Reviews

Captain Moonlite

By Jye Bryant. Australian Premiere. Redcliffe Musical Theatre, Qld. Directed by Jacqueline Kerr. August 21 – August 30, 2020.

Gay bushranger Captain Moonlite (as he named himself) was an interesting man, eventually executed for his incompetent bushranging activities, terminated by his involvement in the death of a policeman. Born Andrew George Scott in Northern Ireland to a religious family, he moved firstly to New Zealand, then eventually to Australia. His life spiralled downhill into crime, though he maintained some ethical standards from his youth. When his “gang” went bush, some had not even ridden a horse. They were destined to fail.

Newsies

Music: Alan Menken. Lyrics: Jack Feldman. Book: Harvey Fierstein. Director: Jeff Calhoun. Musical Director: Michael Kosarin. Choreographer: Christopher Galletti Streaming at playbill.com. 21 August 2020, from 7.00pm ET US.

I defy anyone not to have a euphoric high after watching this video version of Newsies. The excitement of the performance simply jumps out of the screen making it the best musical theatre stage performance captured live.

The Merry Widow

Ballet by Robert Helpmann. Music: Franz Lehar, Based on the Operetta by Victor Leon & Leo Stein. Choreography: Ronald Hynd. Guest Repetiteurs: Mark Kay, Marilyn Rowe. Arranged & Orchestrated by John Lanchbery. Costume & Set design: Desmond Heeley. Australian Ballet. Streaming 6-20 August 2020

In 1975, The Merry Widow was the first full-length ballet commissioned by the Australian Ballet and was such a success it was seen in London, New York, Washington and Manila within its first eleven months. Since then it has been regularly revived, the last in 2011.

SpongeBob SquarePants

Music & Lyrics: David Bowie, Cindi Lauper, Sara Bareilles, John Legend, Panic at the Disco, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Yolanda Adams, Lady Antebellum, They Might Be Giants, Jonathan Coulton, Plain White T’s, Tom Kitt and others. Book: Kyle Jarrow. Director: Tina Landau. Musical Director: Tom Kitt. Choreographer: Christopher Gattelli. Amazon Prime Video

This sensory and psychedelic overload of Nickelodeon’s monster hit animated cartoon series is a playful and imaginative romp through the underwater world of Bikini Bottom.

Designer David Zinn, who created the sets and costumes, splashes the stage with color to create the most fabulous watery three dimensional and theatrical wonderland, with pink plastic umbrella jelly-fish and dozens of lime green pool noodles that approximate sea kelp, amongst other ingenious inventions.

NIDA Digital Theatre Festival

Tuesday 4 August - Sunday 9 August, 2020.

In response to the devastating effects of restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic on live performances, NIDA has pivoted to a digital theatrical response. The festival includes a collection of original works designed especially for a digital context and are all performed by 2020 NIDA graduates.

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.

The Bodyguard

Adapted from the screenplay by Alexander Dinelaris. Spotlight Theatre, Benowa, Gold Coast. Directed by Clem and Shelly Halpin. 31st July to 22nd August, 2020

Spotlight is the first Gold Coast community theatre to reopen and what a great production with which to greet their patrons.

The Halpins have gathered an incredible cast and crew together for a thoroughly entertaining piece of modern musical theatre.

Brighton Beach Memoirs

By Neil Simon. Canberra Repertory. Directed by Karen Vickery. Canberra REP Theatre, Acton. 30 July – 15 August 2020.

What an ingenious observer Neil Simon was of human foibles, the trouble we get ourselves into, and, especially, the complex negotiations we undertake in meaningful conversation.  And how apt, with its characters boxed in together without let, both its performers and its audience found the play to our times.

Decameron 2.0 (Episode One: Those Who Make Sacrifices).

State Theatre Company South Australia. ActNow Theatre. Streaming from 10 July 2020.

The original Decameron was a series of one-hundred novellas, structured as if being told from a secluded villa, in order to distract both its tellers and its listeners from the reality of the Black Death that was ravaging nearby Florence at the time. A most apt analogy for life at the present time.

Minefields and Miniskirts

Adapted by Terence O’Connell from book by Siobhan McHugh. Redcliffe Musical Theatre. Directed by Richard Rubendra. July 24 to August 2, 2020.

RMT has re-opened following the Covid-19 lockdown with a play that challenges audience members in so many ways. The Vietnam War seems an eternity ago but our understanding of what occurred in the battle zone  and the effects that had on those who were there and their families is made so much clearer in this production. What is so different in this play is that the emphasis is on four women who were in the battle area, and a military wife.

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