Reviews

Megan Hilty: Broadway Hits In Concert

Orchestra conducted by Michael Tyack. Sydney Opera House, 17 June 2019

Megan Hilty is pure magic. Magic of the incandescent, amazing, feel-good kind.

Backed by a brilliant 40 piece orchestra led by MD supremo Michael Tyack, Ms Hilty gave a concert that, for the mostly music theatre fans in the audience, dazzled with the "Wow" factor.

Megan Mullally and her band, Nancy & Beth

Concert Hall, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Brisbane. 19 June 2019

Self-styled musical misfits Megan Mullally (Broadway veteran best known for her TV work in Will & Grace) and Stephanie Hunt (Californication), are the harmonising lead singers of their band – Nancy & Beth – a folky, punky, jazzy collaboration with an equally talented group of performers. Hidden behind their red prison-style uniforms, ‘Nancy & Beth’ are the magic violin and vocals of Petra Haden, the groovy keys and uke of Datri Bean, solid drumming by Joe Berardi, super bass by Andrew Pressman and electric guitar by Roy Williams.

Tender Napalm

By Philip Ridley. Scuti Productions. The Studio, Holden Street Theatres, Adelaide. 19-29 June 2019

A woman and a man sit on the stage, their arms and legs entwined, their faces just inches apart. They talk quietly, lovingly – tenderly. A hand brushes away hair from a face; they almost kiss.

This is the scene we face as we walk into the well-lit auditorium, soft music providing a cushion to our inevitable murmurs of conversation when we take our seats. Then the house lights fade; the stories begin.

Dispersion

National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA). Co-Directed by Zebastian Hunter and Meredith Kitchen. NICA National Circus Centre, 39-59 Green St, Prahran. 18 - 22 June, 2019.

Dispersionis a beautifully evocative show that incorporates traditional circus arts, such as tightropes, tightwire, trapeze, straps, roue Cyr and hoops and combines them in a seamless manner with stylised movement, physical theatre and live improvisational jazz. The dazzling combination is presented as an ensemble show involving second year NICA students.

Razorhurst

Book & Lyrics by Kate Mulley. Music by Andy Peterson. Directed by Betina De Wit. Hayes Theatre Co. From June 14, 2019

On paper this sounded like a good fit for the Hayes Theatre – a two woman musical about the notorious 20th century female criminals Tilly Devine and Kate Leigh, who ran rival gangs in the streets of East Sydney, near where the performance is taking place.

Between them they committed a long shopping list of crimes including slashing a man in a barber shop, selling sly grog, running brothels and selling cocaine.

Ruthie Henshall – Live and Intimate

Musical Director: Paul Schofield. Enda Markey Production. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC. 18-19 June 2019.

Aussie audiences love comedy and there was no shortage of it in West End and Broadway star Ruthie Henshall’s Live and Intimate.

Kaye Tuckerman: Broadway Bound (But Not Gagged)

Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2019. The Blue Room – Adelaide Festival Centre 13-14 June, 2019

Kaye Tuckerman’s Broadway Bound (But Not Gagged) was one of the best shows I have seen, not only at this year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival but one of the very best so far for this entire year. I have written a rather lengthy review for this show, partly because, for many, the extremely talented and gracious Kaye Tuckerman is not as well known as others. Furthermore, her one-woman show has more to say and is more insightful about the reality of being a contemporary professional working actress in New York than anything I have recently seen.

The Misanthrope

By Molière, adapted by Martin Crimp. WAAPA. Directed by Humphrey Bower,. The Roundhouse Theatre, WAAPA, Edith Cowan University, Mt Lawley. June 14 - 20, 2019.

The Misanthrope features half of WAAPA’s Third Year Acting class in a beautifully polished modern version of Molière’s classic. Set in modern day Sydney, it is consciously and conspicuously theatrical, with clever references to its 1666 origins. Perhaps a little overlooked this week, playing at the same time as the flagship performance that is Strictly Ballroom, it is a fabulous production that deserves bigger audiences and warm accolades.

Bobby Fox – The Irish Boy

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Dunstan Playhouse, 14-15th June 2019

In June 2018 Bobby Fox was playing Charles Guiteau, who assassinated US president James Garfield, in Assassins at the Sydney Opera House. On the opening night he, almost inexplicably, but quite literally, broke a leg and found himself out of the show, laid up with an ankle injury. The enforced rest caused a period of introspection for Fox, who has been in consistent demand in the Australian Musical Theatre scene since his emigration to Australia in 2003. This hiatus from work resulted in a longing for his home town of Longford, Ireland and the culture he grew up with.

SoCalled Sings Yiddish

With Zephyr Quartet. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Adelaide Festival Centre Quartet Bar. June 16th, 2019

Josh ‘SoCalled’ Dolgin is a Canadian hip hop artist who began his love affair with Yiddish music as a music archaeologist, digging through music collections for sounds that he could apply to his work, and this performance is a celebration of that journey. At last count, there were more than 16 different forms of Yiddish music, some very familiar as they have been embraced by modern composers including Leonard Bernstein,Irving Berlin, Stephen Sondheim, and George and Ira Gershwin.

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