Reviews

Timon of Athens

By William Shakespeare (and perhaps Thomas Middleton). This Hour. Director: Erica J Brennan. Designer: Lucy Watson. Old 505 Theatre, Surry Hills. 25 to 28 April 2013

Gracelesslands

Here lie I, Timon, who alive, all living men did hate…

Why? Because Timon gives away all her (there’s a gender switch) wealth to friends and supplicants and her largesse generates considerable envy and ingratitude. She loses all and ends up lurking in the woods bereft of comrades and sustenance. None of those whom she supported assist as she falls from grace. She finally suffers the indignity of being eaten by dogs. So, like King Lear, Timon badly under-estimates the gratitude of those to whom she shows benevolence.

How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying

Book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert. Music and lyrics by Frank Loesser The University of Melbourne Musical Theatre Association (UMMTA). Melbourne University Union Theatre. April 19-27 2013

This is a musical which won the Pulitzer Prize and many Tony Awards so a you’d expect the basics are all there; engaging plot, show stopping songs, interesting music.  So, what a company does with those basics is the interesting bit. UMMTA mobilised an experienced group who have put on a satisfying and, at times, inspired version of the show.

Forget Me Not

By Tom Holloway. Belvoir Street Theatre (NSW). April 20 – May 19, 2013

Forget Me Not is a co-commissioned work between Liverpool Everyman theatre company and Belvoir, which is a clever ignition point for the play given the subject of child migration spans both countries.

The story revolves around Gerry, an adult survivor of the hideous campaign to give children "a better life" between the end of WWll and 1970. He wears all the hallmarks of a person who suffered a terrible childhood at the hands of an uncaring and sanctimonious system.

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change

By Joe DiPietro, music by Jimmy Roberts. Director: Stephen Pike. The Q, Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre. April 24 – May 5, 2013.

Billed as “everything you ever thought about relationships, but were too afraid to say,” this is a slick, smart, sexy, very New York flavoured musical, played as a series of set piece vignettes showing couples at various stages of relationships from dating through old age. The first act is amusing and fast-paced, tending to draw fun from stereotyping along the ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ vein. The lyrics are snappy and well-honed and the material covered unashamedly lightweight.

The Ladies Man

Charles Morey’s adaptation of Georges Feydeau’s Tailleur pour Dames. Growl Theatre. Windsor School of Arts, Brisbane. 26 April – 4 May 2013

Growl chose a play to open their new-found ‘home theatre’ that is unfamiliar to contemporary theatregoers, and they gave it their best shot. The French version of this play established Feydeau’s reputation for cleverly devised farces in theBelle Époque.

This play deals with a socially respected central character who ventured outside his marriage and set off a complex web of deceptions, mistaken identities and delusions. Farces always require audiences to suspend disbelief, so a snappy pace is essential.

THE WORLD GOES ‘ROUND

Music: John Kander. Lyrics: Fred Ebb. 3rd Year Students’ Workshop, Musical Theatre @ Queensland Conservatorium. Director: Cienda McNamara. Musical Director: Luke Volker. Choreographer: John Clarke. Burke Street Studios, Brisbane. 26-28 April 2013.

There’s always an excitement about seeing a musical theatre student workshop - you never know who may turn out to be the stars of tomorrow. This was the case with the Kander and Ebb compilation musical The World Goes ‘Round, a perfect vehicle to showcase the singing, dancing and acting skills of a refreshing group of new faces.

The original 1991 Off-Broadway production had a cast of five. This one had 23.

Next to Normal

Music by Tom Kitt, book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey. Oscar Theatre Company. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC. 18 April – 4 May 2013

The best shows are sometimes found just off the theatre glitter strips in London and New York. Next to Normal is a case in point. Oscar Theatre Company (OTC) shares an ethos and philosophy with these ‘off-centre’ companies, so they usually select shows that established their early reputations there.

Hence OTC productions are more than light entertainment. They are usually provocative, challenging or controversial, with real-life characters.

The Ham Funeral

By Patrick White. New Theatre (NSW). April 23 – May 25, 2013.

Written in 1948, and originally set in 1919, this play is loosely based on the story behind William Dobell's painting The Dead Landlordand White's own recollections of the seedy world of London boarding-houses.

Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele

Cabaret by Adam Brunes & Naomi Price. The Little Red Company Production. Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts (Qld). 24-27 April 2013.

The insanely-talented Naomi Price has done it again. After turning in some brilliant performances in recent years in Jesus Christ Superstar, The Last Five Years and Rent, she upped the ante to a whole new level with her new show Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele

Eric Whitacre in Concert

MAPA in association with Music Productions Ltd. Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University. Saturday 13 April, 2013.

Eric Whitacre is a Rock Star in the world of choral music - he is good looking, with a mane of beautiful shoulder length hair and moves with the grace of a ballet dancer. He is a composer and conductor, has a Grammy, and chart topping albums, and is a gifted orator and has created a ground breaking Virtual Choir.