Dream Lover - The Bobby Darin Musical

Book by Frank Howson, John-Michael Howson, Simon Phillips and Carolyn Burns. Directed by Simon Phillips. Choreography by Andrew Hallsworth. Lyric Theatre, Sydney. Opening night: October 6, 2016

Pound for pound this was the best opening night for a new Australian written musical since The Boy From Oz. Even our biggest hit of recent times - Priscilla  - was trimmed after the premiere. This production felt like it had rolled off the Broadway production line.

At its heart is a very good story. Bobby who? was the question many asked when the musical was announced. The director Simon Phillips was amongst the many who did not know much about him.

The Masque of Beauty

Concept, script & production by Peter Green. Direction, dramaturgy, original music & keyboard by Faye Bendrups. La Mama Courthouse, Carlton (VIC). 5 – 9 October 2016.

The Masque of Beauty really is a ‘masque’ – i.e. not a ‘play’.  Or at least, it is masque-like.  The performers wear no masks, instead opting for elaborate make-up.  Nor does it conclude with traditional celebratory images of beauty and concord in homage to whoever is in power.  On the contrary.  La Mama’s quarterly handbook of coming attractions calls it a ‘renaissance cabaret’.


TerryandtheCuz. OzAsia Festival. The Maj Gallery. September 28 – October 1, 2016

SKIN is an inter-active promenade production from Malaysia that effectively takes one into the nightmare world of human trafficking. As is stated by the creators in the program, Malaysia currently hosts approximately 90,000 refugees, whom exist in a state of transit having no international legal standing. What this production successfully achieves is an ‘experience’ that is informative as much as it is alienating. It is a journey that one takes sometimes with the other attendees/participants and at other times as an individual.

Blanc de Blanc

Directed by Scott Maidment. Regal Theatre, Subiaco, WA. 29 Sep - 23 Oct, 2016

Blanc de Blanc would be best enjoyed with a sexy companion and a few glasses of champagne. A sexy blend of cabaret, burlesque, circus and tease, it is full of surprise.

Four Saints in Three Acts

By Virgil Thomson to a libretto by Gertrude Stein. Victorian Opera. Conductor: Phoebe Briggs. Director: Nancy Black/Professor Kim Vincs. Merlyn Theatre, Malthouse. September 30 – October 1, 2016

Four Saints in Three Acts is an opera like no other. Written by the American composer Virgil Thomson to a libretto by Gertrude Stein, the words are generally nonsense, with repetitive phrases and no discernible plot. The Stream of Consciousness school was popular in this era.

However, this did not matter.

New Owner

The Last Great Hunt. Directed by Arielle Gray and Tim Watts. Pica Performance Space, Perth WA. 1-16 October, 2016

Presented by PICA as part of the 2016 AWESOME Festival, The Last Great Hunt’s show New Owner is a beautiful World Premiere that features puppetry, live action, animation and projection to tell a story of relationships through the eyes of a dog.

The Recruiting Officer

By George Farquhar. Blackwood Players. Blackwood 21, Blackwood. September 30, October 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 2016

Having very recently reviewed Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good, in which some of the convict characters in an early Australian penal colony attempt to rehearse George Farquhar’s play The Recruiting Officer, this week I reviewed The Recruiting Officer in its own right.

Thoroughly Modern Millie

Music by Jeanine Tesori, lyrics by Dick Scanlan, and a book by Richard Morris and Scanlan. G and S Society of South Australia. The Arts Theatre, Adelaide. 28th September - 8th October 2016

It was with some trepidation that this reviewer ventured to the Arts Theatre, on a post- apocalyptic storm night, to see Thoroughly Modern Millie. Pre- show, director David Sinclair came to the stage to remind the audience that the show had missed its Technical Dress Rehearsal and official opening night due to the storms. We were asked to be understanding of this should it not go to plan. Well! If the plan was to explode onto the stage with joy and colour and lift the spirits of waterlogged Adelaide, it was a smash!

Rent The Musical

By Jonathon Larson. Blackout Theatre Company. The Joan, Penrith. September 28 – October 1, 2016

Blackout Theatre Co's production of Jonathon Larson's musical Rent is a real tribute to the shows themes of Love, Adversity and Community.

Twenty years after the Off Broadway Premiere, Director Jordan Anderson and his cast and crew have produced a real in-your-face and at times very moving night of theatre.

The cast of 36 (unusually large for this show) is strong vocally when they are all on stage together. The principal cast, together, form a very believable group of friends, though individually struggling with nerves and harmonies on opening night.

Croquiky Brothers

Oz Asia Festival. Saturday 1 October 2016 -Sunday 2 October, 2016.

The Croquiky Brothers are billed as “A hilarious comedy that includes live drawing of audience members, famous paintings and iconic objects. These two brothers from Korea can dance, draw and play air guitar, often all at the same time.” On a warm sunny afternoon at the Oz-Asia Festival, this reviewer joyfully experienced what can only be described as the eclectic and quirky talents of the brothers. From the moment the show began with bouncy music and crazy mime antics, the audience (and particularly the younger members) were hooked.

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