Reviews

Heathers The Musical

By Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy. Showqueen Productions and Working Mnagement. Hayes Theatre Co. July 16 – August 9, 2015.

Heathers deliciously turns the whole genre of high school musicals on its head. Along with Carrie, seen here 18 months ago, has a new, darker sub-genre has emerged, where the bullies get their comeuppance in no uncertain terms? Disney’s it ain’t, while Grease feels like a friendly playground romp by comparison.

Mary Poppins

Based on the book by P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney Film. Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B Sherman. Book by Julian Fellows. New Songs by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Packemin Productions. Directed by Neil Gooding. Riverside Theatre, Parramatta. July 26 - August 8, 2015.

There were many stars in this production but one was not able to take a bow. This was because they were thousands of kilometres away in Melbourne.

The set and costume team at CLOC have put together a chocolate box of delights. First the double storey foyer of the Banks home, which comprised a box that rolled onto the stage, could spin around and opened up. It included a hydraulic lift, used only once, to elevate Mary up the stairs to the first floor.

Legally Blonde The Musical

Music and Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Neil Benjamin, Book by Heather Hach. Directed by Danny Ginsberg. PLOS. Frankston Arts Centre. July 24 - August 1, 2015.

Oh My God, I adored it, I have to say

Oh My God, It’s a Triumph in every way

Oh My God, and you really must see it just ‘cos

It’s a brilliant production from PLOS.

When I had the chance to attend rehearsals a few weeks ago and write an article on this new production of Legally Blonde, I knew that it would be excellent in all respects, but nothing prepared me for the dazzling excitement of last night’s opening.

Lea Salonga in Concert

Cannon Hill Anglican College Auditorium, Brisbane. Sunday 26 July 2015,

It’s not every day a Broadway star and a Disney Princess performs in Brisbane, so it’s not surprising that the audience were waiting with anticipation for superstar songstress Lea Salonga to step on to the stage.

The Perfectionist

By David Williamson. Adapt Enterprises Pty Ltd. Director: Ross Vosvotekas. Assistant Director: Mark Milton. Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide. 24 July-8 August, 2015.

Human relations, human foibles, human obsessions, human systems of family and government - all of these themes continue to provide rich and relevant material for dramatists, but not every play dealing with this kind of subject matter proves equally durable down the tracks of time. Adapt Enterprises have, happily, demonstrated David Williamson's The Perfectionist to be a work of enduring strength and intrinsic interest, more than thirty years after its premiere production.

I Am A Miracle

By Declan Green. Merlyn Theatre, Malthouse (Vic). 18 July - 9 August, 2015

I Am A Miracle is a journey through unexpected territory that culminates in a rousing and satisfying resolve. It is constituted of three distinct stories, and it finishes pretty much where it started, integrating all these stories in a satisfying whole that is somehow more than the sum of its parts.

Declan Green’s script is poetic and often visceral in its descriptiveness.

Death and The Maiden

By Ariel Dorfman. Directed by Leticia Caceres. MTC. Sumner Theatre. Southbank. 18th July - 22nd August, 2015

Ariel Dorfman’s powerful and visceral play, set in a post Fascist, newly democratic, South American country (Dorfman is from Chile), is full of passion and intensity and themes of vengeance, paranoia, forgiveness and moral ambiguity. Or it should be. Please do not judge it by this lack-lustre, passionless production.

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change

Book & Lyrics Written by: Joe Di Pietro, Music by Jimmy Roberts. The Show Company and Jeffrey Moore Productions. Playhouse Theatre, Hobart. Director: Allan Jeffrey. 16 July – 25 July 2015

I love you, you’re perfect, now change is an hilarious revue, presented by Hobart’s Show Company and Jeffrey Moore Productions, put the “ON” into ensemble.

Director Allan Jeffrey assembled a wonderful cast, many of whom had been in a previous production 10 years ago. The wonderful script from Joe Di Pietro, with music by Jimmy Roberts, is a lovely vehicle to showcase good entertainers, and that’s what we had here. 

L’Amante Anglaise

By Marguerite Duras, translated by Barbara Bray. La Mama Theatre, 15 -26 July 2015.

In 1949, parts of a dismembered female body were discovered on various trains that had all passed under a viaduct in rural France. All parts were found and the body reassembled - except the head. It seems that was never found.  From this macabre event, Marguerite Duras built a fictional exploration of the inner life of those involved: the murderer, her husband and perhaps, on the most unreliable evidence, the victim herself. 

Blithe Spirit

By Noël Coward. Directed by Jeffrey Jay Fowler. Black Swan State Theatre Company. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia 18 Jul - 9 Aug, 2015.

Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit is traditionally a favourite of the community theatres, so it was somewhat unexpected to see it on Black Swan's 2015 season announcement, although as a clear audience favourite, it is perhaps not so surprising.

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