Todd McKenney brings Peter Allen - The Piano Sessions to Cessnock Performing Arts Centre

Todd McKenney

Todd McKenney

Australian theatre star Todd McKenney will bring his Peter Allen – The Piano Sessions Show to Cessnock Performing Arts Centre on Saturday, October 21.

He promises that although the show is more stripped back, the famous maracas and Australian flag shirt will make an appearance.

Jumping back into Allen’s shoes is very easy for McKenney.

“They are shoes that fit very well, they are now more like slippers,” he said.

McKenney describes the show as a very funny show that is more than just the music of Peter Allen.

Audiences can expect to hear backstage stories from McKenney’s time in the theatre and gossip from Dancing With the Stars.

The Piano Sessions will feature more of Allen’s piano-based songs, which McKenney says he feels work better in this stripped-back way.

All of Allen’s famous songs will be performed, including Tenterfield Saddler, which is generally the audience favourite. McKenney even performs this song in amongst the audience and allows them to get on the microphone.

Audiences can also expect plenty of fun and laughs along with audience involvement, such as the opportunity to ask questions and even score McKenney’s performances – just like he did on Dancing with the Stars.

He said having the audience score him started at one show and now takes place at pretty much all of them. He is not afraid to receive a low score either, though he said that audiences have been very kind to him.

McKenney is quick to heap praise on his band of multi-talented musicians and singers who frequently have a laugh with and at him on stage.

Fortunate enough to first see Allen at one of his one-man shows in Perth when McKenney was just 14 years old, he then met Allen for the first time at 19 when he was living in an apartment block in Bondi.

The meeting was surreal, according to McKenney, as it happened in his own backyard where Allen was having a barbecue with his neighbours. The neighbours were aware that McKenney was a fan and brought him down to meet Allen.

Having never been to Cessnock before, McKenney is looking forward to his first visit. He has visited the Hunter Valley before and can’t wait to try the wine at the vineyards again.

The show will start at 8pm. Tickets are available at