Reviews

Carousel

Music: Richard Rodgers. Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein ll. Stage Director: John Rando. TV Director: Glenn Weiss. Choreography: Warren Carlyle. Musical Director: Rob Fisher. Lincoln Center at Home Streamed Live 10 July – 8 September 2020

This version of Carousel springs from a performance on April 26, 2013, when PBS’ Live From Lincoln Center presented the New York Philharmonic’s concert-staging of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s iconic musical.

Love Letters

By A. R. Gurney. Directed by Jane Sherwood. Camelot Theatre, Mosman Park, WA. July 10-12, 2020

In what may be the first live Community Theatre performance in Australia post-Covid 19, Harbour Theatre’s Love Letters plays to a physically distanced audience this weekend. Due to the reduced audience capacity, I attended the final dress rehearsal with other reviewers and the Harbour Theatre committee.

Hamilton

Book, Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Directed by Thomas Kail. Filmed at Richard Rogers Theatre NYC. Streaming on Disney+ from July 3, 2020.

Hamilton is here and aren’t we glad! With no live theatre for months we can now indulge and immerse ourselves in the most talked about (and rightly so) production of the last decade. Yes, it really is that good.

Dear Australia: Postcards to the Nation

Livestreamed monologues, presented by PlayWriting Australia. 2–5 July 2020

Dear Australiais billed as “50 fearless and inspiring short works from some of Australia’s best playwrights”. It is presented as a series of pre-recorded monologues over three nights, live on Facebook at the PlayWriting Australia YouTube channel. The ‘postcard’ format is perfect for getting across short and sharp messages, addressing themes current during the COVID-19 lockdown, including of course the virus itself, as well as other issues in the news such as the Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd in the US.

Bombshell In Concert

Music: Marc Shaiman. Lyrics: Scott Wittman & Marc Shaiman. Director: Michael Mayer. Musical Director: Marc Shaiman. Choreographer: Joshua Bergasse. People.com free live-stream. Wednesday 20 May 2020

When Bombshell In Concert aired last Wednesday it was manna from heaven for musical theatre geeks who worship at the shrine of Smash, the beloved NBC series which aired for two seasons 2012-13.

Funny Girl

Music: Jule Styne. Lyrics: Bob Merrill. Book: Isobel Lennart from an original story by Miss Lennart. Revised Book: Harvey Fierstein. Director: Michael Mayer. Vision Director: Robert Delamere/ Musical Director: Alan Williams . Choreographer: Lynne Paige. Recorded Live Manchester Palace Theatre, August 2017. Digital Theatre. Cost: £7.99

What is it about the English and American musicals? They seem to be able to revive them and bring dollops of lustre to even the most jaded of musical forms – for instance the backstage musical. Just look at Imelda Staunton’s groundbreaking performance as the definitive Mama Rose in Gypsy.

Take Me To The World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration

Music & Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim. Producer/Narrator: Raul Esparza. Director: Paul Wontorek. Musical Director: Mary-Mitchell Campbell. Streamed 27 April 2020, and available on broadway.com/YouTube

Technical hitches mired the first six minutes of this celebration which began half an hour after its advertised curtain time, but the edited version which can now be picked up on the net is a musical theatre aficionado’s delight. Musical geeks will salivate over the roster of Broadway stars who deliver their most intimate performances in their living rooms, studies and kitchens.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

By Truman Capote, adapted by Richard Greenberg. Harbour Theatre. Directed by Shaun Griffen. Camelot, Lochee St, Mosman Park, WA. Jul 31 - Aug 9, 2020

Harbour Theatre’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s was originally slated to open on March 20, and was cancelled hours before its Opening Night. With its set sitting in situ in a closed Camelot Arts Centre (and borrowed briefly for a short season of Love Letters), this show was much anticipated and long awaited.

Selby & Friends present Beethoven’s Ghost

Filmed at the Sydney's City Recital Hall. Streaming from July 4, 2020.

Pianist Kathryn Selby’s second concert since lockdown was recorded in Sydney’s beautiful – but sadly empty - City Recital Hall. With violinist Harry Ward and cellist Timo-Veikko Valve she presents a special tribute to celebrate the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven. The concert is “centred on Beethoven’s revolutionary ‘Ghost’ Piano Trio, bookended by his much-loved C minor Trio Opus 1, No. 3 and Beethoven’s own arrangement for piano trio of his spectacular Symphony No. 2”. 

Rattling the Keys

By Zoe Muller. Adelaide Repertory Theatre. Virtual Play/You Tube. Screened live on June 27, 2020, and available for one month.

As I sit down to write my first review in many months, much has changed. When the pandemic Covid-19 swept the world, life as we knew it ground to a halt. Unfortunately, the Arts were left in the dark, as our government dubbed the industry non-essential. Companies were left with no choice but to close theatre doors and it remains to be seen how many will be able to open again.

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