Reviews

Privates on Parade

By Peter Nicols. Music by Denis King. New Theatre (NSW). Director: Alice Livingstone. Feb 11 – Mar 8, 2014.

The happy buzz and crush of opening night in the foyer of the New Theatre is made even brighter as The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boys (Henry Moss, David Ouch and Gerwin Widjaja) in stunning satin and immaculate wigs swing into action, setting the scene for a very well directed, fast-paced production.

Set in a British army base in Singapore in 1947, Privates on Parade “deals with very serious questions about gay history and sexual and racial politics … about a time when life was much harder for homosexual men” (Alice  Livingstone, Director).

Simon’s Final Sound

By Finegan Kruckemeyer. Blue Cow Theatre Company. Backspace Theatre, Theatre Royal, Hobart. Director: Robert Jarman. 11–21 December 2013

Playwright Finnegan Kruckemeyer specialises in writing commissioned plays for a young audience. He was asked to write a comedic play for an older audience, to include actors whose work he was familiar with from profit-share theatre company Blue Cow Theatre. The result is the silly, naughty, fast-paced comedy Simon’s Final Sound.

In Vogue: Songs by Madonna.

Adelaide Fringe. Garden of Unearthly Delights – Le Cascadeur. February 14 – March 16, 2014

How can a solo cabaret performer possibly hope to encompass and encapsulate the 30-year career of one of the most successful and influential artists in pop music history, with only 60 minutes at his disposal? A formidable challenge, but Michael Griffiths’ show is an enjoyable attempt to capture the heart of both the music and the writer/performer behind it.

Sweet Charity

Book by Neil Simon. Music by Cy Coleman. Lyrics by Dorothy Fields. Luckiest Productions, Neil Gooding Productions and One-Eyed Man Productions at the Hayes Theatre Company (NSW). February 7 – March 9, 2014.

‘There’s gotta be something better than this …’  sing Charity (Verity Hunt-Ballard), Nikki (Debora Krizak) and Heléne (Lisa Sontag).

Don’t believe it!

Musical Theatre doesn’t come better than this Sweet Charity, a smashing first-up hit at Sydney’s new home of intimate musical theatre, The Hayes Theatre Company.

Cock

By Mike Bartlett. Melbourne Theatre Company (Vic). Director Leticia Caceres. Set and Costume Designer Marg Horwell. Composer Missy Higgins. Fairfax Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne, 7 February – 22 March 2014. La Boite Theatre (Qld), 27 March – 12 April, 2014.

Don’t let the title fool you. Cock is a captivating piece of theatre raising deeply important questions about relationships, power, sexuality and conformity.

John is getting itchy feet in his same-sex relationship and during a short break-up period begins a relationship with a woman, leaving him in a world of indecision about sexuality and what he ultimately wants from life. When the trio eventually meet up, John is forced into a decision about his future.

Cosi

By Louis Nowra. La Boite (Qld). Roundhouse Theatre. 8 February – 8 March 2014

Cosi is the star, David Berthold’s superlative cast and crew make it scintillate.

It illuminates theMake Love Not War 1970s revolution. Without proselytising, Nowra’s characters illustrate the major issues.

Recent university graduate, Lewis (Ben Schostakowski), accepts a job in a mental institution where he is expected to ‘put on a show’. Dominant mature thespian, Roy (Trevor Stuart), with a passion for Mozart, has already assembled inmates for the opera, Cosi FanTutte. Conflict from the outset!

Once in Royal David’s City

By Michael Gow. Belvoir Street Theatre. February 8 – March 23, 2014.

In this, his latest play, Michael Gow, like Julius Sumner Miller, begs us to ask, “Why is it so?” Then, like Brecht, he uses the theatre, and his protagonist Will Drummond, “to present an image of the world.

dateless.com

By Matt Byrne. Adelaide Fringe. Maxim’s Wine Bar, Norwood. February 12 - March 16, 2014.

“You know you’re single if…”

In its best moments, “dateless.com” is funny, clever, creepy, poignant; sometimes all at once. With four likeable performers bringing to life a variety of different characters, singlehood is given a depiction/dissection that encompasses both silly comedy and painful truth. Even if the show pushes its luck by running over 2 hours, the gems along the way make the experience a good one.

Falsettos

Book by William Finn and James Lapine. Music and lyrics by Wiliam Finn. Darlinghurst Theatre Company. Director: Stephen Colyer. Musical Directors: Chris King and Nigel Ubrihien. Eternity Playhouse, Darlinghurst (NSW). February 7 – March 16, 2014

Regular bursts of laughter made it clear that the stream of broad comedy in Act 1 of Stephen Colyer’s constantly busy, tightly choreographed production of Falsettos was landing well with the opening night audience, though the emphasis on vaudeville and shtick had me craving some less frenetically inventive moments of interpretation.

Still, I was reminded by the laughter that theatregoing certainly is ‘different strokes for different folks’.

LEGEND

By Pat Sheil. SITC @ Old Fitzroy Hotel. Director: Lex Marinos. Set: David Mead. Cast: John Derum. 28 January to 15 February 2014.

The Legend that launched a thousand Slips!

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