Reviews

The Fantasticks

Music by Harvey Schmidt, book and lyrics by Tom Jones. Wooden Horse Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co. January 11 – 31, 2016.

Somewhat reimagined and stripped even further back than its very basic original by director Helen Dallimore, with new, darker atmospheric arrangements for keyboard and guitar from musical directors Hayden Barltrop and Glenn Moorhouse, against a simple setting of translucent drapes and astro-turf by Hugh O’Connor, the world’s longest running musical remains true to its minimalist roots in its current makeover at Sydney’s Hayes Theatre, a good match for the show’s original intimate New York home.

Masterclass 2: Flames of the Forge

By Gareth Davies & Charlie Garber. Red Line Productions. Old Fitzroy Theatre. January 12 – 30, 2016.

Red Line Productions brings Gareth Davies and Charlie Garber back to the Old Fitz as the lone survivors in a world that has not been saved. In a chaos of theatrical styles – including a guest appearance by David Stratton (filmed, of course!) – they look into their past, try to rationalise their very strange present and, eventually, take a bold and irreverent step into the future.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Book, Music & Lyrics: David Wood, adapted from the book by Judith Kerr. Direction: David Wood. Assistant Director/Choreographer: Emma Clayton. Music Supervisor: Peter Pontzen. Andrew Kay in association with Nick Brooke Ltd and Kenny Wax Family Entertainment Ltd. Playhouse, QPAC. 14-17 January 2016 – Touring Nationally.

Direct from London’s West End, this absolutely delightful musical adaptation of Judith Kerr’s children’s classic is just as magical on-stage as it is on the written page. The story of a tiger who comes to tea and eats all the food and drinks all the drinks including the water from the tap has been given a whimsical make-over by director/writer David Wood in a production that uses the traditional pantomime devices of audience participation, sing-a-long, and the classic “he’s behind you” gag.

West Side Story

Book: Arthur Laurents, Music: Leonard Bernstein, Lyrics Stephen Sondheim. Gold Coast Little Theatre, Southport. Director/Choreographer: Kim Reynolds. Jan 16th – Feb 13th, 2016

Kim Reynolds production of West Side Story is an excellent start to GCLT’s 2016 season.

Several performances have already sold out prior to Opening Night!

As the “star-crossed” lovers of this modern telling of Romeo and Juliet, Jack Harbour as Tony (he recently starred as Romeo at the same venue) and Susanna Treacy as Maria give sensitive portrayals and are strongly supported by Todd  Jesson - Bernardo,  Cat Deller   - Anita and Jackson Brash as Riff.

Bring It On The Musical

Book: Jeff Whitty, Music: Tom Kitt & Lin-Manuel Miranda, Lyrics: Amanda Green & Lin-Manuel Miranda. The Arts Centre, Gold Coast. January 7 – 16, 2016

The setting for Bring It On is the highly competitive sport of Cheer Leading and the lengths that some people go to win at all costs.

From curtain-up, the energy on stage was electrifying and contagious.

The production team of Director Rod Herbert, Musical Director Anne-Maree McDonald and Choreographer Tracey Rasmussen has delivered a fast paced, highly entertaining production with the daughter / mother combination of Gezelle Barham and Coralie Bradshaw creating the thrilling Cheer Leading sequences.

Heathers

Book, Music & Lyrics: Laurence O’Keefe & Kevin Murphy. Director: Trevor Ashley. Musical Director: Bev Kennedy. Choreographer: Cameron Mitchell. QPAC & Showwork Production. Playhouse, QPAC, Brisbane, 9-17 January 2016.

This sparkling high-energy production of Heathers made its Brisbane debut to such a foot-stamping and whooping reception that it looks like it’s sure to repeat its Sydney success. The production, which created such a buzz when it opened at Sydney’s Hayes Theatre last year, remains the same except for Kirby Burgess (Dirty Dancing) whohas replaced Lucy Maunder who’s fulfilling her commitment to Ladies in Black in Melbourne.

Roald Dahl's George’s Marvellous Medicine

Adapted for the stage by Shake & Stir Theatre Company, Cremorne Theatre, QPAC. 6 – 23 January 2016.

They've done it again! Shake & Stir Theatre Company have delivered the goods with another very successful production - their brand new stage adaptation of Roald Dahl's George’s Marvellous Medicine.

After spending a sizeable chunk of 2015 touring Australia with their version of Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts, the Shake & Stir team are back for another bite of the deliciously devilish Dahl cherry, and another crazy tale from the wacky mind of the world’s number one storyteller.

Shakespeare’s Best Bits

Written and Directed by Glenn Elston. Shakespeare Under The Stars. Botanical Gardens, Melbourne. January 8 - March 12, 2016.

Caution – There are Snakes in the Botanical Gardens! A group of 6 Python creatures (of the Monty kind) are capable of injecting lethal laughter and if they don’t murder you with mirth there is even a giant Asp that will be let loose on you after it demolishes Cleopatra.

Deadly 60 Live

Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide. 11th and 12th Jan, 2016

Deadly 60 is one of the most popular children’s television shows in the world, and the face of the show naturalist UK born Steve Backshall has brought his passion to the stage with a 70 minute presentation of his many adventures across the globe.

Within seconds you are drawn in by his enthusiasm for what he describes as the greatest job in the world. His extensive knowledge about his subject matter is astounding and even though the presentation is aimed at a younger audience, it is fair to say that I too learned something in this productive hour.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

By William Shakespeare. OZACT 2015 -2016 Summer and Autumn Tour (Vic).

The concept of outdoor productions of Shakespeare has been pioneered in Victoria by OZACT. Established in 1995, this touring repertory theatre company includes seasoned performers and Shakespearean experts as well as fresh new talent to deliver highly accessible and entertaining performances. OZACT has the well-earned reputation of being Australia's leading environmental Shakespeare company and is able to transform some of Victoria’s most stunning outdoor locations into natural stages.

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