Officer and a Gentleman takes off
THE cast of An Officer and a Gentleman have earned their wings after a powerful opening night performance.
The musical had its world premiere at The Star's Lyric Theatre in Sydney last night and the show brought the star-studded audience to its feet.
Based on the Oscar-winning 1982 film starring Richard Gere and Deborah Winger, An Officer and a Gentleman follows Zack Mayo as he struggles to make it through Navy Flight school and navigate his relationship with nurse in training Paula Pokrifki.
Following in Richard Gere's shoes is a big ask, and Ben Mingay showed he's made of the right stuff.
There appeared to be a few opening night nerves, but the Jersey Boys star soon found his feet.
Mingay's singing was a bit underwhelming in the beginning of the show, but as his character's confidence grew so did his.
By the crescendo of Oscar-winning song Up Where We Belong Mingay's voice was booming above the rounds of applause.
The storyline may revolve around Mingay's Zack and Amanda Harrison's Paula but Bert Labonte nearly stole the show as Sgt. Emil Foley, just as Louise Gossett Jr did with his Oscar-winning performance in the movie.
Labonte's performance of I'll Be Damned was my personal highlight of the first act.
The pace picked up in the second half with a sexy latin number featuring some fast, sharp dance moves from the main cast and ensemble.
Stingers star Kate Kendall adds a bit of cheek to the show as aviator wife wannabe Lynette Pomeroy and Josh Piterman also delivers a few laughs as officer in training Ramon Guiterrez.
There are a few cheesy bits, but certainly not enough to get out a box of crackers.
Douglas Day Stewart, author of the book and screenwriter of the film, is one of the show's producers along with his wife and his involvement certainly adds another layer of authenticity to the show.
Celebrities in attendance last night included Sunrise's Mel Doyle, Tricky Business star Gigi Edgley, Dancing With the Stars judge Josh Horner and Young Talent Time host Rob Mills.
An Officer and a Gentleman plays The Star's Sydney Lyric Theatre through July 1.
The show will come to QPAC in Brisbane at a date yet to be announced.