Inspiring, provocative, compelling and generous are just a few words that describe the critically acclaimed and award winning performer, actor and host – Todd McKenney.
A household name in Australia, Todd’s versatile career has spanned three decades and shows no sign of slowing down. Already known as Australia’s leading man of song and dance musicals, since 1994 he’s also been the ‘colourful’ and often controversial judge on the Channel 7 hit series Dancing With the Stars. Now in its ninth year.
Todd began dancing at the age of three 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 dance titles. Amongst his Australian awards for performance in musical theatre are two Mo Awards, the Variety Club Heart Award, the Glug Award, the Green Room Award, the Australian Dance Award and a Helpmann Award.
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 with lead roles in Cats, 42nd Street, West Side Story, Crazy For You, Born Yesterday, Camelot, Pirates of Penzance, Cabaret, Strictly Ballroom, La Cage aux Folles, Singin’ In the Rain, Anything Goes, The Boy From Oz, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and more recently Annie the Musical.
Todd co-hosted Sydney’s MIX106.5FM breakfast radio program with Sonia Kruger in 08/09 and regularly fills in for Larry Emdur on Channel 7’s, The Morning Show with Kylie Gillies and Australia’s Got Talent.
It was landing the prized role of Peter Allen in the Australian hit production The Boy From Oz that confirmed his star status on stage. The Boy From Oz performed over 766 shows nationally and is one of the longest running and most successful musical productions in Australian history.
In addition, for the past six years Todd has been studying ‘Auslan’ sign language and works within the deaf community all around Australia. He also works for the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia on their Diamond Ball Committee and helps raise much needed funds for research to find a cure for children’s cancer.
Todd had the delight of becoming a father in 2007 and his daughter Charlotte is the light of his life.
In 2012 Todd announced his first national tour of The Songs and Stories of Peter Allen which initially performs 17 shows around the country. This two-hour extravaganza is a unique take on Allen’s life and career and showcases all of Allen’s hits and the hits of the artists who influenced his early days. There is also a healthy does of backstage goss from The Boy From Oz and of course Dancing With The Stars.
Todd is also working on an ‘up close and intimate' version of the tour to take into regional areas of Australia for mid 2013.
Just announced and taking a completely new turn in Todd’s ever evolving career, he will play the role of Pluto in the 2013 Opera Australia season of Orpheus in the Underworld directed by Jonathan Biggins. This is Todd’s first ever opera production and he can’t wait to sink his teeth into it.