Reviews

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

Book, Music and Lyrics by Clark Gesner. Adapted from the Charles M Schulz comic strip Peanuts. Directed by Jonathon White. Amateur Repertory Company – ARC (Vic). Our Lady of Mercy College, Heidelberg. 22 & 28 February, 2015.

On the hottest day we’ve had this year, and in the midst of a truly formidable thunder storm, the cast and crew of You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown adhered to the old adage “The Show must go on” and gave a delightful performance to those of us who braved the elements.

Moving On Inc.

By Mikala Westall. Directed by Mikala Westall. The Blue Room Theatre, Perth Cultural Centre, Northbridge, WA. Feb 17-21, 2015

Moving On Inc. was a lovely surprise package in the Fringe World Festival - a beautifully realised one act play, outstandingly performed and wonderfully charming.

A play about memory and love, set in the Australian bush, this three-hander tells the story of Abby, whose job it is to clean up the estates of the deceased, her boyfriend Sam, who has secrets and the mysterious Ruth, who may just be a memory.

Princess Obsession

The Black Flamingo, The Pleasure Gardens, Northbridge, WA. Feb 16-18, 2015

I've long been a fan of the lovely Emma Davis and the prospect of Emma exploring Disney Princesses seemed a perfect combination.

In this one woman show (which feels more like a solo musical than a cabaret - for its clear storyline and structured approach), Emma tells the stories of the women who voiced the first three Disney Princesses - Snow White's Adriana Caselotti, Cinderella's Ilene Woods and Sleeping Beauty's Mary Costa.

HEART TO HEART

Promise Adelaide. Director: Ben Francis. Musical Director: Camryn Jordans. Choreographers: Tayla Prime, Emily Goldsmith, Paris Anderson. Burnside Ballroom. 22nd February, 2015.

The group known as Promise Adelaide are rapidly establishing a strong reputation for themselves, as an invaluable performing outlet for young up-and-comers, as fund-raisers with commendably noble motives, and as purveyors of thoroughly entertaining musical, ‘dance-ical’ evenings.

Beauty and the Beast

Music by Alan Menken. Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Book by Linda Woolverton. Directed by Katherine Friend,. Musical Direction by Justin Friend. Koorliny Arts Centre, Kwinana, WA. Feb 13-28, 2015

Lavishly costumed and performed on a well-constructed and thoughtfully designed set, Beauty and the Beast, directed by Katherine Friend, was a quality production to open Koorliny's in-house performance season.

Stacey Hollings made a lovely Belle and her charm and genuine warmth was key to the success of this production. She has a beautiful singing voice and delivers a very genuine performance.

 

High School Musical

Book by David Simpatico. Spotlight Theatre, Benowa, Gold Coast. Director: Clay English. February 20th to March 14th, 2015

No amount of rain on the Gold Coast was going to dampen the Opening Night enthusiasm of the cast of the high velocity High School Musical at Spotlight Theatre. Thankfully - sound issues got sorted as the fast paced show progressed. This stage production is all about the song and dance – with a nice little story thrown in.

Special mention to the set designers – one basic set, with slick minor changes, made sure all of the stage was well used by the large cast.

The Lion King

Music by Elton John, Tim Rice and others. Disney. Directed by Julie Taymor. Regent Theatre Melbourne. Opened February 19th, 2015

The Lion King is back – better than ever. If you loved the show 10 years or so ago, then you are bound to want to take your children and/or grandchildren all over again. It isn’t a great musical, but it IS a great piece of theatre, a spectacle that has never been bettered. Director Julie Taymor touched the child in us then and, even though we are older and wiser, we can’t help but embrace that inner child once more.

The Beaux’ Stratagem

By George Farquhar. The Stirling Players (SA). Stirling Community Theatre. February 20-March 7, 2015.

Exuberant, witty and jam-packed with delightful characters, George Farquhar’s The Beaux’ Stratagem is The Stirling Players’ first production in the company’s Year of Comedy and sets a very high bar for Adelaide’s community theatre scene in 2015.

This three-hundred-year-old Restoration comedy is a hoot. What’s more, the foibles and human failings of the play’s characters are hilariously familiar, reminding modern audiences all these years later that people have not really changed.

Velvet

Organised Pandemonium. Directed by Craig Ilott. Adelaide Fringe. The Garden of Unearthly Delights. February 13 - March 15, 2015.

This stunner of a show is nothing less than a pure endorphin rush - and yet, the word 'pure' seems to give the wrong impression of such a relentlessly sexy and spicy extravaganza. The feelings of freedom and joy that characterised the disco world of the 1970s are distilled, intensified, and pumped up into one heck of a blast from the past - complete with the one-and-only Marcia Hines, still a dazzling diva after all these years, and whose Queen of Pop crown shines brighter than ever here.

What Rhymes with Cars and Girls

By Aidan Fennessy. Music and Lyrics by Tim Rogers. Melbourne Theatre Company. Arts Centre, Melbourne, Fairfax Studio. February 13 – March 28, 2015.

What Rhymes with Cars and Girls is a rich, engrossing work in which all components come together with an inordinate sense of largesse and satisfying attention to detail. It is a very impressive first major directorial work from Clare Watson, who gives what was initially a boy’s story a good sense of balance. 

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