By Cenarth Fox. Strathmore Theatrical Arts Group (Vic). Director: Cenarth Fox. Choreographer: Margaret Rawlinson. Strathmore Community Centre. May 31 – June 9, 2012.

I wasn’t sure what to expect of Scrubbers, but it sounded like fun and it was. It was an Australian five-hander by Cenarth Fox, who was there to direct and get the best out of his players.

The musical is about five cleaning ladies, all with various disappointments in their lives. Dee has been struggling to become a singer, and when the others join her as an all girl band, they forget their woes and embrace this new goal.


Book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, Music by Marc Shaiman and Lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman. Rockdale Musical Society and Canterbury Theatre Guild. Director: Chris Scarpellino. Musical Director: Andy Peterson. Choreographer: Craig Nhobbs. Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club. May 25 to June 3, 2012.

Bursting from the stage with vitality and colour from its first lively, jiving ensemble number, striking choreography, vibrant costuming and extravagant wigs are early stars of this co-production of Hairspray. The energy and enthusiasm with which the ensemble nailed choreographer Craig Nhobbs snappy routines, and swirled designer James Worner’s splendid, colourful 60s costumes set benchmarks sustained until the high-energy finale.

Lucy Black

By Paul Gilchrist. Subtlenuance Theatre Company. Tap Gallery, East Sydney. Director: Paul Gilchrist. Musical Director/Performer: Heidi Lupprian. Designer: Chloe Lawrence-Hartcher. Cast: Richard Hilliar, Sonya Kerr, Corinne Marie, Joshua Morton, Zara Zoe. 24 May to 3 June, 2012

The first cut is the deepest.

The initial impact of Lucy Black is the language. Paul Gilchrist has set his story in Elizabethan England and his five characters speak in the mode of their times. The language is beautiful and flows easily from the actors, and Is straightforward enough for the audience to understand and connect with. Listening to this unfamiliar language keeps us on our toes as we navigate this metaphysical tale.

Better Man

By Alex Lycos. Bulldog Theatre Company. Director Alex Lycos. Lighting Design: Bill Illiades. Cast: Jey Osman, Panda Likoudis, Helena Stamoulis, George Harrison, Natalia Ladyko, Alex Lycos, Alicia Gonzalez, Michael Arvithis, Charles Billeh, Nick Mavridis. Sidetrack Theatre, Marrickville (NSW). 24 May to 10 June, 2012.

What shall it profit a man, to be better?

Alex Lycos has been incredibly successful in recent years with his Alex & Eve trilogy, packing The Factory main stage venue for performance after performance. Alex’s new play, Better Man, opens at the Sidetrack, where the Alex & Eve phenomenon all began in 2008.

Don Quixote

Queensland Ballet. Playhouse, QPAC Brisbane. May 19 – June 2, 2012

François Klaus’s version of the classic Cervantes novel celebrates another milestone in the final year of his eight-year tenure with Queensland Ballet.

The lavish production captures everything most ballet goers seek: spectacular scenery, gorgeous costumes, and brilliant dancers weaving magic to transport us to illusiondom where we escape our everyday routine.

The Mousetrap

By Agatha Christie. Hobart Repertory Theatre Society. Playhouse Theatre, Hobart. Director: Ingrid Ganley. 25th May – 9th June, 2012.

C'est si bon (It's a Wonderful Life)

By Rebecca Morton and Deborah Sonenberg. Director: Deb Sonenberg. Pianist: Trevor Jones. The Butterfly Club, South Melbourne May 22 – 27, 2012

The Magic Flute

Opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Libretto: Emanuel Schikaneder. Opera Australia. Lyric Theatre, QPAC. Director: Mathew Barclay based on the Julie Taymor original. Conductor: Anthony Legge. May 26 – June 8, 2012

Opera Australia made a triumphant return to Brisbane last night with Julie Taymor’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

Originally conceived for the Metropolitan Opera New York, it was a bold concept that put the magic back into the work that has been around since 1791. Taymor’s hand was evident at every turn, from her striking costume and puppet designs to her fluid direction which has been recreated, along with Mark Denby’s original choreography, for Opera Australia by Mathew Barclay.

Bob Downe: 20 Golden Greats

Sydney Theatre. May 23 – 26, 2012.

The Gondoliers

By Gilbert and Sullivan. Berowra Musical Society (NSW). Director: Andrew Cousins. Musical Director: Sally Cousins. Choreographer: Jess Edward. May 19 – 26, 2012.

Berowra Musical Society’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Gondoliers is traditional at heart, with sufficient freshness and variations on a theme to enliven it.

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