Reviews

THE SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE!

Music: Richard Rodgers. Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein 2nd. Additional Lyrics: Richard Rodgers. Book: Howard Lindsay & Russell Crouse adapted for television by Austin Winsberg. Executive Producers: Neil Meron, Craig Zadan. Directors: Rob Ashford, Beth McCarthy-Miller. Musical Director: David Chase. Universal Television Production, Broadcast NBC 5 December 2013

When NBC aired The Sound of Music Live!, on Thursday December 5th 2013, itwas the first time in over 50 years that a television network had broadcast a live version of a Broadway musical. A cause for celebration and with the telecast pulling in nearly 20 million viewers let us hope it won’t be another 50 years before they do another one.

The Musical of Musicals: The Musical

Music and lyrics by Eric Rockwell and Joanne Bogart. Everyman Theatre, directed by Duncan Ley and Duncan Driver. Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre Centre. 5–21 December 2013

With amusing narration by co-director Duncan Driver and keyboard accompaniment by an uncredited musician, this creative piece compels its four cast members to sing their lines, and to dance them as well, on a set rich in visual reminders of classic musicals. The format consisted in offering the same simple story line in five different treatments that effectively pay tongue-in-cheek homage to five greats of musical theatre: Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Kander & Ebb.

The Deep

Adapted for the stage from Tim Winton's book by Justin Cheek. Directed by Noriko Nishimoto. Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Fremantle, WA. Reviewed 5 Dec, 2013. Public Season: Jan 6- Feb 1 2014

Often children’s theatre is fast and furious, flamboyant and funny. While highly entertaining and certainly amusing, The Deep is almost the antithesis of most theatre for kids - gentle and relaxed and quietly beautiful.

The Deep was first performed by Spare Parts over a decade ago, but this version is a remained and updated incarnation.

Much Ado About Nothing

By William Shakespeare. Directed by Adam Cook. Sport For Jove. Bella Vista Farm, Norman Lindsay Gallery & The Everglades Garden, 7 December, 2013 – 26 January, 2014.

It’s difficult to believe Sport For Jove has only been alive for 5 years. From it’s humble beginnings in Castle Hill’s The Rose Garden, the company has gone from strength to strength to be one of Sydney’s most important independent groups. In that short time, and with a prolific production history, the company has continued to consistently produce high quality shows again and again.

Peter Pan

Roleystone Theatre, Roleystone WA. Directed by Paul Treasure. Nov 22- Dec 7, 2013.

Usually when I review a show, I try to mention those making their first stage appearance and other relative newcomers. For Peter Pan this would be a difficult task. At least ten in this cast made their community theatre debut, while another dozen or more celebrated their second show. Of the thirty in the cast, twenty-two were under eighteen.

Blackrock

By Nick Enright. Epicentre Theatre Company. O’Kelly Theatre, St Ignatius' College Riverview (NSW). Dec 5 – 14, 2013.

Blackrock was originally commissioned by the STC as an extended version of Enright’s shorter play The Property of the Clan, written as a catharsis for the community of Stockton following the rape and murder of teenager Leigh Leigh. In ‘filling out’  his original work, Enright looked more closely at the social implications of such a tragedy on any community.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Directed by Neroli Burton. Old Mill Theatre, South Perth WA. November 29 - December 14, 2013

Exquisite set painting by Tim Prosser literally set the scene for a quality pantomime directed by Neroli Burton, with musical direction by Katherine Friend.

Valerie Henry made Disney's wicked queen look quite friendly, in a gloriously sinister performance as Queen Drusilla, well supported by the scenic painting king, Tim Prosser as King Desmond.

Then There Were 3

By Shelly Higgs and Daniel Alexander. Directed by Shelly Higgs. The Street Theatre (ACT). December 4 – 8, 2013 @ 7.30 and 3.30 matinees, limited childcare places available.

There’s nothing quite like a baby to chew up and regurgitate parents’ lives. Then There Were 3 is a comedy based on a couple who find themselves in an insta-family and who initially do not cope at all. The musician father, played by Daniel Alexander in a semi-autobiographical role, goes into shock from the moment he sees a face emerging from where no face should ever be.

Boeing Boeing

By Marc Camoletti, translated by Beverley Cross. Directed by David Nelson. Hackett Hall, Floreat, WA. 15-30 November, 2013.

Boeing Boeing was boasting capacity crowds midweek in its second week of production, testament to its spreading reputation in this very competitive November/December theatre season.

David Nelson revealed great promise in his directorial debut, and though there was occasional directorial mistakes, this was a nicely controlled first production.

Gorgeously and obviously sixties, the set had some lovely attention to detail, most notably a fantastic period telephone.

 

The Tempest

Written by William Shakespeare. Directed by Daniel Lammin. 5pound repertory company. The Owl and The Pussycat. Dec 3rd-7th, 2013.

Here’s the thing:- If you don’t know Shakespeare; if you don’t understand Shakespeare; or if you don’t respect the writing of (arguably) the greatest playwright in history; then, Don’t Do Shakespeare!

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