Friday, March 3, 2017

Elton Coming to Moscow, Darwin Starts Elton Concert Petition, Rocket Stage Planning New Musicals

Elton and the band will to return to Moscow, Russia on December 14 to perform at The Crocus City Hall.

WE’VE done it once — we can do it again.

The NT News today launches an online petition to get Sir Elton John to perform in the Territory.

Sir Elton announced the final city in his four-date Once In A Lifetime Australian tour this morning — and Darwin missed out.

Sir Elton will perform in Cairns, Mackay and Wollongong with the last city announced after print deadline.

In 2008 more than 5000 Territorians got behind a public campaign, spearheaded by the NT News, tobring the Crocodile Rock singer to perform at TIO stadium.

The NT government also contributed $60,000 in-kind support to lock in the show.

Chugg entertainment promoter Matthew Lazarus-Hall said for this tour Sir Elton wanted to perform in a few new places.

“Elton is a big show and he wanted to play new places but he’s already played in Darwin,” he said.

But Darwin Entertainment Centre general manager Alan James said initially it looked like he would be back in Darwin but logistics prevented the return of the star.

“We were heavily involved in trying to get Elton back to Darwin this year and at the end of it we were up against some major issues in terms of logistics,” Mr James said.

“If they could have been overcome he would have come.”

Mr James was involved in getting Elton to Darwin when he performed in 2008 to a crowd of more than 14,000.

“The stage came from Brisbane, seats came from Perth, production came from Sydney — it was a massive operation getting that stuff into Darwin.”

- NT News

Michael “Chuggi” Chugg might be an internationally renowned tour promoter, but he never forgets his home state.

Launceston-born Chugg is the force behind Sir Elton John’s recently announced Australian tour, Once in a Lifetime.

John will perform just four shows in Australia – all regional – including at the Derwent Entertainment Centre in Hobart on September 27.

Chugg said it had been 27 years since the maestro had performed in the city, despite doing two shows in Launceston in the past decade.

“We thought it was time to give the lower half of the state … a break,” Chugg said.

Chugg said the idea of a regional Australian tour was flagged when John was in the country in late 2015.

“So it was a great opportunity to get Tasmania in there,” Chugg said.

“I suggested that it be a good time to go back to Hobart. Being an ex-Tasmanian I like to try and get shows down here whenever I can.”

Chugg said he was unsure yet if he would accompany John to his homestate, but if he did, he had a clear list of things to do: visit friends and family, the East Coast, grab some seafood, and indulge in some Tasmanian wine.

Chugg left Tasmania for Melbourne in 1967, at the age of 20. Would he ever consider returning, to spend his twilight years here?

“To be quite honest with you, I don’t think I’ll ever retire,” he told The Sunday Examiner.

“When you’re doing something that you love it’s very hard to think about retiring.

“I don’t see it as a job, I’ve been doing it for 53 years now.”

Even after all the time, Chugg is still impressed with Australian music, citing Tash Sultana and his label’s own band The Griswolds as artists that were impressing overseas.

“There’s a lot going on worldwide and it’s great for Australian music,” he said.

“And Elton’s always been a huge supporter of Australian music. As soon as he gets off the plane, he and his assistant go to all the record bars and they buy up the latest Australian music.

“If people are out and about [in Hobart], they wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the local record bar buying the latest vinyl and the local Australian music.”

- Examiner

Elton John’s theatre company Rocket Stage has appointed Joseph Smith as producer.

Smith joins from Greene Light Stage, formerly Old Vic Productions, where he was executive producer for more than 10 years.

His appointment marks the first developments of Rocket Stage, which was set up in 2015 as a joint venture between Greene Light Stage and John’s entertainment company Rocket Pictures.

Formed by John, David Furnish of Rocket Pictures, and Sally Greene from Greene Light Stage, the company will focus on creating original productions featuring existing and new material by John.

Smith, who co-produced Billy Elliot the Musical for Green Light Stage, said: “I’m thrilled to be joining such an exciting company where I will be working with Elton John and David Furnish in developing and producing shows for Rocket Stage.

“Elton's music is truly iconic and his output is unrivalled as an artist so I can't wait to get started.”

Furnish added: “Joe brings his incredibly valuable experience to Rocket Stage at a key point in the company’s journey. We look forward to sharing more news on our projects in the near future.”

Rebecca Quigley has joined Greene light Stage as its chief executive, taking over Smith’s responsibilities.

Quigley, who was the managing director of Stage Entertainment UK until it closed its London office, said: “I’m delighted to be working with Sally Greene and the team at GLS.

“With so many exciting projects in development, I know the next few years are going to inspiring, stimulating and a lot of fun.”

Greene added: “I’m thrilled Rebecca is joining me at GLS; she brings a wealth of producing and management experience and I look forward to working alongside her in the next chapter of the company’s development.”

- The Stage

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