Reviews

HMS Pinafore

By Gilbert and Sullivan. Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Sydney. Smith Auditorium Lyric Theatre. September 26 - October 4, 2014.

HMS Pinafore is amongst my G & S personal favourites. It’s a lean, pacy satirical confection set aboard a British naval ship, in which the Captain’s daughter falls in love with a sailor, rejecting the advances of the First Lord of the Admiralty, if you haven’t caught it in the last 135 or so years.

The Pearl Fishers

By Georges Bizet. Libretto: Eugène Cormon and Michel Carré. Melbourne Opera. Director: High Halliday. Musical Director: Richard Divall. Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne: September 19 - 30, 2014. Alexander Theatre – Monash University: October 4, 2014.

The Pearl Fishers is not one of the more popular operas, but it does include the best known operatic duet and two of the best arias in the French repertoire. In between is not so exciting.

Angry Sexx

By Rachel Perks. Fringe Hub, Upstairs at Errol’s, North Melbourne. 27, 28 & 30 September, 1-4 October 2014.

Two 20-something BFFs hang out, talk about sex, listen to music, dance, listen to talk radio, talk about sex.  Catherine (Rachel Perks, who’s also the writer) sits up straight and prim. Cybell (Artemis Ioannides) wriggles her arse at the audience.

Wicked

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. Book by Winnie Holzman. Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire. Capitol Theatre, Sydney. Opening Night: September 25, 2014

The second time round Wicked feels more comfortable in its green skin. 

 

All the elements which make it a terrific night of musical theatre remain. 

 

Marlin

By Damien Millar. Arena Theatre Company and Melbourne Theatre Company. Southbank Theatre, The Lawler. September 25 to 11 October, 2014

Very much like a handsomely presented picture book, Marlin is a series of stunning images that come to life on stage through the stylish design of Marg Horwell.  It is the story of a grandfather and granddaughter working together to save the life of a Marlin and navigate the difficulties and dangers they encounter at sea in a small boat. 

 

The Addams Family

By Andrew Lippa, Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. OCPAC (Vic). Director: Connor Crawford. Musical Director: Daniel Donovan. Choreographer: Mandy Vugler. Middleton Theatre, Camberwell Boys Grammar. September 27 - October 4, 2014

How many amateur music theatre companies are there in Melbourne? In the past week I have encountered two more I didn’t realise existed. They wanted Stage Whispers to review their work, and they were both excellent.

 

Carrie: The Musical

Music by Michael Gore. Lyrics by Dean Pitchford. Book by Lawrence D Cohen. Based on the novel by Stephen King. Directed by Terence O’Connell. Chapel off Chapel (Vic). Sept 25th-Oct 12th, 2014

Carrie is one of those musicals that sits between a rock and a hard place. Some call it the worst musical flop ever written – others have made it an infamous cult icon and worship it for its quasi Gothic/High Camp persona. So which is it? Well the truth is it is a bit of both, and neither.

Mr Wonderful

By James Robson. Javeenbah Theatre Company, Nerang, Gold Coast. Directed by Gaye Gay. September 26th – October 11th, 2014

Mr Wonderful explores the relationship between a bedridden, meddling mother Phoebe Green, beautifully played by Virginia Leaver, and her middle aged, spinster daughter Norma, sympathetically portrayed by Naomi Thompson and the occasional males that she and her mother pick out of a catalogue of “lonely hearts”.

Brother Daniel

By James Balian. Tap Gallery East Sydney. 25 September to 5 October 2014

Never regret an adventurous yet ignoble life

 

The Bald Prima Donna

By Eugene Ionesco. Melbourne Fringe Festival, presented by Room To Move, 29th Apartment, St Kilda (VIC) 25 – 28 September 2014

An iconic play from ‘the theatre of the absurd’, written in 1950, is performed in an iconic, vaguely retro bar in St Kilda.  As we wait for the show to begin, we listen to Vera Lynn and Doris Day, a nostalgic touch somewhat at odds with  what we have come to see. 

 

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