Reviews

Kryptonite

By Sue Smith. Sydney Theatre Company and State Theatre Company of South Australia. Wharf 1 Theatre, Sydney. Director: Geordie Brookman. 11 September – 18 October 2014.

We all know — don’t we? — that Superman emigrated from the planet Krypton and that the only substance that can render him helpless is a chunk of kryptonite. Sue Smith certainly hopes we know this superheroic fact, for otherwise the title of her terrific new two-hander will be meaningless.

The metaphorical kryptonite examined here is the essential Chineseness that Smith’s heroine Lian retains after years of being legally Australian. And her boardshorts-wearing hero Dylan is always and incontrovertibly from Planet Oz.

Laughter on the 23rd Floor

By Neil Simon. Directed by Kate Cherry. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of WA, Perth. 6-21 Sep 2014

Laughter on the 23rd Flooris excellent quality theatre, beautifully produced and great fun to watch.

First impressions come from Lauren Ross' consciously unconsciously glamorous New York office set - which is simply beautiful, perfectly constructed and establishes a distinct style. The designer's costumes are also wonderful - beautifully selected and an excellent depiction of characters and the era.

Amadeus

By Peter Shaffer. Directed by Bruce Akers. Heidelberg Theatre Company. 11th-27th September, 2014.

It could be said that Peter Shaffer is one of the 20th Century’s greatest playwrights and Amadeus is already a “classic” play. Certainly the role of Salieri is one of the showiest and most compelling roles since Shakespeare’s time, and it’s also one of the most gruelling.

The King and I

By Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Opera Australia / John Frost. Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House. September 7 – November 1, 2014

There must have been a mix up at the box office because of instead of sitting in the clouds somehow we ended up in what felt like the Governor’s seats – dead centre five rows from the front. Malcolm Turnbull, in the seat behind, gave me a tip on how to conduct a regal wave.

Europe

By Michael Gow. Slip of the Tongue. Seymour Centre (NSW). September 10 – 21, 2014

For a play that made its debut in 1987 Michael Gow's Europe is remarkably current. Really not a lot has changed in terms of the Australian desire to pursue global culture overseas, particularly in Europe, rather than explore what's on offer domestically. I'm sure each you have plenty of friends on Facebook who are sharing their snaps right now.

LOVEBiTES

By Peter Rutherford and James Millar. Wooden Horse Productions. Hayes Theatre Co, Potts Point (NSW). September 10 – October 5, 2014.

Many reasons made me love this LOVEBiTES, a brand new staging of an entertaining Off-Broadway style Australian musical.

Misalliance

By George Bernard Shaw. Adelaide Repertory Theatre. Directed by Brian Knott. The Arts Theatre, Adelaide. September 11-20, 2014

With Misalliance, the Adelaide Rep present a visually striking and highly energetic production of one of George Bernard Shaw’s lesser works. Issues of class struggle, gender roles, family dynamics and politics are explored through the prism of a typical British country house comedy.

Sons and Mothers

By Alirio Zavarce. No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability. Touring August - October 2014

Damien Turbin’s mum was told that he wouldn’t  eat, walk or talk. She gave up her work and for his first four years virtually lived by his hospital bedside. Hers is just one of the stories of love and self-sacrifice told by Sons & Mothers, an exceptionally moving performance by Alirio Zavarce and the No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability.

Cyrano De Bergerac

By Edmond Rostand. New Farm Nash Theatre Inc. (Qld). 13 September – 4 October 2014

Edmond Rostand’s neo-Romantic play about lost love (premiere1897), provided plot structure for several later plays and movies. Ever since Cyrano has become the quintessential lover who discovers his own deep love while acting as an intermediary for a friend, then loses his own love as a result.

The Phantom of the Opera

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber. Lyrics: Charles Hart. Book: Richard Stilgoe & Andrew Lloyd Webber. Ipswich Musical Theatre Company. Director: Sherryl-Lee Secomb. Musical Director: Brenda Ryan. Choreographer: Desney Toia-Sinapati. Ipswich Civic Centre. 12-20 September 2014

Sherryl-Ann Secomb’s production of The Phantom of the Opera for Ipswich Musical Theatre was musically solid, spectacular to look at, and highly melodramatic.

Star of the performance was Lauren Lee Innis-Youren as Christine. With a bright and clear soprano she effortlessly handled the demanding score with ease and was particularly pleasing on “Wishing you were Somehow Here Again.”

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