Mack and Mabel

Book by Michael Stewart. Music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. Working Management. Hayes Theatre Co. November 18 – December 18, 2016.

Musical Theatre tragics and fans (myself included) have been in love with the Broadway Cast recording of Mack and Mabel for more than 40 years. Its lush traditional Broadway score by Jerry Herman (Hello, Dolly, Mame, La Cage Aux Folles) is arguably the best ever written for a Broadway Musical flop.

The plot revolves around the relationship between early comedy film director Mack Sennett (Bathing Beauties, Keystone Kops) and his star Mabel Normand, and movie making in Hollywood’s silent era.

Uncle Vanya

By Anton Chekhov. New Adaptation by Annie Baker. Directed by Nadia Tass. Red Stitch. Nov 15th-Dec 17th, 2016.

In many ways, one would expect Annie Baker to produce the perfect contemporary vision of Chekhov. Her much lauded play The Flick, so successfully directed by Tass a year or more ago, has the same sense of the humdrum, the ennui, of Chekhov. I am told that Baker’s script is hilarious on the page – and Chekhov always insisted he wrote comedies – but you wouldn’t know it from the Red Stitch production.

Caliban (Where do the spirits go when the water rises?)

Written by Georgia Symons, Achai Deng, Abraham Herasan, Piper Huynh, Natalie Lucic, Rexson Pelman, Oti Willoughby, and Dave Kelman. Western Edge Youth Arts. The Becket – Malthouse. 24 – 26 November 2016

Caliban is pertinent worthwhile theatre presented by a great group of very skilled young people who do a marvelous job of getting a multi-layered message across to the audience.  Through using the framework of Shakespeare’s The Tempest they are able to utilize established characters and remodel them to serve the purpose of developing a story that correlates to our global warming crisis.



Created by Susie Dee, Kate Sherman and Nicci Wilks. Theatre Works – St Kilda. 17 to 27 November 2016

Susie Dee, Kate Sherman and Nicci Wilks, with the assistance of Angus Cerini, have had the courage to delve into the murky depths, and usually hidden experience, of the insidious damage of abuse.  Marvelously they have extracted a poignant poetic essence.  And with the help of an exemplary production team are sublimely communicating this to audiences.  

Next Fall

By Geoffrey Nauffts. Boyslikeme. Seymour Centre. Oct 26 – Nov 19, 2016.

Geoffrey Nauffts’ dramatic comedy Next Fall examines faith, unconditional love and commitment in the story of a gay relationship. Andy Leonard’s direction examines a modern romance with sensitivity, light humour and sentimentality. A committed cast explore the sensitivity of being gay, in a mismatched relationship that challenges beliefs and values. A deeply moving portrayal of friends, family, former and current lovers coming together in the aftermath of an accident.

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.

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