Reviews

Stepping Out by Richard Harris

1812 Theatre (Vic). Until March 27.

Stepping Out won the London Standard comedy award in 1984 and the programme describes it as a “highly entertaining comedy.” The show was certainly funny, but the strongest message for me concerned the external defenses we create to hide our true emotions. The two performers who affected me most were Garry Barcham and Donna Pope for their nervous portrayals of Geoffrey and Andy (long for ‘Ann’).

The Damnation of Faust by Berlioz

Victorian Opera. Conductor: Richard Gill

The Victorian Opera continued on its path in the less familiar operatic repertoire with Berlioz’s flawed masterpiece The Damnation of Faust. Called a Dramatic Legend, this “opera” has scenes which would only work in a film. So the decision was made to produce a concert performance with the chorus at the back and the soloists in front of the orchestra with scores in hand.

Living Together by Alan Ayckbourn

Cairns Little Theatre. Director: Narelle Shorey

Living Together is one of the trilogy, The Norman Conquests, three plays that cover a traumatic family weekend in a Victorian country house from the vantage point of three different areas: dining room, living room and garden. Living Together covers the action that takes place in the living room. The central character is Norman, a disheveled librarian, who is married to Ruth but fancies his sisters-in-law, Annie and Sarah. Annie, in turn, is being courted by Tom, a dim vet, while Sarah is frustrated with her marriage to the boring Reg.

Godzone by Guy Rundle and Max Gillies

Seymour Centre. Director: Aidan Fennessy

A veteran of stage and screen and long time political satirist, Max Gillies takes us on a witty, sharp and sometimes refreshingly un-PC, jam-packed show - Godzone.

Thrill Me – The Leopold and Loeb Story by Stephen Dolginoff.

Squabbologic. Downstairs, Seymour Centre. Director: Jay James‐Moody. Musical Director: Mark Chamberlain. February 24 – March 6, 2010.

There’s a psychological chiller of a musical playing at the Seymour Centre.

It makes mega-musical Wicked, playing down the road, look like a cheery story about a misunderstood green girl.

If that one’s Wicked, then what is Thrill Me - The Leopold and Loeb Story? Malicious? Malevolent? Despicable?

Adelaide Festival Reviews

Paul Rodda and Nicole Russo review Adelaide Festival attractions. Image: The Sapphires

The Sapphires by Tony Briggs Scott Theatre The Adelaide Festival has brought an outstanding lineup of Motown hits to South Austrlia, neatly rolled into the endearing story of the McCrae sisters and how their lives were transformed when they came to perform in the all-girl singing group The Sapphires for the troops during the Vietnam War.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Opera by Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears and William Shakespeare. Opera Australia. Opera Theatre, Sydney Opera House. Director: Baz Luhrmann

Opera Australia served up a visual banquet with this sumptuous performance that had all the hallmarks of a Bollywood extravaganza. While A Midsummer Night’s Dream is short on dazzling tunes, this production is a feast for the eyes. The set was an opulent Gazebo on three levels. In the middle sat the band in their British Raj finest, liberated from the famously cruel Opera Theatre pit. At the bottom was a cave and lake.

RADIANCE by Louis Nowra

Brisbane Arts Theatre. Feb 6 -Mar 6, 2010. Director: Jo Pierce

Following a popular revival of last year’s sell-out season of He Died with a Felafel in his Hand, the official opener of Arts Theatre’s 2010 season is Louis Nowra’s Radiance. Jo Pierce, her splendid indigenous cast of three and the production team deserve high praise for a finely-tuned, engaging production.

The Music of Georgia Stitt

JMY Productions at Randall Theatre, St.Martins Youth Arts Centre. One night only. 22 February, 2010. Director Jordan Reid Ybarzabal. Musical Director Adrian Portell.

As a songwriter Georgia Stitt can be described in one very simple word: honest. Within a few short bars of music she captures and creates amazing emotional energy which can be both raw and poetic all at once. In fact, she invokes the sort of emotion which is distinctively real and personal: some moments can be about the smallest feeling, others can be thrillingly large in their journey and delivery. Early into JMY's concert The Music of Georgia Stitt I realised something so very obvious that it’s a realisation I'm slightly ashamed to repeat.

AVENUE Q Music & Lyrics: Robert Lopez & Jeff Marx. Book: Jeff Whitty

Arts Asia Pacific & Power Arts Production in Association with QPAC Opened 21 February, 2010, Playhouse, QPAC, Brisbane. Director: Jonathan Biggins. Musical Director: Michael Azzopardi

Avenue Q might be the worst address in New York City, but who knew such fun was going on there. This production of the 2003 Tony Award Winning Broadway musical is hilariously funny, outrageously irreverent, and a total cosmic comic blast. A cross between Sesame Street and South Park, 10 actors using hand puppets, tell a contemporary tale about thirty-something’s, ten years out of college and still trying to find a job and their way in life. In a brilliant ensemble cast those that stood out only did so because they got more stage time.

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