Todd Mckenney is the original triple threat – he has sung, danced and judged his way into our hearts over many years. Now he’s bringing back one of his most beloved characters, so dust off your maracas – it’s time to reminisce with ‘Todd Mckenney Sings Peter Allen.’ When I was assigned to get the 4 – 11 for Forte readers, I expected Todd to be professional and courteous – a result of his years in the public eye. I didn’t expect that I’d be immediately put at ease by his warm greeting, humorous responses and all-round nice guy demeanour.
“I’ve be singing these songs for so many years – but I never tire of them. Peter Allen was a loved personality and it’s a real privilege that people still want to listen to me sing, after all this time!” Todd laughed. “Even though I must have sung ‘I still Call Australia Home’ twenty-three thousand times, the reaction from people is always new and fresh. Oh, and especially when I sing ‘Tenterfield Saddler’ – everybody sings along. It’s definitely the most requested song and it’s really special.”
In true Todd style, his shows are all about fun and creating a memorable experience. Trust me, these shows will not be your run-of-the-mill night at the theatre. “When I was putting the show together I didn’t want a scripted show. I treat it like one, really big dinner party! I encourage the audience to yell or shout out any requests or questions – I love the ones about Dancing With The Stars. We have a laugh and bit of a gossip,” Todd said with a grin. “There are no rules and every show is different – that’s what I love most about it!
“That, and the fact that I’m keeping the music alive for Peter Allen fans – however I also love to show people that I can do something other than being a loud-mouth on TV!”
Jokes aside, Todd Mckenney plays many roles – none more satisfying than being dad to daughter Charlotte, who he cites as his main motivation in his work with the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia. “I’ve been on the fund-raising committee, called ‘Hope 4 Kids’, for about four years. We’re only a small group of about ten people but we raise over half a million dollars for the CCIA each year. I do it for many reasons, but a selfish one is my daughter – God forbid she needed any sort of treatment. I’d like to know she’s in good hands.
“I do what I love for a living and get applauded when I do it! Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to hear that applause, but there are people out there doing much more important jobs – like doctors and nurses. So in a way, though I hate to sound clichéd, it’s my way of giving back, and I’m happy to say we’re now able to support other charities like the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation. He was the guy who was hit and killed in Kings Cross on a simple night out – the coward punch is just horrendous and we should all do what we can to stamp it out.”
Go to toddmckenney.com.au for more details on his upcoming shows and fundraising efforts. But if you just still can’t get enough of this down-to-earth entertainer, check out toddstours.com.au – where a truly unique VIP experience awaits you!
Where&When: Capital Theatre, Bendigo April 4th, The Regent Theatre, Ballarat – April 12th, Lighthouse Theatre, Warnambool – May 30th
Written by Natalie Rogers