Leader of the Pack

Leader of the Pack

Book by Anne Beatts
Based on original play by Melanie Mintz
Music and lyrics by Ellie Greenwich and Friends
By arrangement with Dominie Pty Ltd

Season November 1997
Venue Belconnen Theatre

TheStory

Leader of the Pack is a celebration of Ellie Greenwich as a songwriter and a person.

We see Ellie first as a teenage member of The Jivettes during the late 1950's. Even at this early stage Ellie has obvious desires to make it big in the recording scene. As usual though, mothers have other ideas and Rosie insists on Ellie finishing her schooling and having a teaching degree to fall back on in the fickle world of music.

Ellie does finish school, but heads to The Brill Building on Broadway New York in pursuit of her musical dream. She takes a job as a songwriter for the Brill Building's key producer, Gus Sharkey and never continues with her teaching studies.

Fellow songwriter Jeff Barry meets up with Ellie in the Brill Building and after a whirlwind romance they marry and make wonderful music together.

At the pinnacle of their partnership Jeff decides that Ellie should start to concentrate more on the domestic issues and leave the musical productions to him. This does not fit with Ellie's plan at all and she refuses to surrender her role in the song writing partnership.

Jeff cannot handle this and the resulting divorce throws Ellie into the depths of despair. She suffers a nervous breakdown and the haunting song Rock of Rages expresses her sadness and torment at this time.

But time heals all and we see the show transfer back to present day, with Ellie once again in control of her life and writing wonderful songs again. The show finishes with Ellie and friends re-living some of the great songs and leaving us lifted to new heights!

ProductionTeam

Director Ian Davenport
Musical Director Garrick Smith
Choreographer Natalie Antoine
Production Manager Ian Davenport
Stage Manager Peter Harding
Assistant Stage Manager Mark Wilson
Set Design Michael Winters
Costume Design Margaret Prideaux
Lighting Design Alex Hildyard, Travis Harpley
Sound Design Peter Harding

Cast

Ellie Greenwich Susannah Gallie
Jeff Barry Steve Herczeg
Darlene Love Mimma Furlan
Annie Golden Jenny Hill
Shelly Amy Sydney
Mickey Susan Davenport
Rosie Greenwich Barbara Sekuless
Gus Sharkey Kevin Gill
Waitress Belle Sewell
Lounge Singer Megan Shaw
Girls and Backup singers Tempe Archer, Jenna Arnold-Haynes, Anita Davenport, Susan Davenport, Jo Lawrence, Andrea McKibben, Sharyn Phillips, Barbara Sekuless, Belle Sewell, Megan Shaw, Amy Sydney
Boys and Bikies Matt Collins, Rodwell Faulkner, Steve Herczeg, Jack Holden, Paul Lukeman, Taimus Werner-Gibbings

Orchestra

Electronic Musical Sequencing/Keyboard Operation Garrick Smith

Awards

Canberra Area Theatre AwardsNominations

Best Musical  
Best Musical Director Garrick Smith
Best Choreography Natalie Antoine
Best Actress in a Musical Susannah Gallie