Reviews

Renee Geyer

Adelaide Fringe Festival. Fortuna Spiegeltent. Saturday March 16, 2019

Four decades and 25 albums later, the fire is still burning in legendary artist Renee Geyer and the Spiegeltent was bursting at the seams with a noisy crowd, anticipating her return.

The audience roared as Geyer made her way centre stage with tambourine in hand. Accompanied by a four-piece band, she remarked that she was happy to be back in Adelaide.

Strictly Ballroom

By Baz Luhrmann (et al). Encore Theatre Company. Danny Gibson (Director), Denise Sam (Musical Director - vocals), Michael Stocks (Musical Director - conductor) and Michelle Withington (Choreographer). Princess Theatre Launceston. 15-30 March 2019

Tasmanian Theatre patrons have been known to travel to the mainland to feed their passion. Some have travelled overseas to see a first-rate professional show. This patron merely drove 150 minutes to be treated to an outstanding production boasting high production values and outstanding talent.

Russian Transport

Written by Erika Sheffer. Fishy Productions in association with Darlinghurst Theatre Company. Directed by Joseph Uchitel. Eternity Playhouse, Darlinghurst, Sydney. 9 to 31 March, 2019

Russian Transport, by award-winning playwright Erika Sheffer, was produced in the US by the prestigious Steppenwolf Theatre Company.  Sheffer’s play has its first Australian season at Eternity Playhouse. (Eternity Playhouse is a wonderful venue.  Not only is there raked and staggered seating, with lots of legroom, stained glass windows and beautiful timber, but all three levels are wheelchair accessible.)  

Homer’s Odyssey – The Musical

By Loucas Loizou. Athens Productions. Adelaide Fringe Festival. Multiple Venues. 16 February-16 March, 2019

This was my final review for this year’s Adelaide Fringe Festival, which began with The Flanagan Collective’s wonderful treatment of the classical Greek myth Eurydice. It somehow feels appropriate that my Fringe Festival experiences conclude with another great classical Greek myth – Homer’s Odyssey.

Grounded

By George Brand. National Theatre of Parramatta. Riverside Theatres, Parramatta. March 14 – 23, 2019

American playwright George Brand found his concern about drones being used in warfare shifted to the ‘pilots’ who manoeuvred them from bases in the US and the scary fact that, though the drones they control hover over a countries thousands of miles away, their strike ability is a horrifying 1.2 seconds. And, that the fierce concentration demanded of the ‘pilots’ in their lonely twelve-hour shifts, leads to just as many cases of PTSD as other fighter pilots.

Barrier Reef Orchestra

George Kniepp Theatre, Townsville. Conductor: Theodore Kuchar. 17 March 2018.

Townsville gave its adopted prodigal son, Ukrainian conductor Theodore “Ted” Kuchar a warm and appropriate standing ovation at the conclusion of Saturday night’s performance with the city’s 60-piece Barrier Reef Orchestra.

A View from the Bridge

By Arthur Miller. Melbourne Theatre Company. Directed by Iain Sinclair. The Sumner Theatre, 140 Southbank Blvd, Southbank. 9 March — 18 April, 2019.

The incisive social realism of Arthur Miller’s writing is well fired up in this text. Here Miller focuses his attention on the inner workings of Italian-American post-war immigration. Eddie (Steve Bastoni), Beatrice (Daniela Farinacci) and Catherine (Zoe Terakes) appear as a typical successful immigrant family. Despite their struggles, they create a humble but loving home and are able to offer Catherine opportunities for a better life. However, as the story unfolds, we discover that their family dynamics harbour some dark secrets.

Bad Auditions by Bad Actors

Wings2Fly Theatre. Stirling Community Theatre. Returned production, I performance only, March 16, 2019.

While Wings2Fly Theatre focuses on producing two plays per year, the company has remounted Bad Auditions by Bad Actors for one day only this month due to its popularity during the show’s short season in January. 

Twelfth Night

By William Shakespeare. Directed by Matthew Hobbs. Presented by St Luke’s Theatre Society. St Luke’s Theatre (Qld). 15 – 23 March, 2019

Shakespeare’s beloved comedy of mistaken identity, gender swapping and loves both requited and unrequited marks the first Shakespearean production to be presented in St Luke’s 62-year history. The community theatre group is enthusiastic and passionate in this offering, directed by Matthew Hobbs.

Around the Campfire

Devised by Big Fork Theatre. Directed by Chris Martin. Produced by Taylor Edwards. Visy Theatre, Brisbane. 16 March, 2019.

Kids and kidults alike are treated to improvised songs, stories and comedy sketches in Around the Campfire. The show is packed with imaginative flights of fancy and laugh-out-loud moments.

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