Reviews

My Name is Rachel Corrie

Edited by Katherine Viner and Alan Rickman from the writings of Rachel Corrie. fortyfivedownstairs (Vic) Nov 3 to 14.

My Name is Rachel Corrieis a play based on the diaries and e-mails of Rachel Corrie, a young woman with a passion for the Palestinian cause in the Gaza Strip, that led to her violent death whilst protesting. To create the play Katherine Viner and Alan Rickman edited Rachel’s writing, which in places contains sharp enigmatic poetic imagery and sensitive insights.  It was first produced at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 2005.   

We Unfold. Sydney Dance Company

Artistic Director / Choreographer – Rafael Bonachela. Composer – Ezio Bosso. Video Art – Daniel Askill. Costume – Jordan Askill. The Arts Centre, Melbourne (November 9 - 13)

West Side Story

Music: Leonard Bernstein. Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim. Book: Arthur Laurents. BB Promotion/Ambassador Theatre Group/Bartner Group/Norman Tulchin/Lunchbox Theatrical Prods/David Atkins Enterprises. Director: Joey McKneely. Musical Director: Vanessa Scammell. Choreography: Jerome Robbins, reproduced by Joey McKneely. Opened: Lyrics Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane, 7 November 2010; Festival Theatre, Adelaide, December 30, 2010

West Side Story is the modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet, set in New York City in the 1950’s. It is based around young protagonist Tony of the ethnically American gang the ‘Jets’ and Maria, sister to Bernardo, the leader of the ethically Puerto Rican gang known as the ‘Sharks’, and the forbidden love they share amidst a turf war fought between the two rival groups.

CABARET

Music: John Kander. Lyrics: Fred Ebb. Queensland Musical Theatre. Director: Deian Ping. Musical Director: Ben Murray. Choreographer: Roxanne Harding. Twelfth Night Theatre, Brisbane, 3 – 13 November, 2010

Queensland Musical Theatre’s production of Kander and Ebb’s classic musical Cabaret, set in Berlin at the dawn of the Nazi era in the thirties, is enjoyable theatre on many levels.

The Heartstring Hotel

In the newly opened Runcible Spoon (Vic). Directed by Jason Cavanagh.

The Runcible Spoon is a ‘hip’ addition to the stylish Owl and the Pussycat Gallery at 34 Swan Street Richmond – opposite the Richmond Station. Opening night was a busy, lively cosmopolitan, fashionable fringe arts affair.

The small, slightly claustrophobic, theatre space is the front upstairs room of a two story Victorian terrace with, on this occasion, little more than a, bay window size stage.

It’s My Party (and I’ll die if I want to)

By Elizabeth Coleman. Sherbrooke Theatre Company. Director: Bob Bramble

Ron Patterson calls his family together in Elizabeth Coleman’s It’s My Party (and I’ll die if I want to) to tell them he has been told by his doctor that he has only a couple of hours to live.

Measure for Measure

By William Shakespeare. Tropical Arts, Cairns. Director: Avril Duck. Oct 29 – Nov 6.

The Tropical Arts production of Measure for Measure opened last Friday with an energetic performance of Shakespeare’s comedy. Director Avril Duck gave the production an un-Elizabethan look by opting for Japanese costuming and stylized manga (Japanese comic book) movements. The result was an interesting production, acted on a simple set under effective lighting.

Anything Goes

By Cole Porter (and others). Gosford Musical Society . Director: Emmakate De Henau. Musical Director: Bryan Jiggins. Choreographer: Kate Pareaux. October 29 - November 14.

Though the programs and posters (and, presumably, the contract) say this is Cole Porter’s Anything Goes, in fact the marvellous Mr. Porter is responsible for only a minor percentage of the show’s content — say, 30%. His famous melodies and consistently brilliant lyrics continue to delight; it’s the other 70% that is the challenge.

Oklahoma!

By Rodgers and Hammerstein. Nova Musical Theatre (Vic). Director: Noel Browne. Musical Director: John Clancy. Choreographer: Jonathon Robinson.

Oklahoma! is credited with changing the form of musical theatre forever, considered by many to be the first musical comedy where plot, musical score and dance were all necessary to advance the story line.

Set in Oklahoma when it was a territory on the verge of statehood, it tells a story of farmers and cowhands, intermixing a love story with tragedy and humour.

My Fair Lady

By Lerner and Loewe. Old Scotch Music and Drama Club. Director and Choreographer: Robert Ray. Musical Director: John Ferguson.

The Old Scotch Music and Drama Club production of My Fair Lady was lavish, as it should be. The slightly abstract sets worked well, making scene changes smooth, and no expense was spared with the costumes.

The standard was set in the overture, when one could have been listening to a CD. The standard of the 23 piece orchestra was high. The chorus singing was also strong and the choreography breathtaking.

 

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