Reviews

CABARET

Music: John Kander. Lyrics: Fred Ebb. Queensland Musical Theatre. Director: Deian Ping. Musical Director: Ben Murray. Choreographer: Roxanne Harding. Twelfth Night Theatre, Brisbane, 3 – 13 November, 2010

Queensland Musical Theatre’s production of Kander and Ebb’s classic musical Cabaret, set in Berlin at the dawn of the Nazi era in the thirties, is enjoyable theatre on many levels.

The Heartstring Hotel

In the newly opened Runcible Spoon (Vic). Directed by Jason Cavanagh.

The Runcible Spoon is a ‘hip’ addition to the stylish Owl and the Pussycat Gallery at 34 Swan Street Richmond – opposite the Richmond Station. Opening night was a busy, lively cosmopolitan, fashionable fringe arts affair.

The small, slightly claustrophobic, theatre space is the front upstairs room of a two story Victorian terrace with, on this occasion, little more than a, bay window size stage.

It’s My Party (and I’ll die if I want to)

By Elizabeth Coleman. Sherbrooke Theatre Company. Director: Bob Bramble

Ron Patterson calls his family together in Elizabeth Coleman’s It’s My Party (and I’ll die if I want to) to tell them he has been told by his doctor that he has only a couple of hours to live.

Measure for Measure

By William Shakespeare. Tropical Arts, Cairns. Director: Avril Duck. Oct 29 – Nov 6.

The Tropical Arts production of Measure for Measure opened last Friday with an energetic performance of Shakespeare’s comedy. Director Avril Duck gave the production an un-Elizabethan look by opting for Japanese costuming and stylized manga (Japanese comic book) movements. The result was an interesting production, acted on a simple set under effective lighting.

Anything Goes

By Cole Porter (and others). Gosford Musical Society . Director: Emmakate De Henau. Musical Director: Bryan Jiggins. Choreographer: Kate Pareaux. October 29 - November 14.

Though the programs and posters (and, presumably, the contract) say this is Cole Porter’s Anything Goes, in fact the marvellous Mr. Porter is responsible for only a minor percentage of the show’s content — say, 30%. His famous melodies and consistently brilliant lyrics continue to delight; it’s the other 70% that is the challenge.

Oklahoma!

By Rodgers and Hammerstein. Nova Musical Theatre (Vic). Director: Noel Browne. Musical Director: John Clancy. Choreographer: Jonathon Robinson.

Oklahoma! is credited with changing the form of musical theatre forever, considered by many to be the first musical comedy where plot, musical score and dance were all necessary to advance the story line.

Set in Oklahoma when it was a territory on the verge of statehood, it tells a story of farmers and cowhands, intermixing a love story with tragedy and humour.

My Fair Lady

By Lerner and Loewe. Old Scotch Music and Drama Club. Director and Choreographer: Robert Ray. Musical Director: John Ferguson.

The Old Scotch Music and Drama Club production of My Fair Lady was lavish, as it should be. The slightly abstract sets worked well, making scene changes smooth, and no expense was spared with the costumes.

The standard was set in the overture, when one could have been listening to a CD. The standard of the 23 piece orchestra was high. The chorus singing was also strong and the choreography breathtaking.

 

A Chorus of Disapproval

By Alan Ayckbourn. Hobart Repertory Theatre Society. Playhouse Theatre, Hobart. Director: Ann Lennon-George. Oct 22 – Nov 6.

Hobart Repertory Theatre Society presented Alan Ayckbourn’s A Chorus of Disapproval to a resounding chorus of intense approval from Hobart theatre buffs.Set in Wales, Hobart Rep’s last show for the 2010 Season is a hilarious romp in which Ayckbourn manages to weave small town sadness, pathos and bitterness into an insightful comedy revolving around an amateur light opera society’s production of The Beggars Opera.

Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert

Film Version - Village Cinemas

In late October, with little fanfare, Village Cinemas showed the film of the Cameron Macintosh concert to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the opening of Les Miserables. This involved a concert performance of the show and was magnificent. The theatre looked like a sporting arena, the orchestra and choir were above and behind the main stage area and no expense was spared.

Brand Spanking New

Various Writers. New Theatre, Newtown (NSW). Program 1 - October 27 – 30. Program 2 – November 3 to 6.

What an absolute thrill to see so much new Australian writing getting a life on stage in one evening.

And you can get that thrill twice - this week and next - in Newtown, Sydney.

At New Theatre, over the space of two weeks, and two separate programs, seventeen short Australian plays will receive a quality airing in New’s third annual showcase.

While the scripts vary in quality, with some feeling like works in progress, though the best are excellent.

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