design team includes Beowulf Boritt (scenic design), Gregory Gale (costume design), Jason Lyons (lighting design), Peter Hylenski (sound design) and Zachary Borovay (projection design).

Featuring a score compiled of hits from the 1980s, including “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn,” “Oh, Sherrie” and “We Built This City,” Rock of Agesoriginally premiered Off-Broadway at New World Stages in October 2008. The musical transferred to the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on Broadway in March 2009, earning five Tony nominations including Best Musical, Best Direction, and Best Actor for Maroulis. The musical continues to play the Atkinson.

Here’s how producers bill Rock of Ages: “In 1987 on the Sunset Strip, a small-town girl met a big-city dreamer — and in L.A.’s most legendary rock club, they fell in love to the greatest songs of the ’80s. It’s Rock of Ages, a hilarious, feel-good love story told through the hit songs of iconic rockers Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner, Pat Benatar, Whitesnake, and many more. Don’t miss this awesomely good time where big hair meets big dreams and the result totally wails.”

Rock of Ages is produced on tour by Matthew Weaver, Carl Levin, Jeff Davis, Barry Habib, Scott Prisand, Janet Billig Rich, Hillary Weaver, Relativity Media and The Araca Group.

The production will play Chicago through to 3 October, when it then moves to Boston and then continue around the USA.

For more details and the full itinerary visit or visit MiG at his website at

Meet new member – Benjamin Howes

BENJAMIN HOWES:  Benjamin was born and raised in Sydney and has lived in New York since 1999.  In Australia, his credits include Les Miserables, Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors and several productions of Grease. He was also dance captain and assistant director on Wayne Harrison and Kim Walker’s production of Lift Off Live, and toured Australia for a while as B2 in Bananas In Pyjamas.  Benjamin was also a member of contemporary dance company, Darc Swan.

Originally, Benjamin moved to New York to study at HB Studio for a year, but a green card has kept him working in the US.  Benjamin was standby for Hunter and Jeff in both the Broadway and Off Broadway productions of [title of show], and you can see him in a couple of [title of show] show episodes as the doctor treating Mindy in the Puppet Intensive Care Unit, and arresting Allison Janney.  Other Off Broadway credits include the Mint Theatre and Encores! At City Centre in Girl Crazy.

Regional credits include the world premiere of Douglas Carter Beane’s Dancing In The Dark at the Old Globe as Hal Meadows, Goodspeed Opera House, St. Louis Rep., Milwaukee Rep., North Shore Music Theatre, Skylight Opera Theatre and many more.

On television Benjamin has played Clive, the Australian dancing bully on Flight of the Conchords; Richard, the grumpy homeowner with a serial killer’s scrapbook in his attic on Law and Order: Criminal Intent; and a small but glamourous recurring role on One Life To Live as Harvey DeWitt/Alma Children, the Shakespeare-reciting drag queen.

Currently, Benjamin is touring the US in Shrek The Musical and teaching master classes in acting technique and song interpretation.  Visit him on the web at

Meet new member – Liana Jessop

Liana Jessop Born in NYC, raised in Australia, Liana returned to the States in 2008 following a contract as lead vocalist for Tokyo Disney’s Big Band Beat. A graduate of The Arts Academy, University of Ballarat and The Australian Film and Television Academy, Liana made her her New York debut in the 2009 Fringe Encore Series’ I Can has Cheezburger: the MusicLOL, and followed with the sell-out NYMF 09 season of The Cure. International credits include Songs for a New WorldCompany (Susan), Merrily We Roll Along (Beth), Half a Sixpence (Ann), My Fair Lady and the Australian Premiere of Jekyll and Hyde.

Promises Promises to close January 2nd, 2011

After 9 months of near sell-out houses and $25 million in gross receipts “Promises, Promises”, with our very own Seán Martin Hingston playing Mr. Eichelberger, will shutter on January 2nd, 2011.  , With a score by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, “Promises, Promises” has become a juggernaut hit at The Broadway Theater.  During the early summer Sean was joined in the show by ABN co-founder Simone De La Rue.  “To say our success is a surprise is an understatement.”  Sean tells us.  “Producers in town are scratching their heads but we knew from the amazing audience reaction every night and the throngs of fans at the stage door trying to get a glimpse of Kristin and Sean Hayes,  that we were golden.  Now everyone is trying to emulate the Promises formula.”  Of his cast mates he says, “This has been one of the most hilarious experience I’ve had in the theatre”.  You can read a great interview with Seán at

Carmel Dean featured on American Theatre Wing