Reviews

Scientology: The Musical

By George Glass. The Producers Warehouse. Adelaide Fringe. March 4-19, 2017

With a very famous Broadway musical which comedically focuses on a ‘particular’ religion now on stage all over the world, it was topical to go and see what this ‘Scientology’ thing is all about. Scientology: The Musical, playing at the somewhat run-down venue of ‘The Warehouse at The Producers’, is a good satirical look at a religion many of us only associate with aliens and Tom Cruise.

The Philadelphia Story – A Lux Radio Production

Written by Philip Barry. Directed by Sharon White. New Farm Nash Theatre. 24 February – 18 March, 2017.

This production is as it was first performed in 1942 at the Victory Theatre by the United States Government as part of their war effort. It had in the cast such famous people as Kathryn Hepburn, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart from the original film and it was a great success. It later was made into the musical,  High Society, with Grace Kelly.

Saul

By Handel. Glyndebourne Opera. Adelaide Festival. Adelaide Festival Theatre. 3-9 March 2017

If music be the food of life, then this feast, brought to the stage by Barrie Kosky, was ravenously devoured by the audience on opening night. Saul brings to the table, both literally and metaphorically, a meal of aural and visual delight.

Calendar Girls

By Tim Firth. Villanova Players. Director: Jaqueline Kerr. F.T. Barrell Auditorium, Yeronga, Brisbane. 25 February – 12 March 2017.

Ever since Tim Firth adapted his successful 2003 film into a stage play in 2008 it has been a box-office bonanza, breaking the all-time British box-office record for a play on its 2008/09 UK tour. Based on a true story, the plot, as everyone knows, is about a group of middle-aged Yorkshire women who pose nude for a fund-raising calendar, and is an ideal choice for community theatre with its multiple roles for women of a certain age.

The Full Monty

Music & Lyrics by David Yazbek. Book by Terrence McNallyBased upon the screenplay by Simon Beaufoy. StageArt. Director: Drew Downing. Musical Director: Nathan Firmin. Choreographer: Rhys Velasquez. National Theatre, St Kilda. March 3 – 19, 2017

StageArt’s production of The Full Monty was a high energy affair. The story, familiar to audience members from the film, had been moved to America. With the local factory having been closed, Jerry is struggling to pay maintenance to his ex-wife and faces losing access to his son, Nathan. So he enlists some mates in a get rich quick scheme to produce a male strip show.

Initially we encounter the wives attending a strip show, enjoying themselves enormously and complaining about their husbands. Sophie Weiss is particularly strong as Georgie.

Betroffenheit

Electric Company Theatre/Kidd Pivot. Adelaide Festival. Dunstan Playhouse. 3-4th March, 2017.

The German word Betroffenheit carries with it a sometimes inexplicable feeling; bereavement, shock and impact caused by tragedy. It’s a sensation attached to an incomprehensible emotion that encompasses the whole body. In their latest performance piece, Electric Company Theatre and Kidd Pivot channel performer Jonathon Young’s personal struggle.

Confessions of an Aerobics Instructor

Written and performed by Joana Simmons, co-written/co-directed by Elizabeth Dawson Smith. Music by Jamie Burgess. Speakeasy HQ (Vic). March 3, 10, 17th, 2017.

With all the hype that surrounds the ever-popular exercise industry; from the wardrobe essentials of active wear to the gym memberships, the fitness tracking accessories, and mass-produced elite gym equipment, Confessions of an Aerobics Instructor delves into the minds of the super humans that work in this business.

In Difference

By Craig Barry. Form Dance Projects. Riverside Theatre, Parramatta. 2-4 March 2017

Coinciding with the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney this weekend, In Difference embodies the theme of this year’s festival – “creating equality”.

The Executioner

Written and directed by Simon Lancione. Beating Heart Theatre Company. Adelaide Fringe. The Bas3ment. March 1st- 4th and 15th – 18th, 2017

A dramatic monologue can be a confronting and/or emotional experience for both the actor and the audience. The Executioner at the Bas3ment falls short on both counts. One of the first rules of theatre is to engage. This script is a 50 minute rant of random thoughts going through the character's head, and this reviewer was not engaged.

Wot? No Fish!!

By Danny Braverman. bread&circuses. Adelaide Festival. AC Arts Main Theatre. March 3rd – 7th, 2017

6pm on a Friday night after a long week is generally the time you are looking forward to going home to relax with a nice dinner and maybe a drink. Well, there is no dinner at AC Arts but there is Gefilte Fish and a storyteller extraordinaire. In a collaboration between Danny Braverman and Nick Phillipou, the audience hears the story of Braverman’s Great Uncle Ab Solomons through his wage packet art.

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