Reviews

Trial by Jukebox

Written by Gilbert & Sullivan, score re-imagined by Matt Harris. The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Tasmania. Directed by Anne Blythe-Cooper. Court 1, Supreme Court Hobart. January 5-27, 2018

The timeframe 1875 – 2018 has seen many presentations of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta “Trial by Jury”performed around the world. The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Tasmania has presented it some 20 times since 1974. Usually they put a bit of a new spin on it, however, director Anne Blythe-Cooper said that never has the music been changed like it has for this production.

The Merry Widow

Music by Franz Lehár. Lyrics by Leo Stein and Viktor Léon. English Translation Justin Fleming. Directed and choreographed by Graeme Murphy. Opera Australia. Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House. January 2 – February 3, 2017.

Seventy years after the death of Franz Lehár in 1948, now free of copyright restrictions, The Merry Widow has been transformed by Opera Australia into an exquisite jewel of a production - perfect to debut in the newly refurbished Joan Sutherland Theatre.

The Wizard of Oz

Music: Harold Arlen. Lyrics: E.Y. Harburg. Additional Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber. Additional Lyrics: Tim Rice. Adaptation: Andrew Lloyd Webber & Jeremy Sams. John Frost, Suzanne Jones Production in association with The Production Company. Director: Jeremy Sams. Choreographer: Arlene Philips. Capitol Theatre, Sydney. Sydney Premiere: 4 January 2018.

If, like myself, you’ve been travelling down the cinematic Yellow Brick Road with Dorothy and her pals since childhood, get set to enjoy this newest incarnation, easily the best of the several stage versions that I’ve seen.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

By William Shakespeare. Australian Shakespeare Company. Director: Glenn Elston Musical Director: Paul Norton. Choreographer: Sue-Ellen Shook The Royal Botanical Gardens, Melbourne. 21st December 2017 – 3rd March 2018

Take Shakespeare’s tale about a magic love triangle, perform it amongst nature in the Royal Botanical Gardens, add kooky costuming and clever sound and lighting, and you’re half way to imagining this spin on the classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The 78-Storey Treehouse

A play by Richard Tulloch, adapted from the book by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton. Sydney Opera House (Playhouse). 3-21 January 2018

The 78-Storey Treehouse is a show that definitely appeals to the kids. My eight year old loved it and found it very entertaining and incredibly funny.

The Rocky Horror Show

By Richard O’Brien. Directed by Christopher Luscombe. Howard Panter, John Frost, and GWB Entertainment. Festival Theatre, Adelaide. 28 Dec 2017-13 Jan, 2018.

“Let’s Do The Time Warp”?

“Again”…?

Yes, let’s – because that song (and its self-explained choreography) really is a timeless classic of musical theatre, one that cannot help but make you want to get up and groove along, regardless of how many Rocky Horror Shows you may have experienced, on the stage or the cinema screen.

Mamma Mia!

Music & Lyrics: Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus. Book: Catherine Johnson. Michael Coppel, Louise Withers & Linda Bewick Production. Director: Gary Young. Choreographer: Tom Hodgson. Musical Supervisor: Stephen Amos. Lyric Theatre, QPAC. 26 December 2017 – 4 February 2018.

With filming just wrapped on Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, the second movie in the franchise, due for release in July 2018, it’s time to revisit the stage version once again.

This new production has a new set, new costumes and a younger cast. It still sounds the same, and the implausible plot is still the same, but it’s been given a whole new makeover. Fans who loved it the first time around are still going to love this version.

Spirit of Christmas

Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Simon Kenway. With Simon Gleeson and Alinta Chidzey. Concert Hall, QPAC. 22-23 December 2017.

Each year QPAC’s annual Spirit of Christmas concert just seems to get bigger and better and this year was no exception. With over 400 artists participating from the QPAC Choir, Brisbane Chorale, Voices of Birralee, Brisbane Birralee Voices, Brisbane Bells Handbell Orchestra and guest artists Simon Gleeson, Alinta Chidzey, Julia McRae, Shubshri Kandiah and Sofia Formica, accompanied by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the voices of the massed choirs were indeed heavenly.

“Joy to the World” has never sounded more appropriate nor more joyous.

Elf Jnr The Musical

Songs Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin, with a book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin. Adelaide Youth Theatre. Arts Theatre. 22nd & 23rd December, 2017.

Adelaide Youth Theatre’s latest production is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit. High energy production numbers teamed with some catchy tunes make for an entertaining hour of festive fun. It’s feel-good tale of an elf orphan (who is actually a human) is delightful in its execution. His journey to New York City to find his father is both comical and touching.

Paper Cuts

By Kirsty Budding. Budding Theatre. Directed by Kirsty Budding. Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre Centre. 21–23 December 2017

Paper Cuts is sub-titled Comedic and Satrical Monologues for Audition and Performance.  The production coincides with the launch of the book of the same title and employs 30 of the book’s 36 monologues (some of which are in reality one-sided dialogues), using nearly as many actors and a master of ceremonies, Jasper Lindell, with a flair for the comic himself.

 

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