Reviews

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.

KADS One Act Comedy Festival

By James Forte and Johnny Grimshaw. KADS (WA). Directed by Johnny Grimshaw, Peter Nettleton, James Forte and Alexis Marr. 31 Aug - 8 Sep 2018

KADS is a company that loves its comedy - one of its major club awards is for the best comic performance, so it is perhaps unsurprising that they have created a one act play evening devoted to comic plays. Four shows, by two local authors, combined for an evening that had its audience rolling with laughter.

We Will Rock You

Songs by Queen, Book by Ben Elton. Metropolitan Players. Civic Theatre, Newcastle. Aug 21 – Sept 1, 2018

WHILE using the songs of British rock band Queen to help tell a story about life in a future world might seem to be unworkable, this a very enjoyable musical, with writer Ben Elton helping to make it gripping, funny and swinging. And the staging by director Julie Black and her team added to the pleasure, with the costumes, sets, lighting and occasional projections giving the Earth (here known as iPlanet) a very different look to what we see around us, and the small band and large singing ensemble in the orchestra pit boosting the sound.

Patience

By W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. Gilbert and Sullivan Society of WA. Directed by Alan Needham. Musical Direction by Georg Corall and Michael Brett. Dolphin Theatre, University of Western Australia, Nedlands. 5-15 September, 2018

The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of WA presents one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s less often performed operettas, a tale of “love, jealousy and utter foolery” which satirises the aesthetic movement of the mid 1800s. While the aesthetic movement aspect doesn’t date well, it remains relevant with its mocking of trends, fads and hero worship.

Hello, Dolly!

Words & Music: Jerry Herman. Book: Michael Stewart. Based on the play The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder. Toowoomba Chorale Society. Director/Choreographer: Bec Stanley. Musical Director: Neil Roche-Kelly. Empire Theatre, Toowoomba. 7-9 September 2018

Hello, Dolly! has had a renaissance ever since Bette Midler’s 2017 smash Broadway revival. Jerry Herman’s hugely hummable score, coupled with Michael Stewart’s smart and funny book, make it the perfect musical comedy.

Toowoomba Chorale’s production of it may not be perfect, but it does have its joys, not the least being director/choreographer Bec Stanley’s terrific routines.

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks

By Richard Alfieri. Javeenbah Theatre, Nerang, Gold Coast. Director: Gaye Gay. September 7th – 22nd, 2018.

According to the adage ‘opposites attract’, and a prime example of this is Javeenbah’s current production of Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks

This two hander is a ‘tour de force’ with consummate performances from Joanne-fae Worland as Lily and Andrew Cockcroft-Penman as Michael.

The Humans

By Stephen Karam. Mophead Productions. Directed by Anthea Williams. Old Fitz Theatre, Sydney. September 7 - October 6, 2018

The American playwright Stephen Karam grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania. That’s also where the characters of this play - the Blake family - are from. They’ve assembled in a dark, rundown apartment in New York’s Chinatown, where the youngest daughter Brigid has just moved in with her boyfriend. It’s Thanksgiving and the early tensions signal this won’t go well.

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.