Reviews

MDMA: Modern Day Maiden Aunt

By Geraldine Quinn. Hayes Theatre Co. June 16 & 17, 2015.

Geraldine Quinn hits the stage running in this bright, fast-moving expose on being single, unmarried and …. how can she possibly cope? … childless! Her show is witty, close to the bone, and very carefully scripted, rehearsed and timed. It mixes stand up comedy and raunchy, well-written songs in a show that has real personal appeal.

Spamalot

Book and Lyrics By Eric Idle. Music by John Du Prez. Directed by Jane Court. MLOC. Phoenix Theatre Elwood. June 12 – 20, 2015

I must admit I have avoided Spamalot in the past, but I’m glad I took the plunge this time around. The show is a paradox. On the one hand being a 14 time Tony nominee and a Broadway hit, based on the work of one of the most iconic comedy groups in history; and conversely being a gigantic urine extractor full of old gags and corny music which surely has something to offend everyone (though I applaud its delicious political incorrectness). Oh, there is one other thing I should mention…it is abso-freaking-lutely hilarious.

Altar Boyz

Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker. Miranda Musical Society. Director: Osman Kabbara. Sutherland Memorial School of Arts. June 12 – 21, 2015.

In the space of a few weeks I’ve seen two productions which have taken multimedia in Sydney Community Musical Theatre to new levels, in totally different ways. First it was Tommy at BMMS, and now Altar Boys at Miranda.

On a basic setting, with rostra and scaffold columns reminiscent of a rock gig, director Osman Kabbara has made remarkable use of projection to give this small production an impressive, elaborate staging.

Legally Blonde

Music & lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Neil Benjamin. WAAPA Musical Theatre Students. Book by Heather Hach. Directed by Jason Langley. Regal Theatre, Subiaco, WA. 13-20 June, 2015

WAAPA's production of Legally Blonde is being rapturously received; and little wonder. In a line of excellent annual big musical theatre productions at The Regal Theatre, Legally Blonde stands out as particularly special, and not just because it is the WA premiere.

Featuring Third Year and Second Year Musical Theatre students, with more WAAPA students in the pit and in production and creative roles, WAAPA's 'Regal Show' is the biggest opportunity for Perth's general public to see what WAAPA can produce.

Rob Mills Is … Surprisingly Good

Queensland Cabaret Festival, Brisbnae Powerhouse, Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre Production @ Brisbane Powerhouse.14 June 2015 (later Sydney, Melbourne and Noosa)

Starting with a high-energy “Live in Living Color” (Catch Me If You Can) Rob Mills in his first outing as a cabaret performer proved he was not only “Surprisingly good”, but surprisingly charismatic and massively entertaining.

The Rocky Horror Show

Book, Music and Lyrics by Richard O’Brien. Directed by Christopher Luscombe. Comedy Theatre, Melbourne. Opening Night, June 14, 2015.

I had heard wonderful things about this incarnation of The Rocky Horror Show. Including sparkling reviews for Craig McLachlan’s Frank N Furter.  The addition of Bert Newton as the Narrator added to my excitement of seeing one of my all time favourite shows. So was I to be disappointed? Well yes and no.

Under the Influence: Class of Cabaret Grads

delaide Cabaret Festival. Artspace Gallery, Adelaide Festival Centre. 13-14 June, 2015.

Combining the friendly, funky feel of a jam session with an awareness of stagecraft and a hopeful eye cast toward a possible professional future, Under the Influence is a most worthwhile venture, aimed at showcasing Adelaide’s youthful cabaret talent in a setting where each can test their skills and refine their craft.

Daniel Koek – Bringing Him Home With His West End Story

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Festival Theatre Stage. June 13 & 14, 2015

West End sensation Daniel Koek is an Adelaide boy who has come home to perform highlights from his roles in musical theatre. Seated in a makeshift cabaret venue that was constructed on the Festival Theatre stage was ingenious and worked very well. A packed house full of anticipation and hometown enthusiasm was a great welcome to this incredible talent.

Reasons To Be Pretty

By Neil LaBute. Directed by Joh Hartog. Bakehouse Theatre Theatre, Adelaide. June 11-27, 2015

American playwright, Neil LaBute, is a polarising “love him or hate him” talent – considered by some to be a witty commentator on the darker side of the human condition, dismissed by others as a glib misanthrope whose work is loaded with gratuitous “shock for shock’s sake” vulgarity. LaBute’s 2009 work Reasons To Be Pretty is as confronting, challenging and divisive a work as one would expect, given the man’s iconoclastic reputation.

The Diary of Anne Frank

By Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. New Theatre, Sydney. June 11 - July 11, 2015.

Last week was Anne Frank’s 86thbirthday and one can imagine that had not World War Two intervened, most likely she would still be alive today, tending her flock of grandchildren and keeping her razor sharp mind amused with a busy schedule.

I found my visit to the now famous house in Holland where she spent two years particularly haunting. Peering at the pictures of Anne as a school-girl she very closely resembled my mother.  Only good fortune allowed some to escape Europe before it was too late.

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