Reviews

Reasons to be Pretty

By Neil LaBute. Square Peg Productions. Theatreworks. May 31 – June 17, 2012.

It claims to be a play about “our culture’s fixation with vanity and physical attractiveness”.  The title fits: Reasons to be Pretty.  But I must have missed this.  I witnessed the scope of beauty, yes, but it was in the total ugliness of some characters and relationships.

Square Peg Productions and Director Eddy Segal brings Reasons to be Pretty, from American playwright and screenwriter Neil LaBute, to Theatreworks.  LaBute wrote the play over a ten year period which explains its disjointedness at times.

Miss Saigon

Music: Claude-Michel Schonberg. Lyrics: Alain Boublil & Richard Maltby Jnr. Savoyards. Director: David Williams. Musical Director: Geoffrey Secomb. Choreographer: Tamsin Sutherland. Iona Performing Arts Centre, Wynnam (Qld). June 2 – 23, 2012.

Full disclosure; I love Miss Saigon and consider it one of the best written musicals of the last twenty-five years. Schonberg and Boublil’s richly layered score never fails to move me.

Circa

Created by Yaron Lifschitz and the Circa ensemble. A Circa Production, presented by Malthouse Theatre. Director: Yaron Lifschitz. Merlyn Theatre. May 29 – June 10, 2012.

Circa is a timely celebration of Circus Skills in Melbourne, as the city that has hosted the National Institute of Circus Arts for 12 years now from its first pilot course in 1999. 

Seven vibrant, talented and highly trained young artists strut their stuff at a relentless pace - backed by a loud and engulfing soundtrack. As unique individuals, who almost all trained at NICA, they are representative of their peers – many of whom are surely in the audience.

Avenue Q

Music and lyrics by Robert Lopez & Jeff Marx. Book by Jeff Whitty. Brisbane Arts Theatre. 2 June – 14 July, 2012

There was a buzz of anticipation and excitement in the opening night’s full-house audience signalling a great season ahead. From curtain-up the show rose to our expectations. Avenue Q is a great choice for this intimate, welcoming theatre.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

By Benjamin Britten. Libretto after William Shakespeare by Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears. Opera Australia. Director: Baz Luhrmann. Conductor: Paul Kildea. Choreographer: John O’Connell. Lyric Theatre, QPAC. May 26 - June 8, 2012.

Oliver!

By Lionel Bart. Babirra Music Theatre. Director: Sue Salvato. Musical Director: Ryan Jacobs. Choreographers: Cameron O’Reilly/Lisa-Maree David. The Whitehorse Centre (Vic). June 1 – 10, 2012.

Since the demise of Whitehorse, Babirra Music Theatre seems to have moved up a gear to seriously challenge as one of the best amateur companies in Melbourne. Everything about this production showed class.

Particularly impressive were the abstract sets. The flies were rarely used as these large structures were spun around to reveal another side, the action continuing as the sets moved around it. The lighting was constantly enhancing the production.

Be Your Self

Australian Dance Theatre. Sydney Theatre. May 31 – June 3, 2012

Wow! Be Your Self is an explosive piece of madness, intrigue, humor, elegance and thought provoking athletic movement.

Elizabeth - almost by chance a woman.

By Dario Fo, adapted by Luke Devenish and Louise Fox. Queensland Theatre Company at The Powerhouse. May 26 – June 24 2012

What a roisterous bawdy romp this proved to be! Not so much a history lesson, more a satirical look at social and political situations in our own country nowadays.

The Grief Parlour

Created by the cast (Emily Ayoub, Roziye Delaney, Katie Crowl, Gareth Rickards, Kate Worsley). Clockfire Theatre Company. Old 505 Theatre, Surry Hills (NSW). 30 May to 3 June 2012.

Death can be a moving experience           

 

Clockfire is a new Australian theatre company dedicated to producing original, ensemble-based theatre. Clockfire was founded in France in 2011 by Emily Ayoub and Roziye Delaney, two graduates of the Jacques Lecoq International Theatre School in Paris. Each Clockfire story begins with a concept and is developed through physical improvisation. They have planned a trilogy dealing with sex, death and greed.

Moonshadow

By Yusuf (Cat Stevens), Rachel Wagstaff and Anders Albien. Music: Cat Stevens/Yusuf. Director: Anders Albien. Musical Director / Orchestrator: Stephen Amos. Set Designer: Adam Gardnir. Choreographer: Yvette Lee. World Premiere. Princess Theatre, Melbourne (Vic). May 31, 2012 (for 12 weeks).

Moonshadow is beautiful - to look at, and listen to. With 40 songs by Yusuf (Cat Stevens) one motivation for getting a ticket is for the songs alone, but they are not the end of it. Moonshadow was always going to be different.

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