Reviews

C'est si bon (It's a Wonderful Life)

By Rebecca Morton and Deborah Sonenberg. Director: Deb Sonenberg. Pianist: Trevor Jones. The Butterfly Club, South Melbourne May 22 – 27, 2012

The Magic Flute

Opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Libretto: Emanuel Schikaneder. Opera Australia. Lyric Theatre, QPAC. Director: Mathew Barclay based on the Julie Taymor original. Conductor: Anthony Legge. May 26 – June 8, 2012

Opera Australia made a triumphant return to Brisbane last night with Julie Taymor’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

Originally conceived for the Metropolitan Opera New York, it was a bold concept that put the magic back into the work that has been around since 1791. Taymor’s hand was evident at every turn, from her striking costume and puppet designs to her fluid direction which has been recreated, along with Mark Denby’s original choreography, for Opera Australia by Mathew Barclay.

Bob Downe: 20 Golden Greats

Sydney Theatre. May 23 – 26, 2012.

The Gondoliers

By Gilbert and Sullivan. Berowra Musical Society (NSW). Director: Andrew Cousins. Musical Director: Sally Cousins. Choreographer: Jess Edward. May 19 – 26, 2012.

Berowra Musical Society’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Gondoliers is traditional at heart, with sufficient freshness and variations on a theme to enliven it.

120 Birds

Choreographer: Liz Lea. Riverside Theatres, Parramatta. May 23 – 26, 2012.

This lovingly and intricately compiled and choreographed story of a fictional Australian dance company touring the world in the 1920s and 30s is based on the true stories of Anna Pavlova’s  many tours and performances – and her collection of birds! It has all the excitement and charm of the period, mixed with stresses and setbacks that could befall a company in that heady yet depressing time.

Deeming

By Frank Gauntlett. Producer / Director: Steven Hopley. Featuring Anthony Hunt, Emily Stewart and Patrick Trumper. King St Theatre, Newtown (NSW) May 22-June 3, 2012.

Quartet / The Razor

By Heiner Muller. The Razor - music composed by Annie Hsieh. A is for Atlas. La Mama Courthouse. Director Xan Coleman. Violin - Ingrid Homburg, Cello - Jonathan Tosio. May 17 - 27, 2012

Oklahoma!

By Rodgers and Hammerstein. Manly Musical Society. Director: Dave Izzard. Musical Director: Chris Bennie. Choreographer: Jess Grimmond. Star of the Sea Theatre, Manly. May 18 – 26, 2012.

Manly Musical Society is an enthusiastic youthful community company, presenting a small-scale production of Oklahoma! with a company of just 22 performers.

Some talented principals provide the highlights of this bare bones staging, with the training and professional experience of a quartet of the leads coming to the fore.

In the evening’s most engaging performance, Charles Sturt graduate Danielle Anthony-Goodwin nails the naïve coquetry and comedy of Ado Annie in a bright, sassy performance.

West Side Story

Music: Leonard Bernstein. Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim. Book: Arthur Laurents S.Q.U.I.D.S Theatrical Inc. Redcliffe Cultural Centre. Director: Mike Lollback. Musical Director: Michael DiMauro. Choreographer: Bridget Ewart. 17 May 2012.

West Side Story is not an easy show to produce, requiring as it does triple-threat performers who can sing with an operatic range, dance as in the classical repertoire, and act. Professional companies have a hard time delivering on all these requirements, and for community theatre groups it’s even harder. It was a valiant try by SQUIDS but the youth and inexperience of the company defeated it.

Angela’s Kitchen

By Paul Capsis and Julian Meyrick. Griffin Theatre Company. SBW Stables Theatre. May 15 – June 19, 2012.

After its successful debut in November 2010, Griffin Theatre has restaged Paul Capsis’ one man show Angela’s Kitchen and it is obvious why.

This is a beautifully drawn homage to Capsis’ grandmother and his Maltese heritage. There is no doubt that Capsis is an extremely talented performer, but what is so refreshing about this production is that the audience are allowed to know his story. We are given an insight into how he became the person he is, the challenges he has known and the simple pleasures he experienced growing up in a very big multi-cultural family.

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