Reviews

Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds

Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds – Alive on Stage - the New Generation! Participating cinemas across Australia from 24 May

First up, some disclosures: I am a lifelong science fiction fan. HG Wells' War of the Worlds is in my top five sci-fi novels, read so many times that I can watch this show and say, aha, now we're starting chapter 12. And the original double LP of Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds was a cherished and much-played part of my teenage record collection.

Urinetown

By Mark Hollman and Greg Kotis. The Regals Musical Society (NSW). Bexley RSL Club. May 17 – 25, 2013.

George S. Kaufman is famously quoted as saying "Satire is what closes on Saturday night," after Strike Up the Band, his satirical 1927 collaboration with the Gershwins flopped out of town.

Well things have certainly changed since that gloomy one-liner.

The Producers

By Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan. JYM Theatre Co (Vic). Phoenix Theatre. May 11 – 25, 2013.

A Tony-winning musical in local hands, JYM Theatre Co’s The Producers could’ve had the goods but sadly misses its mark, despite being led by an experienced production team, including producer Shlom Eshel and MD Phillip Setton. 

The songs and script by award winning Mel Brooks are hilarious. Max Bilaystock, a has-been Broadway musical producer, and nerdy accountant Leo Bloom, scheme a sure fire plan: to produce the worst musical ever, and take off with the backers’ money after closing on opening night. 

G.

By Garry Stewart. Australian Dance Theatre. Sydney Theatre, May 16 – 18, 2013, then touring.

The Australian Dance Theatre's latest offering G, is to ballet what MTV was to music back in the 80s. It's revolutionary, fresh and completely revitalises Giselle, a classic piece which is considered to be the Hamlet of the dance world.

The Club

By David Williamson. Directed by Denis Moore for Hit Productions. Athenaeum Theatre Melbourne. May 16th -18th, 2013 (5 performances) and then on tour.

Though Williamson’s play was written more than 35 years ago, it seems strangely relevant and current given the nature of AFL in 2013. And although the play has achieved iconic status, particularly in Melbourne where Footy is an addiction, we shouldn’t forget that, at its heart, it’s a broad comedy with a stinging underbelly. The plot is negligible….the philosophical questions unanswerable. At what stage does football stop being a sport and become a business? How do you balance the love of sport with the love (and necessity) of making money?

R and J

Expression Dance Company. Parramatta Riverside Theatre. May 16 – 18, 2013 and touring.

Take the star-crossed lovers, Shakespeare’s eternal themes of Passion, Romance and Devotion and Natalie Weir’s imaginative choreography, and you have a piece of contemporary dance theatre that both thrills and surprises.

Gasworks Circus Showdown

Gasworks Arts Park and City of Port Phillip through the Local Festivals Fund. Gasworks Theatre, Albert Park. Heats Wednesday, 15th and Thursday 16th and Final Saturday 18th, 2013

Final

Who needs a big top?

None of the performers in the grand final of the Gas works Circus Showdown. They had all applied to be included in the competition, made it through the selection process and a heat and were competing for a development prize worth $6000. They are all seriously skilled up, passionate, committed performers.

The Ten Tenors – Mum’s the Word Tour

Frog in a Sock Production. Executive Producer: D-J Wendt. Musical Director: Steven Baker. Concert Hall, QPAC, 15 May 2013

After touring Europe for the past four months The Ten Tenors came home to Brisbane, the city where their phenomenal success all started 15 years ago.

Happiness

By David Williamson. Ensemble Theatre (NSW). May 9 – July 6, 2013. Noosalongweekend. June 18 & 19.

Sandra Bates has directed this latest of David Williamson’s vignettes on middle class Australia with her usual sensitivity to the style and tempo of his writing. Scene changes are fast and seamless, carefully choreographed to sustain the momentum that is so essential to Williamson’s take on social satire. Characters are established quickly and move through momentary light fades on a minimalist set that becomes office, home, café or bar as the scenes demand.

Richard III (or almost)

By Timothy Daly. EMU Productions. King Street Theatre, Newtown (NSW). April 30 – June 1, 2013.

Bard meets Beckett? (or almost)

Two actors are imprisoned in an undefined institution, condemned to play scenes from Richard III each time a bell is rung in their purgatory. They’re trapped in an abstract, absurdist world where they might wait in equal discomfort for Godot.

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