Bonnie Lythgoe – Director
Bonnie Lythgoe is an entertainment industry success story. With a career spanning more than 30 years, Bonnie’s achievements as a dancer, choreographer, director, TV presenter, TV producer and Broadway producer are second to none.
Bonnie started her dancing career at the Corona School for Performing Arts in London. While studying, she won a role in the feature film To Sir With Love starring Sidney Poitier. Seven months later she was offered a presenter role on a children’s television series in the UK, The Sooty Show. Bonnie then auditioned for a BBC dance series called Young Generation, the choreographer for the series was Nigel Lythgoe who Bonnie later married in 1974.
A variety of choreography and directing roles in London included Snow White, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Grease, The Best Little Whore House in Texas, The Real Monty, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Aladdin, West Side Story and Royal Variety for HRH Queen Elizabeth to name just a few.
With ongoing success in musical theatre, Bonnie was then approached to produce a special for the BBC, 100 years of music. Following on from this, the BBC asked her to stay on and appear
as a judge on a new Singing reality series called S Club Juniors, which was created by Simon Fuller. Once this successful project was over, Bonnie then flew to the United States to join a new
Simon Fuller venture – American Idol. Here she was reunited with her husband who was the Executive Producer on the series.
Bonnie was a producer on the first three series of American Idol before moving on to another new project – So You Think You Can Dance US for which she was both a judge and a producer for the first two series. Bonnie was then given the amazing opportunity to become a judge on Network Ten’s new hit series So You Think You Can Dance Australia. Naturally she grabbed this chance as Australia has always been close to her heart both personally and in terms of her desire to be successful here professionally.
This has led to many varied guest appearances on both Australian TV and Radio which include morning TV slots, Rove, Can of Worms, The Project, The Circle, Mornings with Kerri Anne, Sunrise, Mornings with Sonia & David, Studio 10 and numerous cooking reality shows.
Bonnie has worked with numerous well known entertainers throughout her career including Gene Kelly, The Jackson 5, Sammy Davis Junior, Sir Cliff Richard, Barry Humphries, Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing) and Charlene Tilson (Lucy Ewing), Victoria Beckham, Dudley Moore, Sidney Poitier, Olivia Newton-John, Black Eyed Peas, Sarah – The Duchess of York, Rolf Harris, Jerry Lewis, Neil Diamond, The Bee Gee’s, Pink, Leona Lewis, Stevie Wonder and Neil Patrick Harris. In 2011 Bonnie created Lythgoe Family Productions in Los Angeles with her son Kristopher. Together they have brought musical “Panto” to Los Angeles. The first Production was Cinderella, which Bonnie directed and Kristopher produced for which she auditioned hundreds of wannabe Cinderella’s.
Snow White followed the next year where she cast Neil Patrick Harris to play the Magic Mirror. The pantomime has had huge success in the US with both seasons selling out. Snow White the pantomime was picked up for a reality series called Opening Night on the Ovation channel USA. The series follows Bonnie and the crew around as they cast the Production.
The programme is a real insight as to what goes on behind the scenes and how it all comes together. We see the ups and downs, mixed with the tears and laughter. The special aired over the Thanksgiving weekend in the US in November 2012.
Following on from her success in the US, she launched Bonnie Lythgoe Productions into Australia in 2013 and has now brought the Panto tradition down under. After last year’s hugely successful and critically acclaimed inaugural production of Snow White – Winter Family Musical in Sydney, Director Bonnie Lythgoe will bring a swinging soaring spectacular updated musical version of the classic Arabian Nights tale Aladdin to Australian audiences this July at the State Theatre. Well known for her creativity and involvement in global television hits “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” Bonnie is dedicated to bringing affordable theatre to families across Australia through fun, laughter and music,that the whole family can enjoy.
Christopher Wood – Executive Producer
Christopher Wood has been involved in the Entertainment Industry for the last 35 years. His creative and technical skills have been much in demand in every strain of the industry, Opera, Ballet, Music, Drama and Light Entertainment, both on the Stage and in Television.
His love of the entertainment world saw him quickly work with several of his comedy heroes that include the legendary Morecambe and Wise, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett, Tommy Cooper and Norman Wisdom.
His experience in the theatrical genre of “Panto” is second to none. To date Christopher has been intrinsically involved in the production of “Panto”, be it as a Creative Designer, Technical Director, Production Manager or for this production as the Scriptwriter in over 400 Pantomime productions. This achievement and record will be hard to be surpassed by others in the industry. His enormous experience and craft in this field has led to him being head hunted and sought after by many in the industry.
As well as Europe, Christopher’s artistic and creative abilities are in demand all over the various continents of the world, in particular the USA, Asia and Africa. He was part of the production team that opened the Hong Kong Academy of the Arts with “A Midsummer’s Night Dream”.
As part of the world renowned Glyndebourne Opera Company, his highlights Carmen, The Marriage of Figaro, Porgy and Bess, Don Giovanni and Midsummer’s Night Dream working along such artists as Lucianno Pavarotti, Willard White, Maria Ewing and Lesley Garrett. He also worked with the D’Oyle Carte Opera on the productions of “The Pirates of Penzance” and “The Mikado”.Christopher’s West End Credits are many and include such productions as Evita, Cats, The Sound Of Music, Buddy, Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Jesus Christ Superstar. The venues for these legendary shows include the Prince Edward Theatre, The Savoy Theatre, The Victoria Palace Theatre, the Haymarket Theatre and the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
He was particularly privileged to be involved in the Nelson Mandella Concert at Wembley Stadium in 1988 and has enjoyed working alongside such artistes as Elton John, Rod Stewart, Sir Paul McCartney, the Bee Gees, Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, Phil Collins and Oscar Peterson.
Christopher has also had the honour of being personally involved as Stage Director for several Royal Galas presided over by most of the Royal Family including Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the II.
He also has the honour of being a current Executive producer on the Royal Masonic Variety Galas which take place in selected West End Theatre venues on an annual basis.