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, Musical Theatre Director and Producer in the UK, USA and Australia, are second to none.
Whilst studying dance, singing and acting Bonnie auditioned for James Clavell, who at that time was producing a new film ‘To Sir With Love” starring Sidney Poitier. To her amazement she got the part and spent seven months on one of the most wonderful films ever written.
Next Bonnie was offered a contract an English Children’s TV network as a presenter, which she fit in between working for a repertory company in the UK.
Then on a bet, she auditioned then joined the BBC’s Young Generation which was a hugely popular Light Entertainment series in the 70’s. Eight years later she was asked to choreograph The Children’s Royal Variety show at Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
This turned out to be a turning point in her life as it led to many more London based Musical Theatre Productions including Cabaret, A Slice of Saturday Night, Cinderella, Snow White West Side Story, Peter Pan, Half a Sixpence and Side by Side by Sondheim.
Having always wanted the chance to direct, it so happened that the producer of a new production of “Chorus Line” was looking for a choreographic director to direct the show on the fringe of the West End. Bonnie’s head said ‘I really need this job ‘ and indeed she got it.
Many more productions came her way. “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Annie”, “Grease”, “Fame” and several Royal Variety Performances, which were all based in London.
Bonnie was then approached to produce a TV special for the BBC entitled “100 Years of Music”. Following the success of this program, the BBC asked her to stay and appear as a judge on a new singing reality series called S Club Juniors, which was created by Simon Fuller.
Her next TV role was as the lead judge on a Channel Four series about dance, music and acting named E4.
Another success, after which Bonnie flew to the United States to join a new Simon Fuller venture – “American Idol”. Bonnie was a TV Audition producer on the first three series of “American Idol” before moving on to another new production “So You Think You Can Dance USA” She was both a judge and Audition Producer for the first two series, which were a huge success around the world.
Bonnie was then asked to become a judge on Australian Network Ten’s new series “So You Think You Can Dance Australia” and remained on the series for three years.
This has led to many varied guest appearances on both Australian TV and radio including “Rove”, “Can of Worms”, “The Project”, “The Circle”, “Mornings with Kerri Anne”, “Sunrise”, “Mornings with Sonia & David”, “Studio 10” and many cooking reality shows.
In 2011 Bonnie created Lythgoe Family Productions in Los Angeles with her son Kristopher. The first Production was “Cinderella” which Bonnie directed and produced with Kristopher and Becky Lythgoe
“Snow White” was next, starring Neil Patrick Harris who played the on-screen “Magic Mirror”. The panto was a 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 followed Bonnie and the crew as they cast the production. The programme was a true insight as to what goes on behind the scenes…the ups and downs, the tears and laughter.
In 2014 Bonnie launched Bonnie Lythgoe Productions in Australia with the hugely successful and critically acclaimed production of “Snow White – Winter Family Musical”. The following year, Bonnie brought the musical version of the classic Arabian Nights tale “Aladdin” to Australian audiences.
2016 brought the much-loved “Cinderella” to the State Theatre in Sydney, and Bonnie agreed to join the Australian version of “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!” Bonnie had to face the hardship of rice and beans, wild dangerous animals, tucker trials, putting her face in a bowl of cockroaches plus the pleasure of a very hard bed for 24 days!
Most recently, Bonnie has accepted the position of Judge and Patron of the Dance World Cup, which is a competition between countries from all over the world and is held in a different host country every year.
2017 also saw Bonnie direct and produce Peter Pan and Tinker bell in Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast as well as Peter Pan in San Diego U.S.A Bonnie also became one of the producers on the new fabulous musical ‘Beaches’, based on a truly wonderful film starring Bette Midler. It promises to be one of the most exciting adventures ever and will be opening on Broadway and London’s West End in 2019.