Reviews

Candide

Music by Leonard Bernstein. Book by Hugh Wheeler after Voltaire. Lyrics by various. Sydney Philharmonia Choirs. Conducted by Brett Weymark. Directed by Mitchell Butel. Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House. September 29 & 30, 2018.

This was a lavish banquet of a production that is an absolute treat for lovers of operetta and musical theatre. The first thing to knock your socks off is the tidal wave of sound.  A sumptuous orchestra fills the Concert Hall stage, surrounded by up to 300 singers.

The choir sounds both tight and energetic, and is a dynamic part of the production. At various times they move, change costume and radiate a joy of appreciation for the work which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the birth of the composer Leonard Bernstein.

Priscilla Queen Of The Desert – The Musical

Music & Lyrics: Various. Book: Stephan Elliott & Alan Scott. Michael Cassell Group, Nullarbor Productions & MGM on Stage. Director: Simon Phillips. Musical Director: Stephen Gray. Choreographer: Ross Coleman & Andrew Hallsworth. Lyric Theatre, QPAC. Opening Night 28 September 2018.

After visiting 29 countries, Priscilla’s bus has at last called in to Brisbane on the final leg of its current 10th anniversary tour, and if last night’s reaction is anything to go by it’s a gigantic hit. The first time it’s ever played Brisbane, this exuberant jukebox-musical is a high-camp, raunchy and glittering treat.

One Punch Wonder

By Amanda Crewes. The Actors’ Hub. Melbourne Fringe. Theatre Works. September 25 – 27, 2018

One Punch Wonder is a timely and brilliantly conceived production that addresses the current spate of one-punch-kill crimes that stem back to the year 2000.

The Owl and the Pussycat

Little Match Productions. Brisbane Festival. Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Cremorne Theatre 26-29 September, 2018

Little Match Productions, a Brisbane independent theatre company, has devised a delightful take on the Edward Lear poem that has been fascinating children for more than a century. The title characters are both female, so this production’s interpretation as a tale of unlikely friendship and love has an underlying subtext of diversity and acceptance. The theme continues as the lead pair meet a series of strange animal characters that test their preconceptions on their run-away adventure together.

Metamorphosis

By Brian Howard. Libretto by Steven Berkoff. Opera Australia. The Scenery Workshop at The Opera Centre, Surry Hills. September 26 – 29, 2018By Brian Howard. Libretto by Steven Berkoff. Opera Australia. The Scenery Workshop at The Opera Centre, Surry Hills. September 26 – 29, 2018

Opera Australia isn’t too well-practiced lately in staging Australian operas.  But amongst the scaffolding in its cavernous Surry Hills workshop, the company picked the right place to revive Brian Howard’s expressive 1983 telling of Kafka’s nightmarish Metamorphosis.

Mark Colvin’s Kidney

By Tommy Murphy. The Drill Hall Theatre Company, Mullumbimby, Northern N.S.W. Director: John Rado. 28th September – 14th October, 2018

This play is the dramatisation of the story of the late ABC PM Radio Host, Mark Colvin and the selfless donation of a replacement kidney by a British woman who only knew him via the airwaves and social media. 

Spanning many years, the story starts in London during the last decade, at the height of the phone-tapping scandal that rocked the print media world and Rupert Murdoch’s News Of The World.

The Phantom of the Opera

By Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe. The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of SA Inc. The Arts Theatre. 27 September – 6 October 2018

The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber (Music/Book), Charles Hart (Lyrics) and Richard Stilgoe (Lyrics/Book) was the most successful piece of entertainment in the twentieth century. It was first performed in London in 1986 and subsequently throughout the world, winning numerous awards and earning more than any game, film, theatre, concert, or any other form of public entertainment. It has delighted and charmed millions of people and is still being performed in London and New York and other places.

Faith Healer

By Brian Friel. A Belvoir production presented by State Theatre Company South Australia. Space Theatre. September 26th - October 13th, 2018

Before last night, if you had asked me if I would enjoy a night out listening to four monologues, I may well have yawned and politely declined. State Theatre Company South Australia’s Belvoir production of Faith Healer, with its powerful, seemingly simple and beautifully staged storytelling has changed all that.

The Marvellous Wonderettes

Creators: Roger Bean and Brian William Baker. Basement Theatre, Spotlight Benowa, Gold Coast. Director: Katie Steuart-Robins. Sept 21st – Oct 7th, 2018

One could be forgiven for thinking that when a Musical has a cast of 4, no set, just a static backdrop, props that include 4 free standing microphones and a cootie catcher – that it may be that you're in for a long night.  Oh - and a piece of chewing gum!

Pilepileta

By Sheree Stewart. Melbourne Fringe Festival. Theatre Works. Sep 25 – 30, 2918

The definition of Pilepileta in Wemba Wemba language is to shine and glitter.

As an indigenous and queer artist, Sheree Stewart does just that in her new debut solo show Pilepileta. It is a heart wrenching and an imaginative spoken word performance. 

Stewart is unabashedly raw, upfront and honest! Brought up in a small town in the Mallee region of Victoria in the early nineties, where life for the locals was hard and work was scarce with industries drying up, along with the remoteness factor that continued to cripple the community.

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