Reviews

Megan Hilty In Concert

Concert Hall, QPAC, 9 June 2016, then Theatre Royal Sydney and Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

When Broadway’s favourite ‘Blonde Bombshell’ Megan Hilty sang the Smash anthem “Let me be your Star” last night there was no doubt she was a star and a star of the first magnitude with a voice that could blast a tune to the back wall of the theatre or caress a ballad with touching sweetness or regret.

Indian Embrace

Indian Australian Association. Star Theatres, Adelaide. June 8-11, 2016

American raised Playwright Carol Dance has joined forces with the Indian Australian Association of South Australia to bring to the stage her cross-cultural play Indian Embrace, a tale of connection with family and country. Dance aims to teach us life lessons and traditions, but with mixed results.

The action takes place in a guesthouse located in Varanasi, India. Location is established with projections on the back wall and a distinctive Indian soundtrack.

Young Frankenstein

Book: Mel Brooks & Thomas Meehan. Music & Lyrics: Mel Brooks. Original Direction & Choreography: Susan Stroman. Director: Matt Bearup. Musical Director: Matthew Nutley. Choreographer: Rhylee Nowell. MLOC Productions. Shirley Burke Theatre, Parkdale. May 2016.

Ever wondered what happens to your favourite characters after the credits roll or you reach the last page of a book?

Young Frankensteincontinues the story of some classic characters. Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Adam Jon) is the grandson of the Frankenstein famous for reanimating the dead. Frederick wants to escape his family’s legacy and insists on pronouncing his surname, ‘Fronkensteen.'

This is the musical version of a 1974 horror comedy movie by Mel Brooks. It’s a great choice for the first show in MLOC Productions’ 71st year.

Megan Hilty in Concert

Musical Director Matt Cusson. Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne. 8th June, 2016, and touring to Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide.

She has more sensational curves than are respectable, yet she’s not overtly sexual; she is a huge star on stage and screen, and yet she’s natural, even scratching her head, twirling her hair and saying ‘Um’ a lot; she’s everything the audience of Smash hoped for, yet nothing they expected. “Blonde Bombshell” is out, “lovely woman with a voice to die for” is IN.

Angels in America

By Tony Kushner. Black Swan State Theatre Company. Directed by Kate Cherry. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth, WA. May 28-June 19, 2015

Tony Kushner's Angels in America, Part 1, Millennium Approaches, has never before been professionally performed in Western Australia. At one point the most performed play in the United States, it is a show that has been long awaited, and is now presented by Black Swan State Theatre Company.

Kate Cherry has assembled a very strong cast performing on Christina Smith's clinically clean, thoughtfully designed and smoothly transcending set.

Stolen

By Jane Harrison. National Theatre of Parramatta. Riverside Theatre Parramatta. June 2 – 17, 2016.

Jane Harrison’s poignant play about the experiences of the Stolen Generations has been performed all over Australia and in the UK, Hong Kong and Japan. It is apt that this new production, directed by Vicki Van Hout, opened during Reconciliation Week.

Double Indemnity

Written by Tom Holloway. Adapted from the Novella by James McCain. Directed by Sam Strong. MTC. Playhouse Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne. May 30 - July 2, 2016.

Despite the disclosure on all advertising that this is NOT based on Billy Wilder’s 1944 film noir, the audience (and, seemingly, some of the critics) are clearly being influenced by the film. Don’t be. This is not a send-up or an homage, it’s a play, adapted from a book, and it deserves to be seen as such.

The plot is still basic – a jaded insurance salesman falls for a femme fatale and together they plot to kill her husband by an “accident” which pays double reward, but who is playing whom?

In The Heights

Music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Book by Quiara Alegria Hudes. Exclaim Theatre (Australian Institute of Music). June 4 – 12, 2016.

Music Theatre aficionados keen to sample the work of Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the Broadway block-buster Hamilton, can get a fabulous introduction to his talents by seeing the Tony Award winning musical he wrote a few years previous - In The Heights.

Il Signor Bruschino

By Rossini. Lyric Opera of Melbourne. Chapel off Chapel. Director: Lara Kerestes. Conductor: Pat Miller. June 6 – 12, 2016

Lyric Opera continues to astound. Performed in the round, this rarely heard Rossini one-acter was quite a romp, with strong performances from the talented cast. But it was the innovative direction which sold me.

Before the opera started Raphael Wong, as the Inn keeper, wandered around with a tray of coffee cups, offering drinks to the patrons. Then, during the overture, various characters came out to establish their credentials and set the scene. This was timed to the music and performed with confidence and precision.

Mira Fuchs

Choreography, video, text and performance by Melanie Jame Wolf. Arts House (North Melbourne Town Hall). 2 – 12 June 2016.

Mira Fuchs is a stripper.  The show is about stripping and being a stripper.  ‘Being’?  Working as.  Performing as.  Mira Fuchs’ creator, Melanie Jame Wolf, has been a club stripper and lap dancer for eight years, so she knows whereof she speaks – and dances.

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