Beauty and the Beast

Music by Alan Menken. Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Book by Linda Woolverton. Directed by Katherine Friend,. Musical Direction by Justin Friend. Koorliny Arts Centre, Kwinana, WA. Feb 13-28, 2015

Lavishly costumed and performed on a well-constructed and thoughtfully designed set, Beauty and the Beast, directed by Katherine Friend, was a quality production to open Koorliny's in-house performance season.

Stacey Hollings made a lovely Belle and her charm and genuine warmth was key to the success of this production. She has a beautiful singing voice and delivers a very genuine performance.


High School Musical

Book by David Simpatico. Spotlight Theatre, Benowa, Gold Coast. Director: Clay English. February 20th to March 14th, 2015

No amount of rain on the Gold Coast was going to dampen the Opening Night enthusiasm of the cast of the high velocity High School Musical at Spotlight Theatre. Thankfully - sound issues got sorted as the fast paced show progressed. This stage production is all about the song and dance – with a nice little story thrown in.

Special mention to the set designers – one basic set, with slick minor changes, made sure all of the stage was well used by the large cast.

The Lion King

Music by Elton John, Tim Rice and others. Disney. Directed by Julie Taymor. Regent Theatre Melbourne. Opened February 19th, 2015

The Lion King is back – better than ever. If you loved the show 10 years or so ago, then you are bound to want to take your children and/or grandchildren all over again. It isn’t a great musical, but it IS a great piece of theatre, a spectacle that has never been bettered. Director Julie Taymor touched the child in us then and, even though we are older and wiser, we can’t help but embrace that inner child once more.

The Beaux’ Stratagem

By George Farquhar. The Stirling Players (SA). Stirling Community Theatre. February 20-March 7, 2015.

Exuberant, witty and jam-packed with delightful characters, George Farquhar’s The Beaux’ Stratagem is The Stirling Players’ first production in the company’s Year of Comedy and sets a very high bar for Adelaide’s community theatre scene in 2015.

This three-hundred-year-old Restoration comedy is a hoot. What’s more, the foibles and human failings of the play’s characters are hilariously familiar, reminding modern audiences all these years later that people have not really changed.


Organised Pandemonium. Directed by Craig Ilott. Adelaide Fringe. The Garden of Unearthly Delights. February 13 - March 15, 2015.

This stunner of a show is nothing less than a pure endorphin rush - and yet, the word 'pure' seems to give the wrong impression of such a relentlessly sexy and spicy extravaganza. The feelings of freedom and joy that characterised the disco world of the 1970s are distilled, intensified, and pumped up into one heck of a blast from the past - complete with the one-and-only Marcia Hines, still a dazzling diva after all these years, and whose Queen of Pop crown shines brighter than ever here.

What Rhymes with Cars and Girls

By Aidan Fennessy. Music and Lyrics by Tim Rogers. Melbourne Theatre Company. Arts Centre, Melbourne, Fairfax Studio. February 13 – March 28, 2015.

What Rhymes with Cars and Girls is a rich, engrossing work in which all components come together with an inordinate sense of largesse and satisfying attention to detail. It is a very impressive first major directorial work from Clare Watson, who gives what was initially a boy’s story a good sense of balance. 

Piccolo Tales

Piccolo Bar, Potts Point. Tuesdays and Thursdays February to May 2015.

In a theatrical age of pop-up theatre, doco-drama and confronting immersive reality experiences Piccolo Tales ticks all the boxes and delivers the ultimate intimate live experience about a person and a place. The audience of just twenty people, ten inside and ten outside, are taken on a journey through the life of Vittorio, who has been a proprietor of the Piccolo Cafe for over fifty years.

Piano Chick Does Sex & The Sixties

Presented by Becky Blake. Adelaide Fringe. Lexus Adelaide, 164 West Terrace, Adelaide. February 19 & 28, 2015

Piano Chick Does Sex & The Sixties is a 90 minute cabaret show in which singer/pianist Becky Blake and her five piece band deliver solid renditions of that swinging decade’s greatest hits, interspersed with some more uneven stand up material outlining the history of the sexual revolution.

In The Heights

Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Book by Quiara Alegria Hudes. Directed by James Cutler. A StageArt Production. Australian premiere. Chapel off Chapel. February 18 - March 8, 2015

Take a fan with you when you go to Chapel off Chapel, regardless of the weather. In The Heights is so hot it could burn you. It sizzles, it makes you gasp for air, it sets fire to all your misconceptions about little known musicals in small spaces, it burns the floor with fabulous dancing, and its energy is such that there are times you feel you cannot breathe. In short – it is Sensational!

Psychopomp & Seething

By Penelope Bartlau, directed by Jason Lehane. Barking Spider Visual Theatre. La Mama Courthouse, Carlton (VIC). 18 February – 1 March 2015.

As someone said to me after the show, ‘It’s probably best just to let it wash over you.’  Indeed, director & designer Jason Lehane says in a program note: ‘This is a work that one feels before one understands…’  True.  These two otherwise quite different pieces are verbally dense, layered, allusive and – if I dare say so – poetic.  They are highly imaginative, relentless and inaccessible to one’s ‘normal’ theatrical comprehension.  There are stories, but no plots; there are images, but they are m

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