Reviews

The Producers

By Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan. JYM Theatre Co (Vic). Phoenix Theatre. May 11 – 25, 2013.

A Tony-winning musical in local hands, JYM Theatre Co’s The Producers could’ve had the goods but sadly misses its mark, despite being led by an experienced production team, including producer Shlom Eshel and MD Phillip Setton. 

The songs and script by award winning Mel Brooks are hilarious. Max Bilaystock, a has-been Broadway musical producer, and nerdy accountant Leo Bloom, scheme a sure fire plan: to produce the worst musical ever, and take off with the backers’ money after closing on opening night. 

G.

By Garry Stewart. Australian Dance Theatre. Sydney Theatre, May 16 – 18, 2013, then touring.

The Australian Dance Theatre's latest offering G, is to ballet what MTV was to music back in the 80s. It's revolutionary, fresh and completely revitalises Giselle, a classic piece which is considered to be the Hamlet of the dance world.

The Club

By David Williamson. Directed by Denis Moore for Hit Productions. Athenaeum Theatre Melbourne. May 16th -18th, 2013 (5 performances) and then on tour.

Though Williamson’s play was written more than 35 years ago, it seems strangely relevant and current given the nature of AFL in 2013. And although the play has achieved iconic status, particularly in Melbourne where Footy is an addiction, we shouldn’t forget that, at its heart, it’s a broad comedy with a stinging underbelly. The plot is negligible….the philosophical questions unanswerable. At what stage does football stop being a sport and become a business? How do you balance the love of sport with the love (and necessity) of making money?

R and J

Expression Dance Company. Parramatta Riverside Theatre. May 16 – 18, 2013 and touring.

Take the star-crossed lovers, Shakespeare’s eternal themes of Passion, Romance and Devotion and Natalie Weir’s imaginative choreography, and you have a piece of contemporary dance theatre that both thrills and surprises.

Gasworks Circus Showdown

Gasworks Arts Park and City of Port Phillip through the Local Festivals Fund. Gasworks Theatre, Albert Park. Heats Wednesday, 15th and Thursday 16th and Final Saturday 18th, 2013

Final

Who needs a big top?

None of the performers in the grand final of the Gas works Circus Showdown. They had all applied to be included in the competition, made it through the selection process and a heat and were competing for a development prize worth $6000. They are all seriously skilled up, passionate, committed performers.

The Ten Tenors – Mum’s the Word Tour

Frog in a Sock Production. Executive Producer: D-J Wendt. Musical Director: Steven Baker. Concert Hall, QPAC, 15 May 2013

After touring Europe for the past four months The Ten Tenors came home to Brisbane, the city where their phenomenal success all started 15 years ago.

Happiness

By David Williamson. Ensemble Theatre (NSW). May 9 – July 6, 2013. Noosalongweekend. June 18 & 19.

Sandra Bates has directed this latest of David Williamson’s vignettes on middle class Australia with her usual sensitivity to the style and tempo of his writing. Scene changes are fast and seamless, carefully choreographed to sustain the momentum that is so essential to Williamson’s take on social satire. Characters are established quickly and move through momentary light fades on a minimalist set that becomes office, home, café or bar as the scenes demand.

Richard III (or almost)

By Timothy Daly. EMU Productions. King Street Theatre, Newtown (NSW). April 30 – June 1, 2013.

Bard meets Beckett? (or almost)

Two actors are imprisoned in an undefined institution, condemned to play scenes from Richard III each time a bell is rung in their purgatory. They’re trapped in an abstract, absurdist world where they might wait in equal discomfort for Godot.

A Streetcar Named Desire

By Tennessee Williams. New Farm Nash Theatre (Qld). Nash Theatre, Brisbane. May 11 – June 1, 2013

This community theatre had a gypsy history since its 1994 inception at Nash Street School of Arts in Rosalie, whence they were moved to Balfour Street, New Farm (1996), then a live theatre stint on one stage of the Valley Twin Cinemas, followed by a roving year in 2004 until they settled in the Merthyr Road Uniting Church Hall which they now call ‘home’. Nash re-established their reputation and now attracts a loyal following. The stage has limitations but they are used to adjusting to performance spaces.         

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

By Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Chatswood Musical Society. Director: Matt Cater. Musical Director: Hayden Barltrop. Choreographer: Laura-Beth Wood. Zenith Theatre, Chatswood (NSW). May 10 – 18, 2013.

Chatswood Musical Society’s ‘Joseph’ is one of those community theatre shows that starts off strongly, then just keeps on fulfilling, and even exceeding, its initial bright promise.

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