At 113 years young, Mosman Musical Society (MMS) is alive and flourishing today with a buzz of excitement rarely found in community theatre. One of Australia's oldest continuously running musical societies, MMS is definitely on a roll. Bursting at the seams with enthusiasm, MMS possesses the talent, creativity and leadership needed to realise its potential.
Nowadays MMS stages one or two shows a year (depending upon the size of our active membership) along with the occasional concert to showcase our singers' various talents and musical interests.
MMS is completely modern in its approach to performing stage musicals.
Working mostly in an intimate theatre space in recent years, MMS has developed a chamber style economy of
presentation loved by audiences and performers alike. MMS consistently
achieves high standards, despite limited resources. It is a great
source of pride to us that performers are known to ask each year what
MMS is doing before committing themselves to any other project.
Established in 1903, Mosman Musical Society kicked off in grand style with a concert performance. This was quickly followed with the society's first fully staged production of a musical show, The Mikado, in 1904. There was no looking back. Apart, that is, from a brief cessation of activities due to World War II, when most of the society's singers were absent in the services. Year after year, MMS staged productions (often three a year) and concerts, covering the whole repertoire from opera and oratorio to operetta and light musicals, with vocal and orchestral concerts thrown in for good measure. Some of these shows were so successful they transferred to city theatres for short runs, something inconceivable today. The roster of shows produced by MMS over its century of existence reads like a history of the musical in the 20th century. Home grown stars thrilled their audiences for decades. In his autobiography Chapters and Chances, Reg Livermore talks about his involvement with MMS as a boy, wondering why its stars such as Betty Cheal and Betty Parsons were not being seen in big professional theatres. They deserved to be. Tastes and styles have changed over the years, but we will always be proud of our rich history and conscious of our place in its tradition.
In the late 1990s MMS updated its constitution and incorporated, before proudly celebrating its 100th Birthday in 2003 with a Gala Dinner, a concert entitled 100 Years of Song and the critically acclaimed and record breaking Centenary Production of Guys And Dolls. 2004 saw a critically acclaimed Cabaret and in 2005 we performed the sweetly titled concert Bibs & Bobs, before the delightful October production of another Broadway classic, Sweet Charity. In 2006 we broke our box office records with a sensational production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice classic 'rock opera' Jesus Christ Superstar. In 2007 we were back on the boards with a superb concert, Altogether Now! in March, followed in May by the NSW premiere season of Bat Boy - The Musical, a funny and moving show brought to life by a brilliant cast and production team. We topped that off with the towering success of our second major show for 2007, in October's A Night On Broadway, a deservedly popular smash hit. We were back in May 2008 with another superb concert, Autumn Leaves, with musical director and associate artist Angela Pelletier. Then, in October/November, a triumphant new production of the classic Fiddler On The Roof, last performed by us 25 years ago. In May 2009 we delighted audiences with two superb performances of our concert presentation My Favourite Things, under musical director Jim Coyle. We capped 2009 with another superb concert in November, Summer Loving, again with two performances under Jim Coyle. March 2010 saw us back on the boards with a completely original show by Roger Saunders and our own Jim Coyle, Bringing The House Down. October 2010 saw us back in concert with Double Bill, featuring a first half of wonderful concert music and a second half comprising the G&S classic Trial By Jury in two semi-staged performances. We returned in July 2011 with a smash-hit production of HMS Pinafore by resident MD Jim Coyle, proving once again that a lively imagination is all you need to keep these G&S classics fresh and new for modern audiences. In April 2012 we staged a smash hit production of the Broadway bolter, Xanadu, and finished the year on a high with two concert performances in November, Blue Skies.
Celebrating our 110th birthday in 2013, we teamed up with Mosman Music Club for the first time, for two sparkling concert performances in March, happily called Together At Last! We were back at the Zenith Theatre in July with a sparkling production of Guys and Dolls. At the very end of the year, we took part in Mosman Music Club's Christmas Concert featuring highlights from Handel's Messiah.
In 2014, we returned to Mosman Art Gallery in concert mode, with another superb offering from MD Jim Coyle. Feelin' Groovy played two delightful performances in March. Then, in June, Anthony Young and Melinda Hole teamed up again for 10, a sell-out cabaret season at Mosman Art Gallery. We topped off 2014 with our first pantomime, Cinderella, loved by kids and adults alike in Nov/Dec at Middle Harbour Public School.
We kicked off 2015 with our second magical collaboration with the superb orchestral players of Mosman Music Club, in a tribute to classic show music, The Golden Age of Broadway, in March. There were gasps of disappointment from the audience when we finally walked off stage! Then, in June, we blew the roof off the Zenith Theatre, Chatswood with a powerful production of the classic rock musical The Who's Tommy. In October/November we presented our second season in cabaret, Baz & Bond, featuring Bond film theme songs and pop songs from Baz Luhrmann films given the MMS treatment in a sell-out run. We ended the year in Mosman Music Club’s Christmas concert, performing choral highlights from Handel’s Messiah. 2016 saw us return to the main stage, with a sold out season of Annie at Chatswood’s Zenith Theatre in June.
We are excited to return for our third season in cabaret, Broadway Reversed, at Mosman Art Gallery, November 18 – 26. Grab a table, bring some wine, enjoy your complimentary champagne and your cheese platter, and revel in some fabulous show music with a twist! More details soon.