More Australian theatricals destined for the real world.
Michael Cormick jumped at the chance to play Judy Garland's lover, writes Bryce Hallett.
After months of treading the boards opposite Simon Callow and Anthony Andrews in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical The Woman in White, Michael Cormick went to South Africa to escape the tumult of London.
The first call came from a politely insistent Lloyd Webber who wanted him to return to London to sing the part of Rhett Butler for a recording of a new musical of Gone With the Wind. The second was from director/producer Wayne Harrison who asked him to appear with Caroline O'Connor in the bio-play about Judy Garland, End of the Rainbow.
In portraying Garland's zealously protective partner Mickey Deans, the singer was probably destined to star alongside O'Connor one day as they share a birthday - September 2 - just as he does with Beck, his leading lady in Beauty and the Beast more than a decade ago.
"I think Caroline and I are a good combination. Our scenes in the play are incredibly intimate but it's crucial to making the piece truthful. But, yes, there have been times in rehearsal when we have fallen in a heap laughing, only for Wayne [Harrison] to pull us into line."
Having played Sir Percival Glyde for nine months in Woman in White, Cormick isn't in a hurry to get back to the punishing schedule of eight shows a week. But there are plans for End of the Rainbow to open in London. Who knows, Cormick may find himself torn between partnering O'Connor in a play new to the West End or taking a leap of faith as Rhett in Gone With the Wind. Or, better still, doing both to prove once and for all he can act as well as sing.