Reviews

Beauty and the Beast

Disney's Beauty and the Beast by By Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Linda Woolverton. Nova Music Theatre. Director: Noel Browne. Musical Director: John Clancy. Choreographer: Jonathon Robinson. The Whitehorse Centre. October 21 – November 6, 2011.

NOVA’s spring presentation was an old favourite in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

The stage was attractively set, with great effects particularly in the opening, as the uncouth prince changed into the beast. The lighting was very effective, costuming absolutely magnificent, the orchestra remembered its true function and accompanied the singers, and the sound engineers surpassed themselves with the correct balance.

Sexual Perversity in Chicago

By David Mamet. Accidental Productions, SA. The Bakehouse Theatre. Director: Jesse Butler. Designer: Tammy Boden. October 21 – November 5, 2011

If you come to this play expecting an orgasm of titillation – a non-stop parade of actors humping onstage  – you’ll be disappointed.

What you get is a sophisticated comedy that provides a snapshot of the attitudes of 1970s youth toward sex roles.

Bernie (Hjálmer Svenna) thinks he’s God’s gift to women and he has Danny’s respect for his never-ending and over-the-top sexual exploits. Things change as Danny (Nic Kreig) starts to date the innocent and likeable Deborah (Renee Gentle), prompting Bernie’s jealousy.

The Mikado.

Gilbert and Sullivan Society of South Australia. The Scott Theatre. 20 to 29 October, 2011.

It would be only fair to start by saying that I am not familiar with each and every note and individual instrumentation in The Mikado – so going into a production whose main point of difference is the reorchestration is a difficult task to say the least. I will instead provide commentary on what I saw, without comparing it too much to the ‘original’.

The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane

Director Gavin Quinn. Pan Pan Theatre (Ireland). Melbourne Festival. Malthouse Theatre, Oct 18 to 22, 2011.

The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane by Ireland’s Pan Pan Theatre gets up to a lot of mischief with Shakespeare’s towering tragedy, Hamlet. With a big cast and striking stage design, it promises an assault on the play we all think we know, and doesn’t disappoint.

King Arthur and the Tales of Camelot

Ballet by Francois Klaus. Synopsis Development: Francois Klaus, David Walters, Robyn White. Text: Helen Howard. Musical Director & Arranger: Craig Allister Young. Queensland Ballet @ Playhouse, QPAC, 15 – 29 October, 2011.

Annie

By Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin and Thomas Meehan. The Regals Musical Society. Sydney Technical High School, Bexley. Director: Meg Day. Musical Director: Jake Ryan. Choreographer: Tracey Rasmussen. October 14 – 22, 2011.

INGENUITY was essential, and evident in abundance.

Five weeks out from opening, The Regals discovered that Rockdale Town Hall would be unavailable for their production of Annie, due to asbestos concerns. The company, including two big casts of children, had been rehearsing a large-scale production for four months, with all facets of preparation, assuming the Town Hall stage facilities, well under way.

Lawrie and Shirley

By Geoff Page. Director: PJ Williams. The Street Theatre, Acton, ACT. 14 – 23 October 2011

THE WHARF REVUE – DEBT DEFYING ACTS

By Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe & Philip Scott. STC production. Gardens Theatre, Brisbane. Director: Jonathan Biggins. Musical Director: Philip Scott. Music Tracks: Andrew Worboys. 13 – 15, October 2011.

Sydney Theatre Company’s Wharf Revue, which has been making Sydneysiders laugh for the past ten years, in recent times has also toured the Eastern states. Debt Defying Acts is midway through its tryout tour which started in Gosford 30th September and ends back at the Wharf 17th November.

Whiteley’s Incredible Blue ...an hallucination

By Barry Dickens. Produced and presented by fortyfivedownstairs. Director: Julian Meyrick. Whiteley: Neil Pigot. Musicians – Pietro Fine, Robert George and Robert Calvert. Associate Director and Designer: Meredith Rogers. Lighting Designer: Kerry Saxby. Sound Designer and Operator: Christopher Wenn. October 13 – 23, 2011.

On the simple set of a hotel room, with sparingly used projected images, a flock of paper herons, spoken stage directions and wonderful improvisational musical extrapolation - Neil Pigot as Brett Whiteley works through a tortured, grounded purgatory.

Ghosts

By Henrik Ibsen. Newcastle Theatre Company. Director: Debra Hely. October 12 – 22, 2011.

It’s always reassuring when community theatre companies veer off the trusted path of farce and classics and venture into what might be perceived as more ‘risky’ territory – by either staging brand new, cutting-edge works or perhaps riskier still, taking one of Ibsen’s vehicles for a spin.

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