Reviews

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.”

Children of the Sun

By Maxim Gorky, in a new version by Andrew Upton. Sydney Theatre Company. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. 8 September - 25 October, 2014

Andrew Upton’s very modern adaptation of Maxim Gorky’s Children of the Sun gives life to a 1905 Russian middle class family on brink of revolutionary catastrophe and yet also to any family today of indulged adults blind to their futures in this century. 

High Fidelity

Music by Tom Witt, lyrics by Amanda Green, and book by David Lindsay-Abaire. Pursued By Bear. Chapel off Chapel. September 11 – 21, 2014.

The credentials are impeccable. Music by Tom Witt who brought us the amazing Next To Normal, lyrics by the fabulous Amanda Green, actress, singer, songwriter, major talent, and a book by David Lindsay-Abaire, playwright of award winning Rabbit Hole, and original source material from Nick Hornby’s smash hit seminal novel …. The story of a thirty something vinyl record store owner who is wasting his life and his relationships while putting his energy into making lists of his Top 5 of everything, is one we can relate to.

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