Opera on Film - Carmen by Georges Bizet

Metropolitan Opera, New York - Currently Screening Around Australia

I have now seen several of the Metropolitan Opera series of films showing around Australia and this was one of the best. Arguably the most popular opera ever written, there have been millions of productions of Carmen over the years, but this was up with all of them. As with the others in the series, there were interviews with the stars and production crew, as well as plenty of shots of the scenery being changed. Purists could find this annoying, but it was a fascinating side-show.

The Great American Trailer Park Musical

Book by Betty Kelso, music and lyrics by David Nehls.Hunter TAFE Performing Arts. The Playhouse, Newcastle. December 17 to 20, 2009

David Brown, the head acting teacher and director in the Hunter TAFE stage and screen performance courses, has the knack of choosing little known but thoroughly engaging musicals for the students’ end-of-year shows. The 2009 entry, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, was the Australian premiere of a work that has been staged worldwide since its premiere in New York in 2004. It’s a look at the lives of the residents of a mobile home park in north Florida that mixes satire of and sympathy for the colourful characters in a satisfying way.

Edinburgh Military Tattoo – Piping in the Rain.

Sydney Football Stadium

After watching the energetic bagpipers in their rehearsals march up and down, and up and down some more, on the ABC’s 730 report, I must admit I wasn’t exactly jumping out of my kilt to see the much hyped Edinburgh Tattoo. Add to this the threat of rain and it had the potential for a damp evening. I did, though, end up enjoying the spectacle, and when the rain came it added to the entertainment. What surprised me was the choreography. Firstly those in the audience, not under cover, who all found identical raincoats to put on.

Latest Gold Coast Reviews

*R U Hmlt* (Mercury's Wings Theatre Co), Mr Cellini’s Secret (Spotlight Theatre, Benowa) and Aladdin Jnr (Ballina Players Theatre).

*R U Hmlt* (A work in progress) Mercury’s Wings Theatre Co. Kirra Hill, Gold Coast. Director: Claudine Stephen-Smith This “work in progress” is the result of the collaboration of husband and wife team James Anderson and NIDA trained Claudine Stephen-Smith. Having previously worked on the Shakespeare play, they decided to revisit the piece and present their slant on the story: comparing the life of Hamlet with that of a modern day son.

Searching for David by Steven Dawson

Out Cast Theatre. Mechanics Institute Performing Arts Centre, Brunswick (Vic.) Until Feb 13, 2010

Out Cast Theatre is Australia's longest running GLBTIQ theatre company and tours nationally/internationally. The company has a long association with writer/director Steven Dawson who decided to tackle some ‘meatier’ subject matter in this production rather than his usual ‘joke-fest.’

The Comedy of Errors

Essential Theatre Company. Coriole Winery, McLaren Vale (SA).

Returning to the picturesque setting of Coriole Winery in the McLaren Vale, Essential Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors couldn’t have asked for a better day.


Created & Performed by Rick Miller. Merrigong Theatre Company & Richard Jordan Productions Ltd. Opened January 24, 2010 Playhouse, Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane. Director: Sean Lynch

Your enjoyment of this show will depend on how much you love The Simpsons and how familiar you are with Shakespeare. If you’re not a fan of either then the laughs will be thin on the ground. It’s a brilliant conceit – to marry a popular cultural icon like The Simpsons with the classical theatre of the Bard. With the help of a screen which flashes images of The Simpsons popular characters dressed in Shakespearian garb, and some shadow puppets, Rick Miller creates a Macbeth that is original, clever, and funny.


Produced by Kay & McLean Productions and Michael Coppel Presents . Director Toby Gough. Composer Gedeson Dos Santos. Theatre Royal, Sydney and National Tour.

Speed, flexibility, muscle, sweat, six packs and back flips – these men are a force to be reckoned with and thoroughly entertaining! 'The Warriors' are a troupe of young hot blooded, muscle packed men who knock us out with their skill, charisma and dynamite! Having come directly from the gangland warfare in Salvador de Bahia, these boys who grew up in dingy, poverty stricken Favelas of Brazil are now leading the way in exposing the martial art of Capoeira to the world. They are the raw real deal, you can’t get Capoeira performed more authentically than this.

The Drowsy Chaperone

Book by Bob Martin & Don McKellar. Music and lyrics: Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison. Melbourne Theatre Company. Playhouse, the Arts Centre, Melbourne. Director: Simon Phillips. Musical Director: Mathew Frank. Choreographer: Andrew Hallsworth. Set and Costume Designer: Dale Ferguson. Until February 27, 2010

I’ve rarely had so much pleasure from one night of musical theatre.

A whirlwind of whimsical fun, The Drowsy Chaperone is a perky little valentine to the frivolous Broadway musical comedy confections of the 1920s, when plots were thin and formulaic, gags were corny, dances were energetic and music was chirpy and cheerful.

Tosca by Giacomo Puccini

Libretto by Luigi Sillica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Sardou’s play La Tosca. Opera Australia. Opera Theatre, Sydney Opera House. Until March 27.

Opera Australia’s confronting new Tosca is compelling theatre, though it has ruffled traditionalist feathers.

Seeing Puccini’s popular opera for the first time, Christopher Alden’s dark, gritty, contemporary interpretation really grabbed me. Apparently it’s a harder ask if you have entrenched preconceptions.

Reports suggest that internationally acclaimed Australian Tosca Cheryl Barker, the originally announced diva, and a late withdrawl, is among the dissenters.

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