Project Description

Todd McKenny


Todd began dancing at the age of 3 at his mother’s dancing school in Perth, training in jazz, tap, acrobatics and ballroom dancing. He has represented Australia in ballroom and Latin American dancing, winning many international dancing titles – perfect training for his role as Nathan Starkey in BazLuhrmann’s internationally acclaimed film Strictly Ballroom.

He was cast in his first professional musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Song and Dance in 1983. From here Todd’s career has followed a very neat trajectory. From chorus roles in shows like Born Yesterday for The Sydney Theatre Company, Pirates of Penzance and Camelot, he moved on to small roles like Phaedra in La Cage Aux Folles and Tumblebrutus and Rum Tum Tugger in Cats during its Melbourne season. He then landed minor leads in 42nd Street (Billy Lawlor) and West Side Story (Riff). In Crazy for You he proved he had what it takes to become a star. Todd was cast in Crazy for You to take over from American lead Jim Walton once his six month contract was up. During the previews of that show, Jim injured his leg and only just made it through the opening night performance. With just one day of rehearsals, Todd was on. “The most nerve wracking experience of my life,” Todd says. “But I wouldn’t have missed it for anything in the world.” After landing the prized role of Peter Allen in the critically acclaimed Australian hit, The Boy from Oz, Todd played the role for 766 performances. It was for his portrayal as Peter that Todd received two Mo Awards, the Variety Club Heart Award, the Glugg Award, the Green Room Award, the Australian Dance Award and the Helpmann Award. Singin’ In The Rain was a huge opportunity to see Todd at his dancing best as he recreated Gene Kelly’s original choreography on stage. Todd received a further Australian Dance Award for his performance.In 2002 Todd performed his one-man show around Australia and in 2003 he had sell out performances of his show at Taronga Zoo with Sharon Millerchip. In 2003 Todd played the Emcee in Sam Mendes’ production of Cabaret for the Perth and Adelaide seasons. For this performance Todd received rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. In March 2004 Todd starred in his own production of ‘Todd McKenney LIVE’ at Sydney’s Star City for a week of sell out shows and again wonderful reviews. In August 2004 Todd and Rachael Beck performed successfully with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Tommy Tycho. Patrick McDonald in The Advertiser said their ‘dazzling double act absolutely stole the show with a display of pyrotechnic dance moves, skyrocketing vocals and comic banter. ‘Todd returned to Star City in 2005 for a 3 week season, this time featuring Pauline Hanson. He took his Todd McKenney Live show to Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast in September and then on to The Palms at Crown Casino, Melbourne in November 2005. At the 2005 Melbourne Cup, Todd sang the National Anthem. Since 2004, Todd has enjoyed his role as a judge on Channel 7’s in the immensely popular Dancing With The Stars, which is now in its 4th series. He has also been guest presenter on Channel 7’s Sydney Weekender and hosted Celebrity Spelling Bee also for the Seven Network. Todd also has been a guest breakfast presenter on Sydney’s MIX106.5.Todd is currently co-starring with Nancye Hayes in “Six Dance Lessons In Six Weeks” for the Ensemble Theatre with the play scheduled for Sydney Canberra and Melbourne seasons. Todd is the winner of the 2005 Mo Award in the Versatile Variety Performer of the Year category.