The Boy from Oz is currently wowing theatre lovers at Arts Centre Melbourne, see it before it closes on 26 Aug.
As part of our International Women’s Day takeover, we’re celebrating influential female figures in live entertainment, from music and theatre, to comedy and sport.
Here, we take a look at five of the most powerful and impactful musical theatre roles for women.
Evita is a powerful musical about the life of Eva Peron, who was the infamous wife of Argentine political leader Juan Peron. It is Eva’s own political influence that makes this story one for the history books however, as she became beloved in Argentina and a driving force behind the woman’s suffrage. Eva also started Argentina’s first female political party, the Female Peronist Party. Pair this dynamic character with perhaps some of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s most iconic songs, and Evita is one of those musicals that you come out of thinking you can take on the world. Book tickets
Hamilton has become a complete pop-culture phenomenon; if you haven’t seen it, you’ve heard of it. One of the reasons it resonates with audiences so strongly is because of the way it gives voice to women in a period where they had none. Angelica Schuyler shows us a woman who is pushing for change in all the ways she is able in her role as a woman, even if that means sacrifice. Eliza, in contrast, learns how to stand on her own after her world comes crashing down around her.
This one is really a no-brainer. Elphaba is a smart, driven woman who cares fiercely about others. Throw in some of the biggest power ballads in modern musical theatre history and you have a pretty kick-ass role. Glinda has more of a journey to take in the show but she comes out on top and it’s her friendship with Elphaba that really makes this story special. See original Australian cast members Jemma Rix and Lucy durack as Elphaba and Glinda. Now reprising their roles (in a way…) in The Wizard of Oz. Book tickets
Elle Woods is one of those roles that turns the tables on what it means to be a strong female character. Sure she follows a guy across the country and tries to change who she is to be what he wants but that’s just the beginning of the narrative. By the end of the first act, Elle realises that her own personal success feels ‘so much better’ than what she came to Harvard for, and by the end of the second act she’s kicking ass as a lawyer while also keeping true to her genuine self.
Not only has Donna raised her daughter Sophie on her own but she is also a successful business women, a rock star and pays no mind to societies expectations of what her or her life should look like. Need we say more? Book tickets