Reviews

The Last Five Years

By Jason Robert Brown. Stories Like These. Director: Luke Rogers. Musical Director: Mark Chamberlain. The Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre (NSW). July 13 – 30, 2011.

Earlier this year American composer / lyricist Jason Robert Brown toured Australia, giving consummate interpretations of his musical theatre songs in a series of concerts.

Now Sydney is seeing a professional production of his musical The Last Five Years. Also tagged as a song cycle, it’s full of the sort of truthful, intuitive character songs Brown shared with audiences across the country.

Queensland Music Festival

July 15 - 31, 2011
The Little Green Road to Fairyland.

Old Museum, Brisbane. 15-16 July 2011.

So much entertainment royalty is involved in this newly commissioned work: Composer Elena Katz-Chernin; Choreographer/Director Rosetta Cook; Orchestra The Southern Cross Soloists(augmented), under the baton of Sarah-Grace Williams; Soloist Katie Noonan; Narrator Christine Johnston; and eight dancers, some nationally and internationally acclaimed.

K.I.J.E.

By Joanna Erskine. The Old Fitzroy Theatre, Woolloomooloo. July 7 – 30, 2011.

K.I.J.E is a play about the futility of war and the sick absurdity that is often borne of it. In an atmosphere that hangs on a hairpin trigger even the most simplest of jokes can turn violent, even deadly. Standing for the names of the main characters (Konrad, Irving, Jono and Ed) K.I.J.E. is a fictitious character made up by the gang of four to get out of trouble from their commanding officer after some hi-jinx sparked by boredom went awry.

Small Odysseys

By rawcas. Arts House, Meat Market (Vic). 13 – 23 July 2011

Small Odysseys by rawcus is a rich well-crafted work that uses fantastic resources, beautifully, to meld a poignant and haunting experience. Loosely based on The Odyssey it ebbs and flows and certainly depicts journeying, particularly on water.

rawcus is a group of performers with and without disabilities whose work is lead and nurtured by Kate Sulan.

Ninety

By Joanna Murray-Smith. Directed by Marcelle Schmitz. Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia. July 1-17, 2011.

As William steps through the picture frame doorway of Isabel's art studio, she has exactly ninety minutes to convince him - her ex-husband, to return to her, rather than marry his younger girlfriend, in three days time.

This Is It - Team Mess

Team Mess. Director: Dara Gill. PICA Performance Space, Northbridge (WA). July 13-16, 2011.

If It looks like a duck and sounds like a duck - then its a duck...unless its a turkey.

Invited to a press conference for a new film 'This Is It' and surrounded by journalists recognisable from similar press events, this felt like the real thing.

Team Mess, a Sydney based performing collective, use the format of the press conference to construct a presumed narrative of the film, The audience questions and imput mean that a different show (and unseen film) are created each performance.

At Any Cost?

By David Williamson & Mohamed Khadra. Ensemble Theatre, Sydney. Director: Sandra Bates. 15 July – 27 August, 2011. Q Theatre, Penrith – September 6 – 10, 2011.

The Harbinger

By David Morton and Matthew Ryan. La Boite Indie and Dead Puppet Society. Director: David Morton. Roundhouse Theatre (Qld). 13-30 July, 2011.

Dead Puppet Society’s vision, and the concept they chose to achieve it, attracts many disciples. I understand this sixteen night season is almost booked out already.

I interpret this new entertainment concept as the equivalent of speculative fiction in literature. The arcane title that confused many theatregoers gives it away: specific writers are regenerating archaic language through their stories.

Secret Bridesmaids’ Business

By Elizabeth Coleman. Mixed Company. Visy Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse. 13-23 July 2011

If you know controversial information about the past behaviour of a friend’s partner or lover, should you tell them? The playwright poses this conundrum.

Superbly cast, masterfully directed by Simone de Haas, and achingly funny, this tragi-comedy with teeth is a welcome addition to Brisbane’s current fairly dour theatre offerings.

Tick, Tick … Boom!

By Jonathan Larson. Parade Playhouse, NIDA. June 13 – 16, 2011.

Don’t go along expecting another Rent, but musical theatre fans will want to see Jonathan Larson’s autobiographical musical Tick, Tick…Boom!

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