Reviews

Summer Rain

Book and lyrics by Nick Enright, music by Terence Clarke. New Theatre, Newtown, NSW. November 15 – December 17, 2016

Gentle little Aussie musical Summer Rain never ceases to delight and engage me, and an excellent ensemble cast, capably directed at New Theatre by Trent Kidd, has ensured a fourth marvelous theatrical journey to Turnaround Creek for me.

The Fall and Rise of Mr Scrooge

Book, Music & Lyrics: Sue Sewell. Based on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. New Farm Nash Theatre. Direction: Brenda Whit & Jonathan Collins. Musical Director: Stuart Crisp. Merthyr Road Uniting Church, New Farm, Qld. 19 Nov – 10 Dec 2016

Ebenezer Scrooge is one of the most famous characters in English literature. Created by Charles Dickens in 1843 for A Christmas Carol the story of the old miser who declares Christmas “humbug” has been a popular favourite on stage, screen and television.

Don't Dress for Dinner

By Marc Camoletti. Adelaide Repertory Theatre. The Arts Theatre. 17-26 November, 2016

Those who enjoyed Boeing-Boeing in Adelaide earlier this year should feel right at home with the Rep's production of Don't Dress for Dinner. There may be others who find playwright Camoletti's style to be a bit on the mouldy side these days, but some terrific performers - and a director who clearly knows the territory - do their utmost to dust it off and juice it up.

The Smell of Money

By Peter Maden. Javeenbah Theatre Co, Gold Coast.. Director: Helen Maden. 19th November to 3rd December, 2016. World Premiere

Meet the dysfunctional committee of the local Australian Football Club!

Beautifully crafted by Peter and Helen Maden, The Smell of Money is full of identifiable characters and situations reminiscent of many a committee all over Australia.

The Removalists

By David Williamson. Baker’s Dozen Theatre Company. Directed by Lara Kerestes. Design by Daniel Moulds, Lighting Design by Jake Jobling, Sound Design by Tom Backhaus & Russell Goldsmith. Cast: Josiah Lulham, Patrick Durnan Silva, Brendan Barnett, Hannah Monson, Emma Cox and Matthew Connell. November 17 to 27, 2016

Melbourne based independent Baker’s Dozen Theatre Company, with the support of Malthouse Theatre, present David Williamson’s AWGIE winning play The Removalists at the Mechanics Institute Brunswick.  Running until the 27th of November it is a must see. It is not designed for easy enjoyment, although I did laugh at some of the extreme truths of malice in parts, a satirical laugh at the disbelief and shamefulness of some of societies evils.

Grease

By Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Manly Musical Society. The Star of the Sea Theatre, Stella Maris College, Manly. Nov 18 – 26, 2016.

A rockin’ band, in all senses, led by musical director Anthony Cutrupi, support a cast of excellent singers, ensuring that this live, and lively, incarnation of the Grease soundtrack is a real crowd pleaser. Favourite songs from the film replace several original numbers in the current hybrid version of the musical.

Eye-catching costumes by Elle Cantor, and some lively, frequently imaginative choreography by Kim Dresner, set against the smart black and white check set, evoking a classic 50s diner, further ensure that the iconic musical numbers delight the audience.

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Book by Larry L King and Peter Masterson and Music by Carol Hall. Ballina Players. Director: Paul Belsham. Players Theatre. November 18th to December 11th, 2016.

Ballina Players have decided to re visit the “Chicken Farm” for their final offering of the year.

Over 30 performers brought the ‘goings on’ to the people of Ballina with all the Yee Haw they could muster.

Paul Belsham doubled as Director and Musical Director, assisted by his wife Sue and Choreographer Jaime Sheehan to bring this unusual storyline to life with a cast headed by Jacquie McCalman as Miss Mona with Roy Ramsay; Sheriff Ed Earl, Lee Millward; Jewel, Sienna Pamphilon; Aangel and Dylan Wheeler as Melvin P. Thorpe.

When the Rain Stops Falling

By Andrew Bovell. Director: John Boyce. Brisbane Arts Theatre, Brisbane, 19 Nov – 10 Dec 2016

If it weren’t for Norman Doyle, Brisbane Arts’ When the Rain Stops Falling would be just another community theatre production. As it was, his sensitive performance as Gabriel York/Henry Law elevated the production of this complex play to a higher level.

Andrew Bovell’s award-winning work, one of the best Australian plays of the last decade, continually shifts time in its examination of abandonment, loss, isolation and identity within four generations of family over an eighty-year period.

Blaque Showgirls

By Nakkiah Lui. Directed by Sarah Giles. Merlyn Theatre – Malthouse. 11 November to 4 December 2016

Blaque Showgirls is a unique, timely, riveting work that is not for the faint hearted.  It is raucous, lewd, crude and ridiculously funny, politically very dodgy and out there.  Depending on one’s sensibility, it is perhaps a little destabilizing and disconcerting. 

Little Voice

By Jim Cartwright. KADS. Directed by Terry Hackett. KADS Theatre, Kalamunda, WA. 11 Nov - 3 Dec, 2016

Opening Night of KADS’ Little Voice, by Jim Cartwright, was a packed to the rafters full-house, who adored this play with music.

The audience included two bus loads of very mature patrons, who were very vocal about what they liked (which was pretty much everything) and who were very familiar with the old songs and songstresses featured in this play about a shy young woman who finds her voice through her father’s old records.

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