Reviews

The Phantom of the Opera

By Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe. Windmill Theatre Company (Vic). Director: Chris Hughes. Musical Director: Julia Buchanan. Choreographer: Robert Mulholland. Drum Theatre. June 21 - July 14, 2013

I well remember the professional production of the The Phantom of the Opera and I was equally impressed with Windmill’s effort.

Although budget constraints did not allow for the massive chandelier used in the professional production, everything else about this was spectacular. There were moving staircases, and walkways, a motorized boat and scenery flying in and out to allow the action to flow. The lighting was also very innovative and the costumes lavish.

This Is Where We Live

By Vivienne Walshe. Griffin Independent and Just Visiting. SBW Stables Theatre, Sydney. Director: Francesca Smith. 19 June – 13 July, 2013.

Winner of the 2012 Griffin Award for outstanding contemporary Australian play, Vivienne Walshe’s poetic drama of teenage angst and passion now takes its place in the 2013 Griffin season. A 75-minute two-hander, marvellously acted and intriguingly directed, This Is Where We Live makes demands on its audience. We have to work at the words we hear and at the stage pictures we see.

Cranked Up

Circus Oz 2013. Birrarung Marr (btw Federation Square and Batman Ave), Melbourne – 19 June – 14 July, 2013.

Cranked Up is Circus Oz’s latest extravaganza, and according to the program notes it’s revised from its From the Ground Up show which premiered in Melbourne last June. Not having seen the previous incarnation, or indeed any past Circus Oz performance, I was pleasantly surprised to have my expectations exceeded by a truly talented group of performers who seemed to be pulling out all the stops to ensure everyone in the audience had a good time.

Shane Warne The Musical

Book, Music and Lyrics by Eddie Perfect. Directed by Simon Phillips. Hamer Hall 20th and 21st June, 2013.

If you don’t know Eddie Perfect you might look at the credits and think he is a megalomaniac, especially when you add the fact that he is also the star. The simpler, but less convenient, truth is that Perfect is the most incredibly talented Australian artist of the 21st Century, and the Gods of creativity must have chosen for him to be born with the genuine surname Perfect. He is to the Australian Arts what Noel Coward was to Britain in the thirties…..we need to cherish that talent, and never take it for granted. Why does he do so many things? Because he can!

The Reluctant Shopper

By Bruce Hoogendoorn. Long Run Theatre Productions. Director: Bruce Hoogendoorn. Courtyard Studio, Canberra, 19–29 June 2013.

The Reluctant Shopper is built primarily on fine comedic writing. It is premised on the blackmail of big savers into spending in the local economy. Local Business Council executive Katrina obliges the smooth-talking Barry to blackmail a thrifty young man, Sam, into spending in the local shops something of the million dollars in his bank account.  Sam, of course, has no wish to spend, and the stage is set for a series of hilarious turns.

One False Move...

NICA (National Institute of Circus Arts). Co-directed by Megan Jones and Meridith Kitchen. NICA National Circus Centre, Prahran (Vic). 19 – 29 June 2013

This fast-paced circus show features NICA’s second year artists in an original performance that draws inspiration from the events and characters that inhabit the fictional world of the Film Noir genre. The title refers to a shared aspect of circus and film noir – the tension created by the fear that one false move could spell disaster.

BALLET REVOLUCION

ATA Allstar Artists Production. Choreography: Aaron Cash, Rocian Gonzalez Chavez. Musical Director: Osmar Salazar Hernandez. Lyric Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane, 19-22 June 2013; State Theatre, Sydney, June 25 – 29; The Arts Centre Gold Coast, July 3 – 6; Arts Centre, Melbourne, July 17 – 20; Crown Theatre, Perth, July 31 – Aug 3.

This was the second visit to Australia of this Cuban dance company who originally toured in 2011. If you like Glee and TV dance programs, then you will be enthralled by the pyrotechnics of a show that fused classical with hip-hop, rap and other contemporary styles.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST

By Oscar Wilde. Fingal O’Flahertie Productions, Bordello Theatre Kings Cross. Wed 12th - Sat 29th June, 2013

Bordello Burlesque

TRUE COLOURS

QPAC Choir. QPAC Production. Concert Hall, QPAC. Choirmaster: Tim Sherlock. Accompanist: Tina Liu. 18 June 2013

Choirmaster Tim Sherlock last night conducted QPAC’s much-travelled contemporary community choir in a program of audience-pleasing choral works. Traditional works by Francis Poulenc, Salve Regina and Ave Maria were mixed with the Mamas and the Papas Monday Monday and Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors. It was an eclectic but elegant selection of music.

Tale of Two Cities

Sydney Chamber Choir and the Adelaide Chamber Singers. The Great Hall in the University of Sydney. June 16, 2013.

What a rare privilege it was to hear the forty seven combined voices of these two wonderful Choirs in the setting of Great Hall in the University of Sydney! Edmund Thomas Blacket’s high, sandstone vaulted ceiling provides the perfect acoustics for the highly trained, carefully rehearsed and beautifully controlled voices of both choirs – and the repertoire chosen for this particular concert.

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