The Emperor’s New Clothes A New Musical

The Emperor’s New Clothes A New Musical
Music and Lyrics by Alan Schmuckler. Book by David Holstein. Stage Artz Theatre. Glen Street Theatre, Sydney. September 28 - October 6, 2012. Australian Premiere.

This was a treat for the eyes, the ears and the belly.

Seamstresses and set designers whipped up lavish costumes and a cute set including an adorable closet laden with shoes.

For the ears there were delicious tunes in this production written only a few years back for the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.

The composer even flew out from the US to listen to some extra songs written especially for a large cast and seen on stage for the first time.

As for the belly - it was jiggling on a regular basis. John-Paul Van Schie was pitch perfect as the Emperor. He was as colourful as the clothes he was wearing.

His three male secretaries brought on giggles every time they stepped on stage.

The book kept surprising and delighting. It was pantomime for 2012, complete with mobile phone cameras and internet jokes.

The daughter of the Emperor played, by Shannon McKinn, was the opposite of her father and dressed in jeans and a t-shirt.

She was into gardening and in a Monty Pythonesque moment discovers by accident she is revered by a community of Moles who live off her vegetables.

It veered off into unexpected directions and including a new twist at the moment when the Emperor appears before his subjects with no clothes.

It was a gamble for the Director Samantha Neaves to discover a script never staged in Australia and stage it on a scale. It paid off handsomely.

David Spicer

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