Reviews

Every Breath

By Benedict Andrews. Belvoir (NSW). March 24 – April 29, 2012.

It’s a truism that directors shouldn’t direct their own plays. Benedict Andrews has a fine record of directing dangerously thrilling theatre in Adelaide, then Sydney and now Europe – enough it seems for Belvoir to give him both the stage and the director’s reins for his first produced play. It’s a misplaced faith.

13 A New Musical.

Music and Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. Book by Dan Elish and Robert Horn. Director: Bridget Keating. Shire Music Theatre. Sutherland Memorial School of Arts. March 23 – April 1, 2012.

In 13 the central character is Evan Goldman, the only Jew in his class, on the cusp of celebrating his Bar Mitzvah. He is transplanted from New York to middle America when his parents get divorced.

So, I took my 13 year old boy who completed his Bar Mitzvah a few months ago with me to help review the musical.

He gave the production the thumbs up.

Red

By John Logan. MTC. Director: Alkinos Tsillimidos. The MTC Theatre, Sumner. 26th March-5th May, 2012.

Mark Rothko was a mid 20th century painter of colossal ego, lofty ideals and arguably limited talent. He railed against “Art” as decoration and enjoyment, and loathed the pop culture that encouraged art to “sell out” to the highest bidder – and yet he embraced the money it offered. The play covers two years in which he attempts to create the infamous “Red” series of panels for the Four Seasons restaurant in New York.

The Importance of Being Earnest

By Oscar Wilde. Malanda Theatre Company (Qld.) Director: Jim Hill. March 23 – April 1.

Tina C: Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

Created by Christopher Green. Malthouse Theatre, Christopher Green, Julia Holt and Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Beckett Theatre. March 21 – April 14, 2012

Tina C: Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word is classy, character driven, comedy that is not quite stand up, not quite cabaret and not quite music theatre.  But Les Girls eat your hearts out - Tina C is the most beautiful (Country and Western) Drag Queen – real eye candy.  Dressed in skimpy shorts and blouse that are made of fabric with an indigenous artwork print she presents as a stunning Barbie Doll with beautiful legs that ‘go up to heaven’. 

Hopelessly Devoted

Music & Lyrics: Various. Book: Elise Greig. Contributing Writer: Nick Backstrom. Eg Production. Director: Lewis Jones. Musical Director: Tony Byrne. Choreographer: John Clarke. Zamia Theatre, North Tambourine, Queensland. 23 and 24 March, 2012. Further performances - May 24 – 26 at the Gold Coast Arts Centre, The Space.

You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown

Book, Music & Lyrics: Clark Gesner. Harvest Rain (Qld). Mina Parade Warehouse, Brisbane. Director: Meg Ham. Musical Director: Sophie Woodward. Mar 21 – 31, 2012.

You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown has been a popular title on the amateur circuit for years. With its lovable assortment of characters from Charles Schultz’s comic-strip Peanuts, Harvest Rain’s production under the direction of Meg Ham brought out the charm and fun of Clark Gesner’s delightful musical.

La Traviata: Opera on the Harbour

By Giuseppe Verdi and Francesco Maria Piave. Opera Australia. Mrs Macquarie’s Point. Director: Francesca Zambello. March 24 - April 15, 2012.

Sometimes you can walk into a theatre which is so breathtakingly beautiful that you’ve almost got your money’s worth before the first note is sung.

That was my experience when I saw an opera at the New York Met.

For me, the same jaw-dropping excitement bubbled to the surface when Opera Australia was blessed with divine Sydney weather (after a summer of rain and storms) for the opening of their first outdoor season at Mrs Macquarie’s Point.

Ruben Guthrie

By Brendan Cowell. Blue Cow Theatre Inc. Theatre Royal Backspace, Hobart. Director: Robert Jarman. 22 - 31 March, 2012

Alcohol consumption is an accepted part of the Australian way of life. When Sydney actor/writer Brendan Cowell took a year off the sauce a few years ago, his world was turned upside down, and Ruben Guthrie the play was born. Cowell’s authentic script shows how “giving it up” creates imbalance in the lives of all who surround the would-be abstainer.

Jerry’s Girls

Music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. Concept by Jerry Herman and Larry Alford. Bankstown Theatre Company (NSW). Bankstown Arts Centre. March 23 – 31, 2012.

Celebrating the larger than life ladies of theatre launched by the show tunes of Jerry Herman, Jerry’s Girls packs a succession of great Broadway tunes into two hours.

This musical revue celebrates the showstoppers Herman composed for those classic, more mature, musical theatre leading ladies, Dolly Levi, Mame and the drag queen Za-Za / Albin (Hello, Dolly, Mame and La Cage aux Folles), together with often equally terrific songs written for his less successful shows.

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