Reviews

Burn the Floor

The Palms at Crown Melbourne. Choreographer: Jason Gilkison.

The international dance sensation has toured the globe for ten years from London to Tokyo and on Broadway where it became a hit in July, 2009 Now Burn the Floor is exciting audiences in Australia.

Dracula.

Hobart Repertory Theatre. Based on Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, Dracula. Stage adaptation written by Hamilton Deane & John L Balderston. Playhouse Theatre, Hobart. Director: Robert Jarman. Composer: Craig Wood.

Dracula: the name conjures images of sinister, blood-sucking vampires, the un-dead and terror. The novel written by Bram Stoker in 1897, on which so many plays and films have been based, has been extremely successful. Stoker worked at the Lyceum Theatre for 27 years for the famous actor-producer Sir Henry Irving as a box-office attendant, but turned his hand to stage managing and acting when needed. His stage play adaptation, Dracula or the Un-dead, was not initially successful.

Incompleteness

By Steven Schiller and Stephen Phillips. La Mama Theatre. March 3- March 14 2010. Director Steven Schiller.

A play about mathematical logic and the man regarded as one of the most influential mathematicians of all time may not exactly sound like your idea of an exhilarating night of theatre. However, Incompleteness at La Mama is one of those rare thrilling moments of theatre that neither words nor complicated mathematical equations can explain. I've never personally seen beauty in mathematics, but have always been fascinated when the likes of Pythagoras or Bertrand Russell describe the intense artistry and perfection they see within it.

Stepping Out by Richard Harris

1812 Theatre (Vic). Until March 27.

Stepping Out won the London Standard comedy award in 1984 and the programme describes it as a “highly entertaining comedy.” The show was certainly funny, but the strongest message for me concerned the external defenses we create to hide our true emotions. The two performers who affected me most were Garry Barcham and Donna Pope for their nervous portrayals of Geoffrey and Andy (long for ‘Ann’).

The Damnation of Faust by Berlioz

Victorian Opera. Conductor: Richard Gill

The Victorian Opera continued on its path in the less familiar operatic repertoire with Berlioz’s flawed masterpiece The Damnation of Faust. Called a Dramatic Legend, this “opera” has scenes which would only work in a film. So the decision was made to produce a concert performance with the chorus at the back and the soloists in front of the orchestra with scores in hand.

Living Together by Alan Ayckbourn

Cairns Little Theatre. Director: Narelle Shorey

Living Together is one of the trilogy, The Norman Conquests, three plays that cover a traumatic family weekend in a Victorian country house from the vantage point of three different areas: dining room, living room and garden. Living Together covers the action that takes place in the living room. The central character is Norman, a disheveled librarian, who is married to Ruth but fancies his sisters-in-law, Annie and Sarah. Annie, in turn, is being courted by Tom, a dim vet, while Sarah is frustrated with her marriage to the boring Reg.

Godzone by Guy Rundle and Max Gillies

Seymour Centre. Director: Aidan Fennessy

A veteran of stage and screen and long time political satirist, Max Gillies takes us on a witty, sharp and sometimes refreshingly un-PC, jam-packed show - Godzone.

Thrill Me – The Leopold and Loeb Story by Stephen Dolginoff.

Squabbologic. Downstairs, Seymour Centre. Director: Jay James‐Moody. Musical Director: Mark Chamberlain. February 24 – March 6, 2010.

There’s a psychological chiller of a musical playing at the Seymour Centre.

It makes mega-musical Wicked, playing down the road, look like a cheery story about a misunderstood green girl.

If that one’s Wicked, then what is Thrill Me - The Leopold and Loeb Story? Malicious? Malevolent? Despicable?

Adelaide Festival Reviews

Paul Rodda and Nicole Russo review Adelaide Festival attractions. Image: The Sapphires

The Sapphires by Tony Briggs Scott Theatre The Adelaide Festival has brought an outstanding lineup of Motown hits to South Austrlia, neatly rolled into the endearing story of the McCrae sisters and how their lives were transformed when they came to perform in the all-girl singing group The Sapphires for the troops during the Vietnam War.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Opera by Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears and William Shakespeare. Opera Australia. Opera Theatre, Sydney Opera House. Director: Baz Luhrmann

Opera Australia served up a visual banquet with this sumptuous performance that had all the hallmarks of a Bollywood extravaganza. While A Midsummer Night’s Dream is short on dazzling tunes, this production is a feast for the eyes. The set was an opulent Gazebo on three levels. In the middle sat the band in their British Raj finest, liberated from the famously cruel Opera Theatre pit. At the bottom was a cave and lake.

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