By Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Adelaide Youth Theatre. The Arts Theatre, Adelaide. 15-18 October, 2020

Grease – the musical began life in a Chicago night-club in 1971. The title comes from an American sub-culture group known as ‘the greasers’. Grease moved to Broadway in 1972 and the international smash hit movie version was released in 1978. Subsequently, it was revived in 1994 and 2007, combining the original and movie versions. Grease is now a ‘classic’ pop musical, and as evident in this delightful Adelaide Youth Theatre production, is as wonderful and as subversive as it ever was.

A Chorus Line

Conceived by Michael Bennett. Book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante. Music by Marvin Hamlisch. Lyrics by Edward Kleban. WAAPA. Directed by Crispin Taylor. Geoff Gibbs Theatre, WAAPA, Edith Cowan University, Mt Lawley, WA. Oct 13-15, 2020

WAAPA’s biggest production of 2020 is being performed to a very exclusive audience in the Geoff Gibbs Theatre. Featuring the forty 3rd Year and 2nd Year Music Theatre students onstage, it highlights the talents of just as many Production and Design Students, is staffed by Arts Management Students and includes a plethora of students in the orchestra.

Orpheus In the Underworld

Jacques Offenbach, with new lyrics by Nicole Stinton. WAAPA Classical Voice Students. Directed by Nicole Stinton. The Rechabite Hall, Northbridge WA. Oct 12-15, 2020

WAAPA productions are currently not open to the general public, but Classical Voice students are performing to very limited audiences at The Rechabite, preceding a YouTube broadcast season from 24-31 October.

My Wife’s Family

Based on a play by Henry Duprez, original story by Hal Stephens and Harry B. Linton. Tea Tree Players, SA. Online from October 11, 2020.

During the lockdown period for Covid-19 we all baked, crafted, gardened and, of course, spent time watching Stan, Netflix and bingeing on Binge. For a long while our theatre exposure was restricted to old YouTube versions of plays, musicals, operas and ballet. Lately, some companies have presented virtual theatre to keep the Arts alive in Adelaide. The Adelaide Repertory Theatre has presented a number of virtual productions. Now Tea Tree Players (famous for their productions of farce) present their latest contribution, My Wife’s Family, a radio play on film!

Disney’s High School Musical

By David Sympatico. HAMA Productions. Directed by Olivia Collier. Regal Theatre, Subiaco, WA. Oct 7-11, 2020

The biggest production to hit Perth since the shut-down, HAMA Productions’ High School Musical, is playing to Covid capacity audiences in a well-polished feel-good show.

Disney’s Tarzan: The Stage Musical

Music and Lyrics by Phil Collins. Book by David Henry Hwang. The Toowoomba Choral Society Youth Choir. Directed by Vicki Bravery. Toowoomba Anglican School Millennium Centre, Toowoomba. 26 September 2020.

After taking out a swathe of awards at the Golden Palm Theatre Awards in 2019, the Toowoomba Choral Society Youth Choir wasn’t going to let a little thing like a global pandemic stop them from staging their annual holiday production in 2020.

Return to Earth

HOTA – Home of the Arts, Gold Coast. Directed by Gavin Webber. Music by Guy Webster. Oct 10th, 2020

Live theatre is back - it’s only a trickle at the moment, but one lives for the day when the dam bursts and there is more on offer than we can possibly fit. Meanwhile the trickle is inviting to every parched theatre-goer.

QPAC in Brisbane has already announced its coming live programmes and Home Of The Arts (HOTA) on the Gold Coast has managed to keep live theatre going in limited forms and embrace all art forms in the process.

Alice in Wonderland

Adapted by Florida Friebus and Eva Gallienne from the book by Lewis Carroll. Stray Cats Theatre and ADAPT. Directed by Karen Francis. Mandurah Performing Arts Centre. Oct 9-11, 2020

A school holiday treat from Stray Cats Theatre and ADAPT, Alice in Wonderland was originally slated for Mandurah Performing Arts Centre’s smaller Fishtrap Theatre. Social distancing requirements meant that it was performed in MANPAC’s much larger Boardwalk Theatre, to very well distanced capacity audiences.

Moana Jr

By Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina. Adelaide Theatre Academy. Goodwood Institute. 7-10 October 2020

Moana Jr is an adaptation from the 2016 Disney animated movie, with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, of Hamilton fame, Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina. The music and orchestrations in this junior stage version have been cleverly arranged by Ian Weinberger.

The Sky’s The Limit

1st, 2nd, and 3rd Year Bachelor of Musical Theatre Students. Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. Concert Hall, QPAC. 2-3 October 2020.

I have always loved the sound of piano and voice and there was no shortage of it in this show by 70 of the Musical Theatre students from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. Performed in the QPAC Concert Hall, reconfigured in concert mode, i.e. the audience sitting behind the stage and looking out at the auditorium, and everyone social distanced, it was a surprisingly intimate concert of show songs both old and new.

So many great performances and so many highlights.

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