Reviews

The Graduate

Adapted by Terry Johnson, based on the novel by Charles Webb and the motion picture screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry. Townsville Little Theatre. Court Theatre, Townsville 11 – 15 September, 2018

The genesis of The Graduate began as the now classic film directed by Mike Nichols back in 1967 – and it was this film (together with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? which he directed the previous year) that really made his name. And for those who were around at time, it was the film’s soundtrack that unleashed the work of Simon and Garfunkel to the wide world – particularly with the two songs, “The Sound of Silence” and of course “Mrs Robinson”.

Actéon

By Charpentier. Lost and Found Opera. Directed by Brendan Hansen. UWA Aquatic Centre, Nedlands WA. 12-15 Sep, 2018

Lost and Found Opera use a ‘found’ space, the swimming pool at the University of Western Australia, to present Charpentier’s 1684 chamber opera, in a production that is fascinating, beautifully interpreted and a joy to watch.

Tomfoolery

The words and music of Tom Lehrer. Adapted by Cameron Mackintosh and Robin Ray. Loaded Productions. Director: Theresa Borg. Gasworks Theatre, Gasworks Arts Park, Albert Park, Vic. September 12 – 22, 2018

Tomfoolery is a musical revue written in 1980 to celebrate the songs of Tom Lehrer, songwriter and satirist, who was popular in the 50s and 60s for his biting wit. His clever lyrics are not always in the best taste, but always funny and often poking fun at the politics and issues of the day.

Biladurang

By Joel Bray (Creator/Performer) and Kate Carr (Composer). Brisbane Festival – The Johnson Hotel – 12-15 September, 2018

“Thanks for coming along and having a yarn,” says Joel Bray to his small, but capacity audience of around 20 people as they leave his ‘hotel room’ at The Johnson Hotel in Spring Hill. Audience members respond like new-found friends and privileged party crashers: “Thanks for the champagne!” – some even hug the performer: “Thanks for sharing your story” – not the usual way you exit a theatre performance. 

Queer Lady Magician

By Creatrix Tiara. Women’s Circus. Melbourne Fringe Festival. Gasworks Arts Park. 12 – 15 September 2018

After an introduction by an MC (Sonia Marcon), Queer Lady Magician relies on a familiar trope: the talented performer, Queer Lady Magician (Creatrix Tiara) is beset by her jealous assistant, Chadbury (Bradley Storer), who’s determined not just to sabotage Queer Lady Magician, but to eliminate her and take over the show.  The assistant to the assistant, Caliope (Chelsea Byrne) is coerced into this nefarious plan and looks entirely dubious about it.

Luna Gale

By Rebecca Gilman. Ensemble Theatre, Sydney. Director: Susanna Dowling. 7 September – 13 October 2018

Luna Gale is the impressive name of the baby brought to an Iowan hospital by her messed-up teenaged parents. High on crystal meth, the mother bounces off the walls trying to summon help while the father sits in slumped, comatose silence. Enter the weary social worker with her forms and lists to begin her 91st entry in the desperately underfunded world of child protection services. 

Songs for a New World

Music & Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. Auckland Music Theatre. Directed by Minouk van der Velde. 12th – 15th September, 2018.

Songs for A New World - It's about one moment. It's about hitting the wall and having to make a choice... or take a stand... or turn around and go back. These are the stories and characters of today, the Songs for a New World.

Written at age 25, Songs is the first musical from Tony Award winner, Jason Robert Brown (Parade, Bridges of Madison County). This collection of his early songs examines life, love and the choices that we make.

Cinderella

Ballet by Ben Stevenson. Music: Sergei Prokofiev. Queensland Ballet. Queensland Festival Philharmonic. Conductor: Nigel Gaynor. Lyric Theatre, QPAC. 7-15 September 2018

If you’re looking for an opulent fairytale to take your kids to then you can’t go past Queensland Ballet’s revival of Cinderella. Originally staged at the beginning of Li Cunxin’s tenure as artistic director of Queensland Ballet five years ago, this version of the classic tale by Ben Stevenson ticks all the right boxes - magical transformation scenes, sumptuous and glittering costumes, and exceptional dance.

Séance

Produced by Realscape Productions in association with Darkfield. Presented by Brisbane Festival. Treasury Brisbane Arcadia, QPAC Cultural Forecourt. 08 - 29 September, 2018

Do you enjoy being frightened? Séance is the perfect show for the thrill seekers out there. Before you even enter the space, you’re warned not to come inside if you have heart or back problems, if you’re pregnant, under 15, or suffer from claustrophobia. The mood is set from that moment onward. You know this is a show that won’t muck around.

Jersey Boys

Book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. Music by Bob Gaudio. Lyrics by Bob Crewe. Dodger Theatricals, Rodney Rigby and TEG-Dainty. Capitol Theatre, Sydney. Opening Night: September 6, 2018.

The Jersey Boys musical has made a return to Sydney a decade after it first opened here and the show still packs a punch.

The story of Franki Valli and The Four Seasons - four American teenagers with police records who moulded themselves into one of the best selling music acts of all time - is a riveting ‘rags to riches’ yarn.

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