Guys and Dolls

Music and lyrics by Frank Loesser. Book by Jo Swerling & Abe Burrows. The Musical Theatre Crew. Director: Leiz Moore. Playouse Theatre, Hobart. 10 - 26 September 2015

It’s fascinating that a show for grownups - with themes of gambling, crime and corruption, set in the seedy, crazy world of 1950s New York gamblers and show girls - can be performed so sweetly and cleverly by a youth theatre group, and still seem authentic. Some of these themes are commonplace nowadays, but for the time in which it was set, Guys and Dolls was risqué.

Prize Fighter

By Future D. Fidel. La Boîte Theatre Company and The Brisbane Festival. Directed by Todd McDonald. Roundhouse Theatre. 9-26 September, 2015

The message behind this play is something one can't ignore. Based both in war-torn Congo and Australia, it's a mythical representation inspired by the author's own personal experiences and his attempt to weave the art of boxing into a symbolic gesture and demonstrate the post-trauma associated with the realities of his past.


Book and lyrics by Dean Pitchford. Music by Tom Snow (and Sammy Hagar, Kenny Loggins, Jim Steinman, Eric Carmen). Directed by Jordan Barr. OCPAC Theatre. Carey Baptist Grammar School, Kew. 13th – 20th September, 2015.

Some terrific choreography, strong singing, excellent casting and lots of energy lift OCPAC’S production of Footloose to a standard far higher than that of the actual show itself, and make for a thoroughly enjoyable night’s entertainment.


Lyrics by Tim Rice. Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Miranda Musical Society. Sutherland Entertainment Centre. September 9 – 13, 2015.

Musically Evita is about as hard as it gets for a chorus. In the first act a fruity mixture of clashing chords, notes that needed to be plucked from no-where and a mixtures of styles make it hard to perform and difficult for the audience digest.  All this is swished together with regular refrains of the musical theme Don’t Cry for me Argentina and (in this production ) a coffin swinging around the stage with a plastic doll inside.


By Yve Blake & Co. ATYP Studio 1, The Wharf. Sep 9 – 19, 2015.

With a commitment to collaboration and story telling fueled by her early theatre experiences at ATYP, Yve Blake has created a performance based on over 1000 stories and comments collected on her website Some are funny, some weird, some very touching and Blake has woven them into a performance of characters that stretches across the generations.

The Savages of Wirramai

By Sandy Fairthorne. Directed by Kevin Summers. La Mama Courthouse, Carlton. 9 - 20 September, 2015.

The people at La Mama Courthouse seem committed to presenting quality work - I've yet to see a bad production here. The Savages of Wirramai, which opened last night, is a new Australian play by Sandy Fairthorne which portrays the dysfunctional Savage family gathering together to celebrate the parents’ wedding anniversary on the eve of Anzac Day.

Strictly Ballroom

Book: Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce Original Score and Arrangements: Elliot Wheeler. Global Creatures, Bazmark and Associates. Lyric Theatre, Brisbane. 9th September to 17th October, 2015

Baz Luhrmann's famous show has bounced into town with all the glitter and glam often associated with his indelible stamp of high gloss camp. Just reading the history of its creativity is an entertainment in itself, stage to film and now back to stage: but more importantly, this show has gathered moss along the way and bore enough fruit to bring to light its creator at the height of his powers.

Legally Blonde

Music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Neil Benjamin. Book by Heather Hatch. Launceston Musical Society. Princess Theatre, Launceston. Director: Andy Allison 2 – 5 September 2015

Oh to be young again, and Legally Blonde! The Launceston Musical Society was fortunate to have some wonderful performers to choose from for this charming, funny cute, and yes, ADORABLE, show. The show was tight and fast-paced, the cast well-drilled and energetic.

The ensemble/chorus work was excellent, and the entire cast was behind the pink-obsessed heroine, Elle, whose stamina is to be admired. Lead female Abbey Hansson was a good choice, with a terrific voice and good moves.

The Wharf Revue … Celebrating 15 Years

By Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott. Riverside Theatres, Parramatta. September 9 – 12, 2015, followed by Canberra, Glen Street and Wharf 1, Sydney.

Drew Forsythe as the flamboyant Geoffrey Robertson walks backwards along the wharf behind the STC. With hands clasped, eyes focused intensely on the camera, lips relishing every beautifully articulated syllable, he explains the origin of the Wharf Revue … before making an untimely exit!  What an inspired opening to this celebratory ‘edition’ of the continuing collaboration of a very clever, talented team!

Mother, Wife and The Complicated Life

Book, Music and lyrics by Amity Dry ( Additional music by Mark Ferguson). Directed by David Lampard. Chapel off Chapel. 8th-13th September, 2015 and then touring.

Not all musicals have to be extravaganzas, or blow your socks off with show-stopping numbers. If you’re lucky, you find musicals that are funny and endearing and speak to you on a personal level. This is one of those musicals. Ideally pitched for a girls’ night out, women will (and do) adore it; but there are enough genuine laughs and humorous full cast songs to please even the most blokey of blokes.

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