Reviews

Two by Two

By Dan Giovannoni. Little Ones Theatre (VIC). Fortyfivedownstairs. Director: Stephen Nicolazzo. Feb 9 – 19.

Noah’s Ark is a biblical story that at times is depicted as a charming tale of God’s creatures walking two by two into the safety of an enormous ark. At its crux, though, is an apocalyptic event of a grieving God about to destroy his creation with world-wide deluge – only one family, and one male and female of every living creature are saved.

Pratchett Pieces Three

By Terry Pratchett. Unseen Theatre Company. Bakehouse Theatre (SA). Producer/Director: Pamela Munt. February 10-24, 2012

The Bakehouse Theatre is like a box of chocolates …and you never know what Pratchett you'll get.

In a quantum universe of endless possible parallel realities, we are fortunate to be in one which offers such a tasty sample of bite size Terry Pratchett flavoured fun.

The Wizard of Oz

Music: Harold Arlen. Lyrics: E.Y. Harburg. Background Music: Herbert Stothart. Book: Adaption by John Kane based on the original book by L. Frank Baum. Director: Tim O’Connor. Musical Director: Maitlohn John. Choreography: Callum Mansfield. Harvest Rain Production. Playhouse, QPAC. February 9 – 19, 2012

Harvest Rain’s new production of The Wizard of Oz is the most enjoyable version of the story I have ever seen on stage. It’s bright, zippy and has a freshness that belies the age of the material.

Although the source material is over 100-years-old, this adaptation of the 1939 MGM movie was originally produced by London’s Royal Shakespeare Company in 1987.

Secret Bridesmaids’ Business

By Elizabeth Coleman. Maitland Repertory Theatre, Maitland (NSW). Feb 8 to 25, 2012

ELIZABETH Coleman’s play skilfully blends comedy surrounding pre-nuptial rituals with a serious look at whether enough thought is given to the relationships of couples beyond the wedding day.

Bride-to-be Meg (Ashley Wyatt) is spending the night before the wedding in an upmarket hotel suite with her ever-fussing mother Colleen (Karin Dowie) and bridesmaids Angela (Melissah Comber) and Lucy (Tricia Morosin).

The Temperamentals

By Jon Marans. New Theatre (NSW). February 7 – March 3, 2012.

Staged as part of Mardi Gras, The Temperamentals reaches back to a forgotten period of American gay activism long before that famous riot spilled from the Stonewall bar.

Chicago

Music by John Kander. Lyrics by Fred Ebb. Book by Fred Ebb and bob Fosse. Free Rain Theatre. Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre. Director: Anne Somes. Musical Director: Leisa Keen. 10 to 27 February 2012.

The Missing Person East Coast Album Launch

By Jacob Diefenbach. The Butterfly Club (Vic). February 10 - 12, 2012. Then @ The Zoo (Brisbane) February 16, 2012

Every time Jacob Diefenbach takes to the stage, audiences are treated to a friendly lad with a sickly sweet voice singing songs with dark lyrics.

He writes his own songs and they are so intensely personal that it's hard to imagine anyone else performing them. They chronicle his inner journey and although you'll be hard-pressed to find a nicer boy, the places he goes in his songs are as gothic as Dracula.

Schism

By Melanie Bainbridge. La Mama (Vic). La Mama Courthouse. Director: Suzie Hardgrave. Set design: Casey-Scott Corless. Sound design: Skye Klein. Lighting design: Rebecca Etchell with John McKissock from Clearlight Shows. February 9 - 19, 2012

When you walk into a theatre and the floor is littered with Petrie dishes and a single row of seats line the stage on four sides, you know you're in for innovative, edgy theatre.

Schism is a cerebral science-fiction thriller that tells the story of two twins separated at birth, with opposite psychological profiles, drawn together on their quest to end the world in the same way.

Yes, Prime Minister

By Antony Jay and Jonathan Lyn. Director Tom Gutteridge. Comedy Theatre, Melbourne. January 31 to March 4, 2012 – then National tour.

All through the eighties Jay and Lyn ruled the up-market end of British TV comedy with first Yes, Minister, then Yes, Prime Minister. The writing was clever, the performances superb and the entertainment unsurpassable for 28 minutes every week.

Summer of the Aliens

By Louis Nowra. Brisbane Arts Theatre. Director: Susan O’Toole Cridland. 4 February – 3 March, 2012

An unwieldy play structure diminishes the impact of this touching ‘memory’ play.

Set against the big events of 1962 (Cold War, Cuban Missiles crisis, Snowy Mountains Scheme, flying saucers and aliens) Nowra cobbles together his own angst as he moves from childhood to adulthood.

Originally written as a radio play,it had over 20 scenes and a large cast. That success inspired Nowra to adapt it for the stage. However, the retained radio play structure is cumbersome, episodic and difficult to pull off.

 

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