Rob pays tribute to the best of Broadway, London’s West End, the Australian stage and the occasional European operetta in a 2 hour program celebrating significant anniversaries in the world of Musical Theatre.
With a background in science and biophysics, Rob is equally at home in the Performing Arts having performed in over 70 stage productions since 1975, including plays, revues and musicals for a number of amateur theatre companies based in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.
As a broadcaster, Rob has been heard on Melbourne community radio 96.5 Inner FM since 1992 contributing to the Local Theatre and Concert Hall programmes in past years and as the current host of the weekly light-music Kaleidoscope and Musical Theatre Melodies programmes.
As a member of Theatre Heritage Australia since 2006, Rob has contributed numerous articles on theatre history and performers to both the print and on-line editions of the organisation’s quarterly-published newsletter On Stage.
Rob also currently serves on the THA committee in a variety of capacities.
Available podcasts include:
28 November – Carmen Jones (Oscar Hammerstein II adapt. of Georges Bizet) – 1943 original Broadway cast recording + additional numbers from the 1947 NBC radio version and 1991 London cast recording + interview with former Head of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization Ted Chapin
21 November – Roberta (Jerome Kern & Otto Harbach) – 2014 Dublin & New York studio cast recording
14 November – A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder (Steven Lutvak & Robert L. Freedman) – 2013 original Broadway cast recording + The Orchid (Ivan Caryll, Lionel Monckton, Adrian Ross & Percy Greenbank) – 1946 Australian radio cast.
7 November – A Connecticut Yankee (Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart) – 1943 Broadway revival cast recording & 1955 U.S. TV soundtrack recording + interview with former Head of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization Ted Chapin + Smash Song Hits by Rodgers & Hart – 1940 Columbia album conducted by Richard Rodgers, with vocalists, Lee Sullivan and Deane Janis and Rodgers at the piano.
31 October – Wicked (Stephen Schwartz) – 20003 original Broadway cast recording + song selections from The Wizard of Oz (Harold Arlen & E.Y. Harburg) – 1939 MGM motion picture soundtrack recordings.
24 October – 110 in the Shade (Harvey Schmidt & Tom Jones) – 1963 original Broadway cast recording + introduction by Tom Jones (from an archival interview from 2020) + a selection of “unused” songs written for 110 in the Shade.
17 October – Jennie (Arthur Schwartz & Howard Dietz) – 1963 original Broadway cast recording + introduction by Mary Martin biographer David Kaufman + a selections of songs by Mary Martin from the respective Broadway cast recordings of One Touch of Venus, Lute Song, South Pacific, Peter Pan and The Sound of Music and the London cast recording of Pacific 1860.
10 October – One Touch of Venus (Kurt Weill & Ogden Nash) – London-New York studio cast recording released in 2014
3 October – Here’s Love (Meredith Willson) – 1963 original Broadway cast recording + introduction by New York-based Tony Award-nominated actor, director and writer, Walter Willison + a selection of assorted songs by Meredith Willson, including demo recordings by Willison himself of “unused” songs from The Music Man, commercial recordings of his popular song hits and “live” recordings from Walter’s 2017 tribute concert Here’s Love to the Music Man featuring Cheryl Ann Allen, Carole Demas and Paula Janis,
26 September – Let ‘Em Eat Cake (George & Ira Gershwin) – 1987 New York studio cast recording + selections from Of Thee I Sing (George & Ira Gershwin) – 1952 Broadway revival cast recording
19 September – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice) – 1973 studio recording featuring members of the Young Vic London cast + introduction by Rex Bunnett + song selections from the 1992 CD album Aspects of Andrew Lloyd Webber featuring Australian leading lady, Marina Prior, members of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and ‘guest appearances’ by Rob Guest, Tommy Emmanuel, Peter Cousens and the Melbourne Chorale.
12 September – Raisin (Judd Woldin & Robert Brittan) – 1973 original Broadway cast recording + song selections from Shuffle Along (Eubie Blake & Noble Sissle) and Blackbirds of 1928 (Jimmy McHugh & Dorothy Fields) – 1953 New York studio cast recordings
5 September – Sweethearts (Victor Herbert & Robert B. Smith) – 1949 U.S. radio cast recording + Babes in Toyland (Victor Herbert & Glen MacDonough) – 1952 U.S. radio cast recording + Mlle. Modiste (Victor Herbert & Henry Blossom) – 1962 Reader’s Digest studio cast highlights recording
29 August – Nymph Errant (Cole Porter) – 1989 “live” London Concert recording (Theatre Royal Drury Lane) + introduction by Rex Bunnett
22 August – La Cage aux Folles (Jerry Herman) – 1983 original Broadway cast recording + An Evening with Jerry Herman – 1989 “live” New York cabaret recording with Jerry Herman, Karen Morrow & Lee Roy Reams
15 August – A Tribute to Tom Jones including The Show Goes On – A Portfolio of Theatre Songs (Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt) – 1998 “live” original off-Broadway cast recording + an archival interview with Tom Jones talking about The Fantasticks in 2020 to mark its 60th anniversary
8 August – Annie Warbucks (Charles Strouse & Martin Charnin) – 1993 original off-Broadway cast recording + highlights from Annie (Charles Strouse & Martin Charnin) – 1978 original Australian cast recording
1 August – At the Drop of Another Hat (Michael Flanders & Donald Swann) – 1963 “live” performance recording from the Haymarket Theatre, London + introduction by Rex Bunnett
25 July – Avenue Q (Robert Lopez & Jeff Marx) – 2003 original Broadway cast recording + Songs by Tom Lehrer – 1953 studio recording
18 July – The Card (Tony Hatch & Jackie Trent) – 1973 original London cast recording + introduction by Rex Bunnett + alternate songs from the revised version of The Card (new lyrics by Anthony Drewe) – 1994 London cast recording
11 July – Sunset Boulevard (Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Black and Christopher Hampton) – 1993 original London cast recording + introduction by Rex Bunnett
4 July – Pickwick (Cyril Ornadel & Leslie Bricusse) – 1963 original London cast recording + introduction by Leslie Bricusse (2013 archival interview) + selections from Scrooge (Leslie Bricusse) – 1970 motion picture soundtrack recording.
