The Wiz

Adapted from L. Frank Baum’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. National Academy of Performing Arts. Director: Lynn Dyer, Choreographer: Kim Reynolds. Bi-Centenial Hall, Nerang, Gold Coast. October 13th – 15th, 2016

With a cast of over 90 young performers, The Wiz was the end of year production for the junior students of N.A.P.A. and they all performed like seasoned pros. This academy prides itself on producing triple threatartistsand the stage was literally “jumping” with munchins, monkeys and winkies.

Lynn Dyer, Kim Reynolds and Musical Director Steffi Kriz, rehearsed the cast to perfection and the capacity audience loved it.


By Ayad Akhtar. QTC/MTC Production. Director: Nadia Tass. Playhouse, QPAC, 14 October – 6 November 2016

Disgraced is an explosive, taut piece of drama and as pertinent today as when it was first written in 2012. Filled to the brim with hot-button topics; Islam, radicalization, faith, identity and culture, Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize winning play could not have been more contemporary.

The Wedding Singer

Music: Matthew Sklar. Lyrics: Chad Beguelin. Book: Chad Beguelin & Tim Herlihy. Playback Productions. Director: Monica Cioccia. Musical Director: Lorraine Anne Salvador. Choreographer: Grace Maddern. Theatre Works, St Kilda. October 14 – 23, 2016.

The Wedding Singer is a musical based on the film of the same name. It did not get a long run on Broadway. After seeing this excellent production, I was surprised.

The highlight was the amazing chemistry between Leighton Irwin and Katlin O’Keene as Robbie, the wedding singer, and Julia, the girl he wanted. There was a touching vulnerability about their performances which was engaging, and they both sang well.


Windmill Theatre Co and State Theatre Company of SA. World Premiere. Dunstan Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre. October 11-30, 2016.

They say there’s nothing more delightful in theatre than an old-fashioned fairytale brought to life, yet last night I experienced the World Premiere of Rumpelstiltskin and discovered there’s something even more wonderful - a truly modern fairytale, graced by the enhancements that exquisite use of technology can provide.


By Bizet. Blanke Knochen Opera. Director: Kate Millett. Musical Director: James Penn. Pianist: Pam Christie. Howler Arts Hub and Bar, Brunswick. October 5 – 9, 2016

There is a plethora of semi-professional opera companies in Melbourne. Now, to add to the mix, we appear to have an amateur company, and doing things differently. It is so needed.

Only in an amateur company can young singers hope to get the opportunity to perform major roles and learn so much from the experience.

My First Time

Written by Ken Davenport. Directed by Helen Ellis. 1812 Theatre UFG. 6th-29th Oct, 2016

Director Helen Ellis does a sterling job with an excellent cast on Ken Davenport’s compilation play My First Time – an offering about losing one’s virginity.

Plays constructed from real life conversations are not new, and some of them have become classics.

The Laramie Project and The Vagina Monologues, along with The Exonerated, are at the upper echelon of this kind of amalgam. My First Time drifts somewhere down at the bottom of the scale.

Who Speaks for Me?

National Theatre of Parramatta and Performance 4A. Riverside Theatres, Parramatta. October 12 – 15, 2016

Performance 4a is a “professional arts company dedicated to making exceptional contemporary Asian Australian work for all audiences”, their vision being “to inspire artists and audiences to demand, embrace and realise the full potential of a richly diverse and inclusive multicultural Australia”.

12 Angry Men

By Reginald Rose. Matt Byrne Media. Directed and Designed by Matt Byrne. Holden Street Theatres, Hindmarsh, Adelaide. 12-29 October, 2016.

It takes a quality production to win over a critic who goes in harbouring doubts over the quality of the text being performed. MBM’s 12 Angry Men, despite its flaws, is a quality production.

For those unfamiliar with the premise, these 12 in question are jurors, presiding over an American murder trial. The men are not named, only numbered. An accused boy’s life hangs in the balance, and they must all come to an agreement before he can be either freed – or condemned…

It’s not me, it’s you

By Lucienne Weber. La Boheme (SA). 12-14th October, 2016

What does a thirty-something woman with a long list of romantic failures behind her do for therapy? If you are cabaret performer Lucienne Weber, you write a show about it. Incorporating many well-known show tunes into her hour performance, Weber takes us on a journey of self-discovery, with a narrative that pokes fun at the dating game.

Do Something Else

By Cloé Fournier, Ryuichi Fujimura and Brigid Vidler. Old 505 Theatre in Newtown. October 4 – 22, 2016

There is comedy, intrigue and psychological probing in thought-provoking work Do Something Else. Performance art devised over a year as a work in progress by Cloé Fournier, Ryuichi Fujimura and Brigid Vidler, directed by Michael Pigott, and performed at the Old 505 Theatre in Newtown.

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