Reviews

Broadway Spectacular

Queensland Pops Orchestra. Conductor: Patrick Pickett. Concert Hall, QPAC, Brisbane. 16 August 2014

Conductor Patrick Pickett’s ingratiating and jolly demeanour permeated this whole concert, making it a very folksy and warm program. The orchestra, which this year is celebrating its 30th anniversary, was in fine form delivering songs from classic Broadway and more recent musicals, helped by the Vocal Manoeuvres choir, the Moreton Bay College Dancers, and two outstanding guest artists, Silvie Paladino and Kane Alexander.

Constellations

By Nick Payne. Darlinghurst Theatre Company. Eternity Playhouse. August 13 – September 7, 2014

Darlinghurst Theatre Company's production of Nick Payne's Constellations has been a much anticipated event on the 2014 arts calendar and it is well worth the wait.

This is a story that traverses time and space. It looks deeply at relationships, brain cancer, string theory and bee keeping.

Rolling Thunder Vietnam

Concept: Scott Barton. Script: Bryce Hallett. Blake Entertainment & QPAC Production. Director: David Berthold. Musical Director: Chong Lim. QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane, 14-15 August 2014 and touring nationally.

Rolling Thunder Vietnam is an explosive, raw and visceral experience - a look at the Vietnam War using a collection of rock ‘n’ roll songs of the era and a narrative culled from personal stories and letters from the front.

Spring Awakening

Book & Lyrics by Steven Sater, Music by Duncan Sheik, based on the original play by Frank Wedekind. Directed by Sandra Neal, Musical Director Liam Mooney, Choreographer Lynda Tama, Vocal Director Rachel Cairns. Townsville Civic Theatre 13 – 23 August 2014

When the Townsville Choral Society announced that their next musical was to be Spring Awakening, a lot of people, including me, were quite surprised. This modern (2006) rock musical graphically touches on abortion, homosexuality, child sexual abuse and suicide…amongst other themes. It was a courageous decision to stage it.

Intimacy

Created by Torque Show with Michelle Ryan and Lavender Vs Rose. Directed by Ingrid Weisfelt and Ross Ganf. Tower Theatre, Cooper’s Malthouse. August – 23, 2014.

Challenging, poignant, intense and confronting, and heart-breaking – these are just some of the words one could use to describe the 60 minutes we share exploring Intimacy with four very diverse performers. Michelle Ryan, an exquisite dancer in her former life, uses her struggle to acceptance of MS as a basis to examine the importance of intimacy in all our lives. She shares the performance space with the impressive Vincent Crowley and Emma Bathgate and Simon Eszeky, who provide the music for the piece – which is, in truth, more cabaret than theatre.

Hairspray

Book by Mark O'Donnell & Thomas Meehan. Music by Marc Shaiman. Lyrics by Scott Wittman & Marc Shaiman. Based on the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters. Adelaide Youth Theatre. Director: David Gauci. Musical Director: Emma Knights. Choreographer: Nina Richards. Arts Theatre, Adelaide. August 13-16, 2014.

If ever there was a show to make you feel glad you bought a ticket, it's Hairspray; specifically, Adelaide Youth Theatre's new production.

The Elixir of Love

By Donizett. Opera Australia. Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House. August 11 – 30, 2014.

Though first performed in Melbourne in 2001, director Simon Phillips’ idea to set Gaetano Donizetti’s popular opera comica in rural Australia circa 1915 still works charmingly. His very Australian surtitles lend added chuckles, as does his satirical take on the ‘elixir’ that is central to the theme.

The Seagull

By Anton Chekhov, adapted by Hilary Bell. Directed by Kate Cherry. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth WA. 9-31 Aug 2014

Theatre students are taught that the original opening night of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, in 1896, was an absolute disaster. In contrast, Black Swan State Theatre Company's production of this play, using a new adaptation by Hilary Bell, was well received and will no doubt receive much critical acclaim. This is a well produced, expertly acted incarnation of a good new adaptation of the script.

Accomplice

By Rupert Holmes. Castle Hill Players. Pavilion Theatre, Castle Hill Showground. August 15 – September 6, 2014.

Think you know a little bit about murder mysteries? Think again. Rupert Holmes’ intricate, funny and biting thriller will make you doubt what’s in front of your very eyes, realise that what you see isn’t quite what you get and what you get isn’t what you expected at all”.

The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me

By David Drake. Directed by Kynan Francis. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne. August 12 – 17, 2014

The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me follows the life of a young gay man in New York City from the early 1980s - his initial awakening to his sexuality, his coming out and introduction to the NYC gay scene, the onset of HIV/AIDS into this milieu and its denizens’ response to the crisis.

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.