The swishily sensational showman Peter Allen, who died of AIDS in 1992, was a wizard from a different Oz—Australia. “He had an incredible life that covered a lot of territory,” said Martin Sherman, the book writer for The Boy From Oz, Broadway’s essential fall bio-musical. Discovered by Judy Garland and later hitched to Liza Minnelli, Allen won attention for his exuberant piano leaps and stage entrances atop camels. The first Mr. Liza also crooned with Bette Midler and Barry Manilow. Set to Allen’s own pop hits (“Don’t Cry Out Loud,” “I Honestly Love You”), Oz traces the Hawaiian-shirted hero from his gayest affairs to his sensational world tours and theatrical flops, such as his final Broadway turn, Legs Diamond. Rest assured that Sherman, best known for his ’80s hit Bent, trots out Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli characters in Oz — not to mention Aussie X-man Hugh Jackman, who plays Allen. After untangling from Minnelli, Allen spent 11 years with model Gregory Connell until AIDS took center stage. May he finally sleep serenely—and successfully—to the lullaby of Broadway.
For Pete’s Sake
Sequined showstopper Peter Allen’s grand entrance onto Broadway—again