27 June – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman) – 2013 original London cast recording + introduction by Rex Bunnett
20 June – Oh, What a Lovely War (various) – 1963 original London cast recording presenting highlights of WWI era songs and scenes from the musical + introduction by Rex Bunnett + additional songs from the 1969 film soundtrack recording + selections from The Passing Show of 1914 & 1915 – original London cast recordings
13 June – The Lisbon Story (Harry Parr-Davies & Harold Purcell) – compilation recording including numbers by the 1943 original London cast members, Patricia Burke and Vincent Tidsley’s Mastersingers + introduction by Rex Bunnett + a selection of Harry Parr-Davies songs written for the 1930s British film comedies of Gracie Fields and George Formby
6 June – Singin’ in the Rain (Nacio Herb Brown & Arthur Freed) – 1983 original London cast recording + introduction by Rex Bunnett + additional numbers from the 1952 MGM motion picture soundtrack recording including the “Broadway Melody Ballet”
30 May – Me and Juliet (Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II) – 1953 original Broadway cast recording + interview with original Broadway cast member Bill Hayes + song selections from Bill Hayes Sings the Best of Disney – 1957 record album
23 May – Seesaw (Cy Coleman & Dorothy Fields) – 1973 original Broadway cast recording + selections from the 1993 original London cast recording of City of Angels (Cy Coleman & David Zippel)
9 May – Can-Can (Cole Porter) – 1953 original Broadway cast recording + Kiss Me Kate (Cole Porter) – 1953 M-G-M motion picture soundtrack recording (selections)
2 May – My One and Only (George & Ira Gershwin) – 1983 original Broadway cast recording + Funny Face (George & Ira Gershwin) – 1949 episode of the 3DB Melbourne radio series Musical Comedy Stage + recordings by Fred & Adele Astaire and Leslie Henson from the 1928 London production.
25 April – She Loves Me (Jerry Bock & Sheldon Harnick) – 1963 original Broadway cast recording + introduction by Sheldon Harnick (2015 archival interview.)
18 April – The Boy Friend (Sandy Wilson) – 1953 original London cast recording + introduction by Rex Bunnett + extracts from Sandy Wilson at the Players – featuring the composer, lyricist and librettist at the piano reminiscing about and performing songs from his various musicals and revues recorded “live” in performance at the Players’ Theatre, London in 1972.
4 April – Kinky Boots (Cyndi Lauper) – 2013 original Broadway cast recording + song selections from the 2008 film soundtrack recording of Mamma Mia! featuring the songs of ABBA (written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson).
28 March – Oklahoma! (Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II) – 1943 original Broadway cast recording + introduction by Ted Chapin + the Dream Ballet sequence “Laurey Makes Up Her Mind” from the 1955 film soundtrack recording.
21 March – Half a Sixpence (David Heneker) – 1963 original London cast recording + introduction by Rex Bunnett + addtional and alternate songs from the 1965 Broadway cast and 1967 motion picture soundtrack recordings of Half a Sixpence + a selection of songs by David Heneker from the original cast recordings of Charlie Girl, Jorrocks, Phil the Fluter and The Biograph Girl.
14 March – Irene (Harry Tierney & Joseph McCarthy, (with additional music and lyrics by Charles Gaynor & Otis Clements, with Wally Harper & Jack Lloyd) – 1973 Broadway cast recording starring Debbie Reynolds + interview with the Stage Manager of the 1973 Broadway revival Bob Schear
7 March – A Grand Night For Singing (Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II) – 1993 original New York cast recording + interview with former Head of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization Ted Chapin
28 February – A Little Night Music (Stephen Sondheim) – 1973 original Broadway cast recording + interview with original Broadway cast member Teri Ralston
21 February – Wonderful Town (Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden & Adolph Green) – 1953 original Broadway cast recording starring Rosalind Russell + Comden and Green Perform Their Own Songs – selections from the compilation albums recorded in 1955 featuring songs from On the Town, Billion Dollar Baby, Good News, Two on the Aisle, Peter Pan and It’s Always Fair Weather.
14 February – Old Chelsea (Richard Tauber, Bernard Grun, Walter Ellis & Fred S. Tysh) – 1943 BBC radio transcription recording featuring the original London cast including Richard Tauber, Australian soprano Nancy Brown, Carole Lynne & Charles Hawtrey + a St. Valentine’s Day selection of romantic ballads sung by Richard Tauber from the operettas of Franz Lehár and the stage and screen musicals of Jerome Kern.
7 February – Baby (David Shire & Richard Maltby Jr.) – 2022 Off-Broadway revival cast recording (world premiere radio broadcast) + interview with Tony Award-winning director, lyricist and writer Richard Maltby Jr.
31 January – Hazel Flagg (Jule Styne & Bob Hilliard) – 1953 original Broadway cast recording + Walter Willison interview regarding the Pippin 50th Anniversary Original Broadway Cast Reunion Concert & Irene Ryan tribute (featuring her unreleased 1973 Motown recordings receiving their world radio broadcast debut.)
24 January – On Your Toes (Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart) – 1983 Broadway revival cast recording + interview with Tony Award-nominated cast member Christine Andreas