Reviews

Melbourne Talam

By Rashma N. Kalsie. Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC Education). Southbank Theatre, The Lawler. 4-20 May 2017

Talam, as playwright Rashma N Kalsie tells us in a program note, ‘is a term used in Indian music… the base on which the notes of musical composition and poetry rest… the rhythmic cycle of a musical competition… [Here] talam means the rhythm of Melbourne.’  That is, there’s a rhythm to the city that you ‘get’ or you don’t – and if you don’t, life can be alienated, lonely and maybe poor and hungry too.  The play tells the stories of three young people from the sub-continent – from Delhi, fro

HurlyBurly

By David Rabe. Directed by Gabriella Rose-Carter. Q44 Theatre. 550 Swan Street, Richmond VIC. 2-21 May 2017

‘When the hurly-burly’s done,’ chant the Witches in Macbeth, ‘when the battle’s lost and won…’  Playwright David Rabe’s ‘hurly-burly’ is not that of war but one of life lived at accelerated speed, blurred perception and unacknowledged desperation, fuelled by drugs, cynicism and ‘Hollywood’ culture, all creating a kind of alienating fog from which the protagonist, Eddie (Anthony Scundi) struggles to escape.  Set in Los Angeles (or more specifically ‘Hollywood’), it is not ‘about&rsqu

Mon Ma Mes (Revisite)

By Jack Ferver. Phillip Adams BalletLab. Temperance Hall – South Melbourne. 4th– 7th May, 2017.

Part Q&A, part lecture, part visceral dance, part theatrical; we end at the beginning.

Jack Ferver explores the notion between fictive and the real – is life purely a form of deconstruction? Why do we make personas to live by?  How do these in essence become truer than our real selves?

The audience and ‘selected guests’ become participants in Ferver's enigmatic performance.

Eugene Onegin

By Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Co-Opera (SA). Thomas Edmonds Opera Theatre, Wayville. May 4-7, 2017.

Most theatregoers know Tchaikovsky’s ballets,Swan Lake and The Nutcracker Suite. Eugene Onegin is his most famous opera among avid opera lovers but remains little known generally. Co-Opera has given this opera much love and attention to detail in its most lavish and ambitious production yet.

A lyric opera, it is packed with dramatic moments and very closely follows Alexander Pushkin’s novel, but in verse.

The Play That Goes Wrong

By Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, Henry Shields. Lunchbox Theatrical Productions/Kenny Wax Ltd/Stage Presence, with David Atkins Enterprises and ABA Production. Director: Mark Bell. Australian Cast Director: Sean Taylor. Playhouse, QPAC, Brisbane. 4 - 14 May, 2017

The Play That Goes Wrong is silly, ridiculous fun. A cross between Noises Off and Fawlty Towers, it trades on familiar theatrical tropes where an amateur theatre company put on a play and everything that could go wrong does – missed lines, forgotten props, doors that won’t open, dead bodies who move, pratfalls, and the set falling down in spectacular fashion, all in the name of a laugh.

Tim Rice and Elton John’s Aida

The Hills Musical Company. Stirling Theatre, Adelaide. 5-20 May, 2017

Say the word Aida and it immediately conjures up images of pyramids, animals, huge sets and lavish costumes. Generally known to audiences through Giuseppe Verdi's 1871 opera and based on a story by Egyptologist Auguste Mariette, the tale of star-crossed lovers is in turn loosely based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Lyrics by Tim Rice. Geelong Lyric Theatre Society, Victoria. Director: Davina Smith. Musical Director: Bradley Treloar. Choreographer: Molly Carter. Geelong Performing Arts Centre. May 5 - May 13, 2017

The Geelong Lyric Theatre Society (GLTS) production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat rockets along. Fifty minutes in, the lights announce intermission – catching me by surprise.

For those who aren’t up to date with their Bible stories or their Andrew Lloyd Webber, Joseph retells the story of the son of Jacob from Genesis 37- 50.

In 1967, Webber and Tim Rice wrote Joseph for a school’s end-of-term concert, accounting for the shortness of the musical and the way the whole story is told through song.

La Comtesse Bis

By Moliere. Melbourne French Theatre. 4 to 6 May 2017

No need to lament the passing of another French Film Festival for the year, MFT is here to give us our dose of genuine French culture. A production that will delight Francophones and Francophiles, Melbourne French Theatre (MFT) proudly celebrates 40 years of bringing French theatre to Melbourne in its 101st production.

Shen Yun

Australian Tour. March / April 2017

Founded in New York in 2006, Shen Yun is a performance extravaganza featuring classical Chinese as well as ethnic and folk dance, with a full orchestra which blends Chinese and Western traditions.

Cabaret

Music by John Kander. Lyrics by Fred Ebb. Book by Joe Masteroff. Directed by Gale Edwards. Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne. May 1 – 20, 2017

Despite (or perhaps because of) one of the finest casts ever assembled, this production of Cabaret, a stalwart and favourite of Musical Theatre everywhere, tantalisingly holds out the promise of brilliance, only to snatch it away at the last minute. That’s not to say it isn’t good – it is in part – but it never seems to gel, to find a cohesive creative vision.

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