Reviews

Rose’s Dilemma

By Neil Simon. St Jude’s Players (SA). 3rd – 12th August, 2017

Rose Steiner’s life is haunted by the memory of her dead lover, acclaimed author Walsh McLaren. Unable to let go, she herself has been unable to write a novel in five years. Stagnating under the burden of grief, she continues to communicate with her soulmate. It is during this time that McLaren urges his beloved to finish his last book, thereby avoiding bankruptcy.

Looking Glass

By Louris van de Geer. Directed by Susie Dee. Presented by New Working Group at fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. 2-13 August, 2017.

The style of Looking Glass lends itself to the futuristic, dystopian vision that characterises this production. This play examines strained family dynamics and centres around a young boy, Marcus (Daniel O’Neill/ Thomas Taylor) and his anxiety-ridden parents: Mother (Daniela Farinacci) and Father (Peter Houghton). Voice (Josh Price) provides guidance and instructions for the parents to help them deal with their son. However, they seem to look upon Marcus as though he were an alien and they are unable to genuinely connect with him.

9 to 5 the Musical

Music by Dolly Parton. Lyrics and Book by Patricia Resnick. Spotlight Theatre, Benowa, Gold Coast. Director / Choreographer: Jamie Watt. July 28th to August 19th, 2017

Amongst Dolly Parton’s many attributes is the ability to create catchy, toe-tapping songs and this is very obvious in Spotlight Theatre’s current season of 9 to 5.

Based on the 1980 movie of the same name, the stage version opened on Broadway in 2009 and has since been seen in productions around the world.

Kindertransport

By Diane Samuels. Darlinghurst Theatre Company. Eternity Playhouse. July 28 – October 20, 2017.

Kindertransport is a based on one of the 10,000 mostly Jewish children evacuated to Britain from Nazi Germany in the months just before the War.

Once on that train, most never saw their parents again.

Diane Samuels’ tender play explores the abandonment felt by Eva, an awkward nine-year-old émigré from Hamburg, the rigid independence and denial in the British woman she becomes, and the bewilderment of her own daughter left out of Eva’s secret.

Credentials

By David Williamson. World Premiere at La Mama Courthouse as part of La Mama’s 50th Birthday Celebrations. 1 – 13 August 2017

Credentials is a kind of parable about how the world works.  It tells the story of two young women, one born into poverty, the other into privilege, and how each finds a place in the world.  Chrissie (Kayla Hamill) is a committed paramedic who got her job with fake credentials: she never finished high school and certainly didn’t attend any university.  But how else could she get into the ambulance service?  Sprung by her doctor boss, Stephen (Geoff Paine), she tries to explain herself and pleads with him not to sack her…  She’s from a cou

Miss Saigon

Music & Lyrics: Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil & Richard Maltby Jnr. Packemin Productions. Directors: Neil Gooding and Ylaria Rogers. Musical Director: Peter Hayward. Choreography: Sophie Gospordarczyk. Parramatta Riverside Theatres. 28 July - 12 August, 2017.

The heat is definitely on in Riverside, with Packemin’s Miss Saigon proving to be  a powerful, moving spectacle.

La Cage aux Folles

Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman. Book by Harvey Fierstein. Phoenix Ensemble. Beenleigh’s Pavilion Theatre. July 21 – Aug 12, 2017.

Welcome to La Cage aux Folles, the hottest nightclub in St Tropez. When the curtain rises, drag queen Zaza (Nathan Skaines) is the star of the show. As the curtain falls, he is Albin, faithful husband to the club's owner Georges (Adam Bartlett). But will Albin have to take on a third role, when their son brings home his fiancee and her conservative family?

This Poisoned Sea

QL2. Directed by Ruth Osborne. The Playhouse, Canberra. 27–29 July 2017

This Poisoned Sea, guided by dramaturg Pip Buining; developed by the QL2 troop dancing it; and choreographed by Claudia Alessi, Eliza Sanders, and Jack Ziesing, uses The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’s references to an albatross and the consequences of its destruction as metaphor for humans’ heedless destruction of many universally known forms of ocean wildlife through the medium of wanton pollution.

 

Velvet

A Divine Discotheque Circus. Roslyn Packer Theatre, Sydney July 26 - August 20, 2017; Darwin Oct 6 – 15; Riverside Parramatta Oct 21 – Nov 5.

High camp Disco looked like it was invented for circus, such is the seamless marriage of the thumping beats and aerial high-jinx in this sparkling production.

The audience is taken on a steep rollercoaster ride of fun that only slows down once, for a musical highlight, which is a haunting acoustic rendition of the Bee Gees hit Stayin Alive.

The rest of the night is pulsating, featuring a mixture of Disco hits from ‘Boogie Wonderland’ to ‘Last Dance’. The template is a succession of short acts, featuring some quirky characters. 

Jesus Christ Superstar

Music by Andrew Lloyd-Webber. Lyrics by Tim Rice. The Production Company. State Theatre, Arts Centre, Melbourne. 29th July to August 13, 2017

This musical is arguably a classic and deservedly popular, as an expectant full house at the State Theatre proved at curtain up.

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