Reviews

Little Women

From the novel by Louisa May Alcott, adapted by Scott Davison. Director: Fiona Kennedy. Villanova Players. Mt Gravatt TAFE College, Brisbane. 5-22 March 2015

Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women has been a right-of-passage read for adolescent girls since it was first published 147 years ago. It could arguably be called the first ‘girl empowerment’ story. The adventures both amorous and otherwise of the four New England March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy and their patient and understanding mother Marmee during America’s Civil War era have not only delighted and warmed readers in print, but also in movie, television and musical adaptations.

My Mother and Other Catastrophes

Rivka Hartman. A Live Play Reading. Pop Up Theatre. 7 & 14, 2015 March at Gleebooks, Glebe and 8 & 15 March, 2015 at Sydney Jewish Museum, Darlinghurst.

Playing in Sydney for three more performances, then moving to Melbourne for a performance as part of the Jewish Film Festival – Holocaust Series, this play is a “darkly comic story of four generations of Jewish women, the matriarch of whom – Gitl Silverstein – is 116 years old, a survivor and dominating scold, undiminished by suffering and hopelessly dysfunctional progeny.

Young & Jackson

By Don Reid. Directed by Wayne Harrison. At fortyfivedownstairs, Flinders Lane, Melbourne. 5-22 March 2015.

It’s early 1945 and the war’s not over yet.  Two Royal Australian Navy lads, Keith and Jimmy, only seventeen, are in training.

The Gigalees Crazy Circus Show

Adelaide Fringe. Garden of Unearthly Delights. March 7 – 15, 2015

Gwendolen Trimboli and Tiffany Mulcahy make up comedy/circus duo ‘The Gigalees’. Fun, energetic and full of oddball humour, their alter egos Wilma and Daisy aim to please with their mix of slapstick, music and juggling. They successfully involve the young audience in their craziness with dancing, singing and balloon macramé. The young folk are encouraged to sit close to the stage as Wilma and Daisy fall over themselves literally to entertain.

It’s A Wonderful Life

A Live Radio Play. Adapted for Radio on Stage by Tony Palermo, Original Score by Jonathan Green. Players Theatre, Ballina. Directed by Mike Sheehan. March 6 – 21, 2015.

In a departure from their normal productions, Mike Sheehan has chosen a Radio play for Ballina’s second offering this year. Staged in a Radio Studio, 13 “voice artists” covered the 35 characters that made up the storyline. Two very important additions to the cast were James Webb: the “sound effects” man and 2014 Gold Coast Area Awards Platinum Winner, Marie Caldwell, on the organ and piano.

Nufonia Must Fall

Adelaide Festival of Arts 2015. Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre. March 4 – 7, 2015

Silent film, puppetry, theatre and music come together in Kid Koala’s production Nufonia Must Fall and the result is nothing less than pure genius and pure joy.

A multidimensional work that evolved from Kid Koala’s graphic novel of the same name, the Canadian production is introduced on stage by Kid Koala (real name Eric San), who conducts a quick and quirky bingo game in which the audience participates. A jovial Kid Koala explains it as a visual overture.

Caress/Ache

By Suzie Miller. Griffin Theatre Company. SBW Stables Theatre (NSW). February 27 – April 11, 2015. World Premiere.

The human touch is a powerful thing. It soothes, frightens, energises and stimulates. It can burn and can turn skin to ice. 

Suzie Miller’s new play presented by Griffin Theatre Company Caress/Ache explores the human experience behind the science of touch.

We meet 10 characters portrayed by 5 actors (Ian Stenlake, Helen Christinson, Sabryna Te’o, Gary Clementson and Zoe Carides) who each swim through the struggle to connect – be that within a marriage, culture or profession.

Dirty Dancing

By Eleanor Bergstein. Princess Theatre, Melbourne. Opening Night, March 5, 2015.

Dirty Dancing….from the movie of the same name. And what do we remember apart from the “license to print money” that comes with the title? We remember, more than anything, the charismatic and brilliant Patrick Swayze oozing sex and teaching a younger plain girl to dance …dirty. The threat of sex was omnipresent….and it was naughty because …well…he’s mature and more dangerous and she’s so naïve. And we remember Swayze singing “She’s Like The Wind”.

Songs Not To Dance To

FORM Dance Projects. Lennox Theatre, Riverside, Parramatta. March 5 – 7, 2015

Audiences unversed in the possibilities of contemporary dance may find this performance challenging to watch and understand – but dancers and choreographers will see the creative realisation of a difficult challenge.

Performers Martin del Amo and Charles Blackman certainly made sure the music they chose to undertake the challenge was very different! From long, strumming, almost discordant guitar solos to Jimmy Barnes’ Working Class Man, the multiple pieces of music in their performance really stretched the possibilities of creative movement.

flowerchildren - The Mamas and Papas Story

By Peter Fitzpatrick. Davine Interventionz / Adelaide Fringe. Star Theatres, Hilton. March 4 – 7, 2015

Although they only performed together for three years from 1965, the impact American folk rock vocal group The Mamas and Papas on the music scene at the time was enormous. With America still at war in Vietnam, the young people of the time were looking for a way out and they found it with drugs, music and the message of peace and free love. This show captures all of that and so much more.

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