Reviews

Thoroughly Modern Millie

By Jeanine Tesori, Dick Scanlan, and Richard Morris. Gosford Musical Society. Director: Erin Cook. Musical Director: Geoff Preece. Laycock Street Theatre. March 11 – 26, 2011.

Every iconic film is fair game for stage musicalisation. Some are great hits, some are flops, and others, like Thoroughly Modern Millie, sit somewhere in the middle.

Hamlet

By William Shakespeare. Sydney Theatre Company ED (NSW). Adapted and Directed by Naomi Edwards. Designer: Andrew Bellchambers. Lighting Designer: Verity Hampson. Sound Designer/Composer: Steve Francis. Wharf 2. March 21 to 8 April 2011

Hamlet puts on a smiley face.

A teen princess grapples with life, death and family.

Casting Sophie Ross as a teenage Hamlet grieving over the loss of her father and grappling with the egocentrism and violence of the family and friends that comprise her ‘kingdom’ was a radical choice by director Naomi Edwards. At first it appears Hamlet has joined the cast of All Saints (as many of the actors have), but it becomes clear that this contemporary view of Hamlet’s struggle with life and death provides new insight into this oft told story.

boy girl wall

Devised by The Escapists. La Boite Theatre (Qld). 30th March - 17th April 2011

Expect the unexpected. This show breaks all the normal theatre conventions and blows you away with its inventive audacity.

Born as a cultivar of theatresports, stand-up comedy, the fertile imagination of The Escapists and the unique performance skills of Lucas Stibbard, this is entertainment for all ages.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

The State Theatre Company of SA – Dunstan Playhouse. 25 Mar to 16 Apr, 2011.

Is The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) a play? Or a well written, well executed piece of standup comedy? I suspect you will have to discover this for yourself. But discover it you must, for this production is jaw aching, belly busting, laugh out loud hilarious.

On Golden Pond

Hunters Hill Theatre (NSW). Director: Carol Wimmer. Set Design: Elizabeth Chandler. Lighting and Sound Design: Steve Wimmer. March 4 – 19, 2011.

On Golden Pondopens on one of those beautifully designed and built sets where you instantly say, yes, I’m there. Not only did the holiday house in Maine, and its furnishings and props, seem perfect, but on a relatively shallow stage the blend of cyclorama art enhanced by lighting established a credible, attractive vista.

When you’re off to such a strong, truthful start, the ambience must help the cast to find the truth of the characters who dwell within the environment. This was something that the Hunters Hill cast achieved in trumps.

Graeme Murphy’s Suite Synergy

Mod Dance Company. State Theatre Melbourne. 23-26 March. Touring to Sydney, Perth, Darwin, Gold Coast and Adelaide.

It was exhilarating and exciting to be present at the debut of something so promising, energetic and vibrant as Mod Dance Company, with this highly entertaining touring production. Suite Synergy is an inspired and inspiring creative collaboration between Graeme Murphy as choreographer and Michael Askill as composer/percussionist and, one senses, to some extent, all the company with the guidance of artistic director Brett Morgan.

Cosi

By Louis Nowra. Brisbane Arts Theatre. 12th March-16th April 2011

Arts Theatre celebrates its 75thanniversary this year (Cosi season embraces its date of establishment, April 8th.)  What a joyous way to celebrate the occasion!

Madame Butterfly

Australian Ballet. Adelaide Festival Theatre - Mar 18 to 23, 2011.

As the curtain rose on Madame Butterfly a beautiful painted scrim was revealed, delicately coated in petals. The lights come up behind the scrim to reveal Cio-Cio-San in a gorgeous flowing dress as light as a butterfly with four huge fabric wings extending out behind her, waving gently on the air.

Dani Girl

Music: Michael Kooman. Book & Lyrics: Christopher Dimond. Harvest Rain Theatre Company. Director: Carmen Glanville. Music Director: Sophie Mangan. Mina Parade Warehouse, Alderley, Brisbane, 18 March – 2 April, 2011

Priscilla on Broadway

A survey of the Broadway reviews.

The reviews of the Broadway production of Australian hit Priscilla Queen of the Desert are out, and while early reviews were a mixed bag, the balance has swung to positive reviews, while Tony Sheldon’s Broadway debut has been received extremely positively all round -

‘Elegant and dignified, the Australian actor could pass for Cate Blanchett's mother.’ The Hollywood Reporter

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