Reviews

A View From the Bridge

By Arthur Miller. Canberra Repertory. Director: Chris Baldock. Theatre 3, Acton. 4–20 May 2017

Though Arthur Miller wrote A View From the Bridge more than six decades ago, it retains still the emotional power that forced its producers to circumvent then U.S.

Die Fledermaus

Music by Johann Strauss II. Libretto by C. Haffner and Richard Genee. English translation and music arrangement by Ian Gledhill. Canberra Opera. Directed by Karyn Tisdell/Belconnen Theatre Centre. May 5 – 14, 2017

This merry production of the cheerful operatta Die Fledermaus is a welcome addition to Canberra Opera’s reputation. The operetta has moved from nineteenth-century Vienna to the 1950s in London, with the characters enjoying a reprieve from war-time rationing and availability of goods. The von Eisensensteins, Gabriel (played by Andrew Barrow) and Rosalinde (played by Keren Dalzell) live in a London apartment and their maid Adele (played by Madeline Anderson) shows how she is not awed by wealth, but sees it as an opportunity to make the most of life.

Areté: Gamma

Dionysus Theatre. Cube 37 – Frankston Arts Centre. Thurs 11th – Sat 13th May, 2017

Based on a different theme each year, Areté: Gamma is the third festival offering from the vivid company Dionysus Theatre, a company that always engenders thoughtful debate and discussion in their works.

Aretéis an innovative performance and visual arts festival, where all work presented responds to a specific theme.  The 2017 theme - ‘Science is a way of thinking, much more than it is a body of knowledge’ - Carl Sagan

Cavalleria Rusticana / Pagliacci

By Mascagni and Leoncavallo. Opera Australia. Opera Australia. Director: Damiano Michieletto. Revival Director: Andy Morton. Conductor: Andrea Liceta. Arts Centre, Melbourne. May 10 – 20, 2017

Though this was a revival, I hadn’t seen it before, so it was a new experience. And what an experience it was! Though I didn’t agree with everything, it was certainly not dull.

The huge structure revolved to reveal different indoor and outdoor scenes. This was used very cleverly. Cavalleria Rusticana opened at the final scene with Mamma Lucia weeping over the body of her son, Turridu, while Turridu sang his serenade to Lola off stage. The stage revolved and the action proceeded.

The Last Five Years

By Jason Robert Brown. Presented by NUTS (National University Theatre Society). Directed by Maddie Mavro. ANU Drama Lab, Union Court ANU. 10 – 13 May 2017

Wry laughs and pathos abound in NUTS production of the cult tear-jerker The Last Five Years. This is a bare bones, tiny budget show, hinging on the sheer energy of Jamie (Colin Balog), the unworldliness of Cathy (Alessa Kron) and Erica Chen’s excellent piano rendition of the fabulous score.

The Diary of Anne Frank

By Francis Goodrich and Albert Hackett. WAAAPA Third Year Acting students. Directed by Peggy Shannon. The Roundhouse Theatre, WAAPA, Mt Lawley, WA. May 5-11, 2017

WAAAPA’s Third Year Acting students presented a very moving, beautifully told rendition of The Diary of Anne Frank, by Francis Goodrich and Albert Hackett, in a production that showcases not only beautifully developing acting skills, but the depth of talent of WAAPA Production and Design students. Under the guidance of visiting Canadian director Peggy Shannon, WAAPA produced a piece that moved much of the audience to tears.

Velvet

Organised Pandemonium. Directed by Craig Ilott. The Playhouse, Canberra. 3–14 May 2017. And touring Australasia

Its makers describe Velvet as a party ("with an exhilarating disco soundtrack"), and as a show bursting with disco, cabaret, dance, glamour, and circus.  The show opens, continues, and closes with soundtracks to which performers dance or sing or perform aerial acrobatics.  It's certainly an unusual mix, though in fact I saw no cabaret.

 

Having watched it, I'm still unclear what Velvet is.  The only evident connection between all the performances was the set they all appeared on.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Adapted and directed by Terri Brabon. TheatreiNQ, Townsville. April 19 – May 7, 2017.

Terri Brabon is one mighty clever theatre person. Her vision for Townsville’s TheatreiNQ delivers a brand of successful theatre which combines community actors with professionally trained actors.

Between the Streetlight and the Moon

By Melita Rowston. Produced by MopHead Productions, bAKEHOUSE Theatre Co., Stephen Multari and Eloise Snape. Director: Anthony Skuse. Kings Cross Theatre, Sydney. 5 – 27 May 2017

The new Kings Cross Theatre is a tiny space up four steep flights of stairs in a building that overlooks the Cross’s famous Coca Cola sign. For this production the acting area cuts the audience into two and as many old chairs as possible have been crammed together. No problem – except it's one act running for 105 minutes and the only possible exit for 50% of the audience is via the stage. Oh, the joys of the fringe!

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Music & Lyrics: Frank Loesser. Book: Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert. Hornsby Musical Society. Hornsby RSL Club. May 5 – 13, 2017

Naked corporate ambition and intrigue probably hasn’t changed much since Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

made its debut in 1962 - a corporate age recently captured in the latter seasons of TV’s Mad Men.

Its political incorrectness will strike some raw nerves, yet it’s still so easy to identify with former window washer J. Pierpont Finch as he schemes and manipulates his way up the corporate ladder with zero qualifications, and a ‘How To’ book.

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