The Last Galah

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Adelaide Festival Centre. June 25, 2016

Matilda Waltzes into Finale for Successful Adelaide Cabaret Festival

The final celebration of Adelaide’s 2016 Cabaret Festival had plenty of Aussie touches as befits The Last Galah, the title of the night. There was Eddie Perfect in blue singlet and shorts, looking amusingly incongruous by also wearing formal white tails. His co-Artistic Director Ali McGregor teamed up with The Birds to start the show and began in an eye-boggling galah-themed shiny pink, grey and white creation. She outdid this later with a jacket covered in souvenir-shop koalas.

Noble Cause & Boiled Cabbage

Written & Directed by Tony Moore. Holden Street Theatres, Hindmarsh. June 23-July 2, 2016

Local playwright and impresario Tony Moore here presents two short pieces, one a drama, the other a comedy, as a double feature.

The Love for Three Oranges

By Prokofiev, performed in English in a translation by Tom Stoppard. . Opera Australia. Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House. June 23 – July 8, 2016

This strange combination of commedia dell’arte and opera lends itself to all sorts of imaginative design and action, and this production, first performed in 2005, has all the hallmarks of twenty-first century technical creativity. It is bright and whimsical, with all the zaniness and pace of true comic farce depicted in music that pops and bubbles like a bottle of fizz.

Hamlet: Prince of Skidmark

By The Listies. Wharf 1 Theatre, Walsh Bay, Sydney. Sydney Theatre Company. June 16 – July 17, 2016.

What Fun!

The Listies – Richard Higgins, Matt Kelly and Olga Miller – have created a spoof that mixes comedy and slapstick using the essential characters and story of the famous tragedy. Even if the young people in the audience don’t know the story of Hamlet, it’s explained … sort of … and there’s a very succinct summary in the program if they have a chance to read it beforehand.

Time Over Distance Over Time

Liz Roche Dance Company. Parramatta Riverside Theatres. June 22 – 25, 2016.

The idea behind this production is bridging the gaps that occur when one chooses, for whatever reason, to move away from home and friends. The program notes explain that six dancers will “wrestle with the physical and emotional distance they encounter while living at opposite ends of the planet”.

By its very nature much contemporary dance is esoteric, relying on the audience’s ability to relate to the movement, the interaction of the dancers and the use of space, and perhaps take from it a more personal interpretation of the performance.

The Addams Family

Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa. Book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. Directed by David Wynen. Federation University of Australia. Theatreworks St Kilda. June 18 – 25, 2016

Despite some technical problems causing a delay which stretched the interval to 40 minutes on opening night, some nicely measured performances and an excellent band under the musical direction of Rainer Pollard made for a pleasant night’s entertainment. In truth, The Addams Family is not a great musical. It has a poor script and a very average score, and has failed to make its mark in the professional world of Musical Theatre, but the cast attacked it with great energy and enthusiasm and there were more positives than negatives in the production.

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

By Tennessee Williams. Adelaide Repertory Theatre. Directed by Barry Hill. The Arts Theatre, Adelaide. June 23-July 2, 2016

It hard to know sometimes, if one should laugh or cry when attending The Adelaide Rep’s latest production – an unnervingly intense look at a dysfunctional family coming apart at the seams as, gathered together for the birthday celebration of their elderly patriarch, years of pent up resentment and bitterness come to the boil in a succession of vicious, but sometimes witty arguments.

Back at the Dojo

By Lally Katz. Belvoir, Sydney, and Stuck Pigs Screaming, Melbourne. Directed by Chris Kohn. Belvoir St Theatre. 22 June – July 17, 2016.

Lally Katz, author of Neighbourhood Watch, was born in America and came to Australia as a teenager. This semi-autobiographical work about her grandparents, told in drug-induced flashbacks, gets somewhat lost in an Australian hospital room, last resting place of Grandma Lois.

Mary Poppins

Book - Julian Fellows, Music and Lyrics – Richard M. & Robert B. Sherman, additional Music and Lyrics by George Stiles & Anthony Drew. Arts Centre, Gold Coast. Director: Timothy Hill. July 17 – 25, 2016.

Like a breath of fresh air, Mary Poppins flew into the Gold Coast captivating the full houses, delighting young and old alike.

This Pro/Am production was bright and colourful. The creative team of Timothy Hill, Director, David Piper, Musical Director and Troy Phillips, Choreographer, had delivered a slick, energetic production.

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

Book Music and Lyrics Clark Gesner. Aleksandar Vass and Vass Productions (Vic). Director: Gary Abrahams. Set Designer: Jacob Battista. Alex Theatre, St Kilda (Vic). June 21 – July 2, 2016

In the wake of the Peanuts movie, and just in time for the school holidays, comes a family friendly musical that first appeared on Broadway in 1971, and enjoyed a revival in 1999.

Performances by all six cast members are earnestly delivered, and strongly sung, from the glass-half-empty Charlie Brown (Cameron Macdonald), the queen of crabbiness Lucy (Courtney Glass), blanket-carrying philosopher Linus (Adam Porter), and Beethoven tragic, Schroeder (Josh Robson).

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