Reviews

An American In Paris

Music: George Gershwin. Lyrics: Ira Gershwin. Book: Craig Lucas. GWB Entertainment & The Australian Ballet. Director & Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon. Musical Director: Vanessa Scammell. Lyric Theatre, QPAC. 17-30 January 2022

How do you turn a seven Academy Award-winner musical movie, with a paper-thin plot, into a dazzling show-stopping stage musical? The answer is currently on stage at the Lyric Theatre, where Christopher Wheeldon, and his partner in crime, set and costume designer Bob Crowley, have produced the most delightful homage to the original 1951 MGM musical.

Spencer

By Katy Warner. Serial Productions. Directed by Rob Warner. Old Mill Theatre, South Perth, WA. Jan 21 - Feb 5, 2022

Serial Productions specialise in comedies - usually of the lighter variety. Their latest production, Spencer, is very funny, but also packs quite a serious punch, with its slice of life family drama, written by Western Australian export - Katy Warner.

Dreams of a Lonely Planet

Written and directed by Estelle Brown and Izzy Leclezio. Flying Bicycle Collective. Fringe World. Rehearsal Room 1, State Theatre Centre of WA, Perth WA. Jan 20-22, 2022

Flying Bicycle Collective’s Dreams of a Lonely Planet is a gentle blend of contemporary dance, shadow puppetry and storytelling with live music composition to tell an abstract story of Boy’s journey to the lonely planet. 

The season included a relaxed performance which is the show I reviewed - and I am assuming that there may have been some accommodations to make this a less confronting experience for people with sensory needs. Wonderful to see relaxed performances - especially during a short run.

Deafinite Connection

Written and Directed by Peter Blockey. Fringe World. Home Economics, The Girls School, East Perth WA. Jan 15 - 23, 2022

Deafinite Connection is a moving and important production which features three deaf and three hearing performers, in a production aimed at deaf and hearing audiences. It shares some of the experiences of our local deaf community and aims to strengthen relationships between the deaf and wider communities.

The Construct

aXis Ensemble and Circus Monoxide. Sydney Festival. Church St Parramatta. 22nd January and 23rd, 2022

Six fearless Australian performers tumble, dance and contort their way through and around a unique steel sculpture standing on a vinyl mat spread over part of the new light rail on Church Street Parramatta. Their performance, titled The Construct, is part of the free, outside entertainment of this year’s Sydney Festival. They attract a crowd of about two hundred – some dedicated Sydney Festival followers, some simply passers-by, others sitting, sipping outside the cafes that line this precinct of Parramatta commonly known as ‘Eat Street’.  

Into the Woods

Music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Book by James Lapine. Watch This. Meat Market – Flat Floor Pavilion, North Melbourne. 15 – 23 January 2022

‘Once upon a time…’  Into the Woods reworks and combines and subverts old and familiar ‘fairy tales: Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood and – a central thread – a Baker and his Wife who long for a child. It has all the hallmarks of Sondheim and Lapine’s work: the distinctive music, the clever, pointed lyrics with their internal rhymes, puns and character revelation, the instant switches in the storytelling from pathos to comedy, from bubbling joy to the deepest sadness, and a confronting moral ambiguity.

Avenue Q

Book by Jeff Marx. Music & Lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx. The Attic Theatrical. The Art House, Darkinjung Country, Wyong. January 21 – 28, 2022.

In 2003, Avenue Q took Broadway by storm. Part-parody, part mirror to the world as it was, the show was so popular at the time that it beat out the smash-hit Wicked for the Tony Award for Best Musical - but can you guess which one is still running on Broadway? 

 

Yung Lung

Created by Anthony Hamilton. Chunky Move / Sydney Festival. Carriageworks. January 23 – 25, 2022

In *another huge bay of Carriageworks, Yung Lung offers yet *another apocalyptic take, this one a hyper dance party from Melbourne’s Chunky Move. 

The audience stands and wanders around a monstrous central sculpture of mashed kaleidoscopically-coloured god-like heads, encircled by a bank of 12 screens showing fractured images of confronting oddities and news media (Kris Moyes).  This is our manic obsession with digital culture.

Grey Rhino

By Charmene Yap & Cass Mortimer Eipper. Performing Lines / Sydney Festival. Carriageworks. January 20 – 23, 2022.

Grey Rhino apparently describes how we so wilfully ignore the warnings that big impact disasters are coming.

Impending apocalypse has long been a favourite theme of contemporary dance; nowadays our passivity in the face of it surely has a little more bite.

Sydney Dance Company stalwart Charmene Yap and multimedia-loving choreographer Cass Mortimer Eipper present seven dancers moving attractively, but ordinarily, across a large white square in one of the huge Carriageworks bays.  

No Exit

By Jean Paul Sartre. Fringe World 2022. Company O. Directed by Andrew O’Connell. The QuARTer Gallery, Curtin University, WA

No Exit is the play that spawned the line “Hell is other people”. Back by popular demand, Company O’s Fringe World production, takes place in the very intimate space of the QuARTer Gallery.

Three people find themselves in the same room in hell, condemned for actions in life. As they wait for whatever torture they will receive for eternity, they realise that the torture will come from each other.

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