Reviews

Second Samuel by Pamela Parker

Playlovers and David Young Productions. Director: Sue Hayward. Subiaco Arts Centre, April 30 - May 8

Like a Southern American accent, Second Samuel is slowly paced at first, like warm honey or a hot summer’s day, but like some other Southern tales (Steel Magnolias and To Kill a Mockingbird spring to mind) behind its gentle tale of small town life are some wonderful messages about acceptance. Told through the eyes of the mentally challenged B Flat, in a captivating performance by Tyler Jones, we meet the folks of Second Samuel (the first Samuel was burned down), as they deal with a most unusual circumstance.

Floyd Collins in Concert.

Music and Lyrics by Adam Guettel. Book and lyrics by Tina Landau. Produced by Anne-Maree McDonald and Stuart Maunder

According to Stephen Sondheim great musical theatre is the seamless combination of lyrics, music and drama.

Floyd Collins has this (pardon the pun) in spades.

The musical about a miner trapped underground in Kentucky, and the circus which developed around efforts to dig him out in 1925, is married gorgeously into its bluegrass style.

Adding to the enjoyment of listening to this chamber musical, superbly played and sung, was the aptness of the venue ... the Sydney Recital Hall.

Stockholm by Briony Lavery

La Boite Theatre, Brisbane. Sydney Theatre Company (in association with Frantic Assembly). 28th April – 22nd May

Whoa! This show is a knockout – conceptually, visually, emotionally, technically. It defies categorisation: relationship drama, erotica, dance, circus skills, illusions, physical theatre, danger …

Notes from the Warsaw Ghetto: The story of Emanuel Ringelblum by Neil Cole

Directed by Dominique Bongiovanni; Performed by Alex de la Rambljie, Liran Shachar, Phil Zachariah and Joseph Strou. An Eagle's Nest Theatre production at La Mama Courthouse, Melbourne until May 16.

The Holocaust has inspired many artists around the world to share their interpretations of the events that, collectively, define the single greatest crime against humanity in living memory. As an historical event, it has become increasingly scrutable, thanks largely to the tireless endeavours of publishers, authors (such as Primo Levi), filmmakers (Steven Spielberg), archivists and benefactors who are determined to document the extent of the horrors before the generation of survivors are lost to us forever.

The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco by John Birmingham & Simon Bedak

Brisbane Arts Theatre. 10th April – 15th May 2010

BAT, in mid-2009, began to change their house style from safe, conservative comedies and murder mysteries, to plays with bite.

Honour by Joanna Murray-Smith.

Sydney Theatre Company. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. 22 April - 29 May

It's one of those things we may never quite know enough about. Does it last? When is it really real? Love - one of the core themes of the play Honour by Joanna Murray-Smith.

FAME

Regent Theatre, Melbourne, and touring nationally. Wednesday, 21 April 2010. Capitol Theatre, Sydney from October 14.

The musical based on a TV show based on a movie has hit Melbourne. Following a “Seasons of Love”-style opening, the audience is introduced to a stage-width LED curtain backdrop that is used to change the time and location of the on-stage action. All cast and creatives should be congratulated on a sterling effort, considering they are running on only four weeks of rehearsal and four days in the theatre (including two previews).

Wild World – The Cat Stevens Story

Featuring Paul Dillon and ‘The Tillermen’ with guest vocalist Sarah-Louise Younger. Parade Theatre, NIDA. April 16, 2010.

Most people of a certain age, with barely a passing interest in Cat Stevens know that he was a prodigiously gifted English singer song-writer who’d achieved phenomonal success in the late 1960s and 1970s, who abruptly walked away (albeit temporarily) from music when he converted to Islam in 1978. The effusive publicity material which accompanies this show leads you to believe you are about to catch a rare, behind the scenes glimpse into Cat’s private world.

Handle With Care

Music & Lyrics by Megan Shorey. Director: Lewis Jones. Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts (Qld.). April 14.

Whilst best described as a ‘song cycle’, Handle With Care is more than that. Composer Megan Shorey has crafted some very strong musical pieces, performed magnificently by an accomplished cast of eight female performers, with some truly stunning group harmonies. A new work is always tough on an audience, and an audience is always tough on a new work – especially when that work is a new music theatre piece.

Let The Sunshine by David Williamson

QTC/MTC. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC (Qld.). Director: Michael Gow. April 12 - May 15

Two Stage Whispers reviewers, Jay McKee and Paul Dellit, review the QTC / MTC co-production of David Williamson's Let The Sunshine.

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