Reviews

Don Quixote

Ballet Nacional de Cuba. Music: Leon Minkus. Choreography: Alicia Alonso, Marta Garcia & Maria Elena Llorente. After the original by Marius Petipa and the version by Alexander Gorsky. Opened: Lyric Theatre, QPAC, 24 Sept 2010.

Don Quixote could not have been a more appropriate choice for the Ballet Nacional de Cuba on their latest visit to Australia. The critically-acclaimed production, deeply-rooted in the Hispanic culture, was the ideal work to show off the young company’s prodigious talent. The unmistakable passion and soul on display was spectacular. Particularly outstanding was Premier Dancer Sadaise Arencibia as Kitri. With breathtaking technique, time after time she wowed the audience who responded with thunderous applause.

Status Update

By Peta Brady. Director: Sue Jones. Performed by Peta Brady and Danielle Carter. Sound: Pete Goodwin. Lighting: Bec Etchell. Design: Belinda Wiltshire/Nick Casey. Dramaturg: Catherine Hill. La Mama (Vic) Sept 23 – Oct 10.

LOL – heaps! This is La Mama at its best - supporting, helping to develop, and producing good writing in performance. On an unassuming set with two computers side by side, Status Update opens with a wheelchair bound person engaged at a computer. When the door opens and slams one expects a greeting to be made, as another person enters the space and hurriedly connects to their - ‘on-line life’. The greeting is made through Facebook.

Sugar

State Theatre, Arts Centre (VIC). The Production Company. September 29 – October 3

After multiple film incarnations, Sugar (Some Like it Hot) hit the stage in 1972 with a book by Peter Stone, music and lyrics by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill, and direction by Gower Champion. The height of camp, there isn’t much funnier than a case of mistaken identities - especially when it involves men in drag.

Total Football

Written and performed by Ridiculusmus: David Woods and Jon Haynes. Devising contributions from Fiona O’Roake, Paul Goddard, Paul Bongiorno and Renee Palmer. La Mama (Vic). Sept 22 to Oct 10.

David Woods and Jon Haynes are London based actors who have a string of Australian comedy credits to their name, ‘Ridiculusmus’. These include a two-hander of The Importance of Being Earnest staged at Malthouse Theatre in 2006.

Basically this work is two consummate actors portraying a number of stereotypes of English characters with real aplomb and great comic timing. Even though, on the second night of the season they did seem a little under rehearsed, they were still very funny.

Seussical The Musical

By Stephen Flaherty and Lyn Ahrens. Stage Artz. Glen Street Theatre (NSW). Until October 2.

This production of Seussical, and producer, Stage Artz, are both performing arts hybrids. Established as a performing arts school in 2001, with a separate theatre company emerging in 2006, in response to the needs of older students, the school and theatre company join forces each year for a charity musical. The venture has, thus far, raised $50,000 for the Children’s Hospital, in memory of a young Stage Artz student who died from cancer.

For the uninitiated, Seussical is a charming family musical based on the stories of Dr. Seuss.

God of Carnage

By Yasmina Reza. Translated by Christopher Hampton. State Theatre Company of SA. Dunstan Playhouse. 17 September to 10 October.

The play written by Yasmina Reza and translated from French to English by Christopher Hampton, is a beautiful piece of writing which places four actors in a room with one small piece of conflict and a mountain of subtext! Starring Brant Eustice and Caroline Mignone as husband and wife couple Michael and Veronica Vallon, and Kim Gyngell and Lizzy Falkland as Alan and Annette Reille, the production was wonderfully cast and beautifully acted.

Man of La Mancha

By Dale Wasserman, Joe Darion and Mitch Leigh. CLOC. (VIC). National Theatre, St. Kilda. September 17 – October 2

Man of La Mancha confuses me in such a delightful way because… well, it just shouldn’t work. Dale Wasserman’s book takes great liberties in its interpretation of the life of Don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, and requires such a suspension of disbelief it is surprising that the audience agree to go along for the ride. Not only do Cervantes’ fellow prisoners allow him to save his novel by presenting them with a play, they agree to help out and join in, playing anything from prostitutes to ponies!

Oz Asia Festival.

Paul Rodda and Nicole Russo Review Adelaide's Oz Asia Festval productions

The Dhol Foundation Festival Theatre, October 2nd In their first Adelaide performance since headlining Womadelaide in 2004, The Dhol Foundation returned to our fair shores as part of this year’s OzAsia Festival. Despite the long break, local support for the drumming outfit and their addictive blend of electronic Punjabi funk clearly hasn’t cooled, with palpable audience excitement from the get-go.

Has Alice Frikkin a Ghost of a Chance?

By David Scott. Javeenbah Theatre Company (Qld). 17 Sep – 02 Oct, 2010

In a departure of style from his intense, thought-provoking plays (Butcherbirds Cry at Midnight, Echoes in the Mist and Gathering Shadows) local playwright, David Scott, entertained a small, responsive audience with the premiere of his latest work; a comedy/fantasy Has Alice Frikkin a Ghost of a Chance?

Rhinestone Rex and Miss Monica

By David Williamson. Ensemble Theatre (NSW). Director: Sandra Bates. September 24 to November 20. Touring Nationally in 2011.

It’s a tried and true recipe for dramatic comedy. Put two people from opposite poles into a small space and watch the sparks fly. Neil Simon did it with The Odd Couple and David Williamson has succeeded with flying colours in Rhinestone Rex and Miss Monica. In this case Monica (played by Georgie Parker) is a highly strung member of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra on injury leave and Gary, aka Rhinstone Rex (played by Glenn Hazeldine), is a retired country and western singer.

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