Reviews

The Addams Family

Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa. Book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. Directed by Danny Ginsberg. PLOS (Vic). Frankston Arts Centre. Dec 31 2014 to Jan 10, 2015.

PLOS have another smash hit on their hands thanks to a stunning cast, the marvellous innovation of Director Danny Ginsberg, great costuming by Brett Wingfield and knockout choreography by Steve Rostron to Bev Woodford’s exemplary Musical Direction of a top notch orchestra.

Spirit of Christmas

With Simon Burke, Christie Whelan Browne, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, QPAC Choir, Brisbane Chorale, Brisbane Birralee Voices. Director: Brendan Ross Concert Hall, QPAC, Brisbane. 19-20 December 2014

Spirit of Christmas is an annual institution being a part of the fabric of Brisbane for the past thirty years. Audiences know what to expect and they get what they expect, a concert of hymns, religious works, Christmas songs and sing-a-long. Producer Paul Dellit doesn’t play around with the formula but manages to keep it fresh by seeding a new and unfamiliar Christmas song in with the traditional and also by introducing new talent. Billy Bouchier, a recent graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium Musical Theatre Course, was the latter in this year’s concert.

City of Perth Nativity

Forrest Place, Perth WA, Dec 16-19 2014

Presented by the City of Perth and performed by the Australian Performing Arts Network (APAN), The Nativity is a large-scale presentation, staged in the centre of Perth and free for the public.

The traditional story of Jesus' birth is told, with the help of wonderful singing and dancing from performers from all over Western Australia.

This year's story is introduced by two young boys (Charlie Martin and Zac Mcculloch) who discover an old book in a library. A shepherd from biblical times (Elwyn Edwards) appears and tells us the Christmas story.

The Age of Entitlement

By Saman Shad. Mongrel Mouth. Merchants House, 43-45 George St, The Rocks, Sydney. December 3 – 20, 2014

“Theatre where you don’t have to sit down and shut up” forms the tagline for new immersive theatre company Mongrel Mouth and their second production of the year, The Age of Entitlement.

Miranda

By Peter Blackmore. Garrick Theatre, Guildford, WA. Nov 27-Dec 13 2014

Miranda, directed by Rodney Palmer at the Garrick Theatre, is a very nice looking production, that tells its story well.

When aristocratic doctor Paul Marten finds a mermaid, while fishing in Cornwall, he decides to bring her to his London flat disguised as an invalid. This decision causes no end of consternation.

Rhett Clarke is a convincing Sir Paul, although is difficult to hear at times. Mary Murphy is elegant and sympathetic as central character Lady Clare.

Aladdin

By Stephen Quinn. Graduate Dramatic Society. Hackett Hall, Floreat WA. Dec 6-20, 2014

Graduate Dramatic Society's Aladdin, written by Stephen Quinn and directed by his alter ego Stephen Lee, shows a true understanding of the pantomime genre and is the closest thing you will find in Australia to true British pantomime.

Melissa Kiiveri, I imagined, would be too sweet and pretty to be an ideal principal boy — but her Aladdin is cute, boyish and earnest and she has a natural vulnerability that makes her Aladdin very endearing, while Grace Edwards makes a beautiful and likeable Princess.

Into The Woods

Film review. Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Screenplay by James Lapine. Director: Rob Marshall. Disney. In cinemas across Australia from January 8, 2015.

Lovers of Sondheim need not fear the arrival of Disney’s Into The Woods, although there are always going to be those lovers of Musical Theatre who believe it is sacrilege to tamper with something so iconic. There is already a brilliant stage production available on DVD, but a large-scale film production requires a different approach to the material, and a different ethos when judging the result.

Thriller Live

Crown Theatre Perth, WA. Dec 10-21, 2014, with seasons in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and New Zealand to follow.

Thriller Live launched its Australian tour with a highly energised Opening Night at Perth's Crown Theatre. The show, which originated in the United Kingdom, has played in 28 countries and had an extended run on London's West End.

The celebration of Michael Jackson's life is part tribute show, part biographical and is flamboyantly theatrical. It features incredible dancing at outstanding singing.

 

The Crucible

By Arthur Miller. Sport For Jove. Bella Vista Farm Park, Bella Vista, and Everglades Gardens, Leura. Director: Damien Ryan. 12th December 2014 – 25th January 2015.

There’s no doubt that Sport For Jove create great theatre. More importantly, however, they create great experiences. If you attend one of their shows (and you should), expect a night of entertainment in the truest sense of the word. While the company is not exclusively an outdoor company, site-specific outdoor entertainment is where they began, and where they excel.

Absent Friends

By Alan Ayckbourn. Ensemble Theatre (NSW). December 10, 2014 – January 24, 2015.

A comedy to attract the end-of-year audience is an oft’ tried ruse – so an Ayckbourn seems like a good idea. However, towever,HoHhhhis relatively predictable example of his many plays, set in 1974, is just a little dated, despite the fun designer Anna Gardiner has had with the very ‘70s’ set and costumes – flares, a jerkin, yellows, orange and some crimplene!

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