If there was ever a musical guaranteed to get audiences singing along it's this one: Phoenix Ensemble's all-original production celebrating some of the world's best-loved one-hit wonders.
The Oneders, featuring a 15-strong cast including a live five-piece band on stage, opens on 21 February and will play over five weekends at Beenleigh's Pavilion Theatre.
Directed by self-confessed music nerd Joel Mikkelsen (who gave us the awesome I'm Too Sexy for the 90s show back in 2012), The Oneders is a high energy concert-style show featuring songs that instantly rocketed to legend status – but which turned out to be their creator's only hit.
Joel says it's that uniqueness that inspired him to build a show around one-hit wonders.
'There's something about those songs that made them famous when other tracks from the same artist didn't fare as well. They one thing they all have in common, though, is they make you want to sing along.'
Bringing together the 90s production two years ago taught Joel the importance of having a band onboard early in the planning process.
'This time around, I actually cast the band before announcing auditions. Revue shows rely heavily on a tight, well-rehearsed band (with lots of stamina!) able to play songs from the 60s until now, so getting the right musicians was critical.'
The music is so important the band even has its own podium, putting the musicians front and centre on the stage.
Next came song choice, and with so many one-hit wonders to choose from over the past fifty years, it wasn't easy narrowing the list.
'We set ourselves some simple parameters: we were looking for songs from each era of modern music, across genres, and featuring bands with only one song in the ARIA top 40,' Joel says.
'Mapping the peak chart positions of each song and checking out all other songs the bands produced actually took quite a lot of time, and we had to pull some songs from the show as new information disqualified them on a technicality.'
In the end, more than 60 songs made the final cut, many included in medleys and mash-ups from the 60s, 80s and 90s, created by musical director Nick Ng.
Joel said the show was chock-full of highlights, with one of his favourite numbers being an a capella arrangement of Walking in Memphis (by Marc Cohn) featuring five-part harmonies.
'Our lighting designer extraordinaire has also put together the most complex lighting arrangement seen on the Phoenix stage to date.'
Joel says anyone who loves music will enjoy The Oneders. 'If you like great arrangements, love watching a live concert-style performance with lots of high energy dancing (from choreographers Laura Baker and Alex Burrie), this show will be right up your alley.
'It's going to be bright, loud and energetic, and it's going to sound awesome. It's a couple of hours of pure music and visual indulgence designed to have you leaving the theatre smiling.'
Venue: Pavilion Theatre, Beenleigh Showgrounds, James Street, Beenleigh
7.30pm: 21, 22, 28 February, 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 March
Tickets: $26 adult; $24 concession/child; $22 member