The Boy from Oz headed for TV
The flamboyant life and premature death of Australian entertainer Peter Allen will be dramatised in a 2-part miniseries.
Shine Australia is developing Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door, for the Seven Network, following their successful collaboration on INXS: Never Tear Us Apart.
To be produced by Rory Callaghan and Kerrie Mainwaring, the Allen mini will be Shine’s third major Australian drama. In the can is Catching Milat, a two-part telemovie recounting the investigation that led to the arrest of serial killer Ivan Milat, which Seven commissioned.
The Allen project has not been announced but word has spread among talent agents and actors.
Shawn Seet (Love Child, The Code, Underbelly) is attached to direct. The plot will follow Allen (born Peter Richard Woolnough) from his teenage years in Tenterfield, NSW, where he sang and played piano at the local pub.
He and Chris Bell formed the Allen Brothers. His big break came after the duo performed at a Hong Kong hotel where they were spotted by Judy Garland. She took them under her wing and brought them to London as her opening act.
His runaway success in the US, which included an Oscar for the theme song for the movie Arthur, was cut short after he and partner Gregory Connell fell victims to the AIDS epidemic. Allen died in 1992, aged 48.
Apart from the lead among the juicy roles will be Garland, her daughter Liza Minnelli, to whom Allen was married for seven years, Connell and manager Dee Anthony.
His story was chronicled in Peter Allen: The Boy from Oz, the 2006 documentary which featured archival footage and interviews with friends, family and colleagues including Bernadette Peters, Bette Midler and Carole Bayer Sager, directed by Stephen Maclean and produced by the late Ben Gannon.
The film inspired the stage musical The Boy from Oz, which played on Broadway and earned Hugh Jackman a Tony for his performance.