Reviews

Beaudy The Musical

Written and composed by Michael Orland. NIDA Sydney

Sometimes a production is so awful that it almost becomes entertaining … much like a farce. Such was the case with Beaudy the Musical which, just when you thought it could not get any worse, it did and more so. According to the program Michael Orland started writing ‘Beaudy’ 28 years ago. I understand that he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money putting it on with a large professional cast, orchestra, venue and a publicity machine with all the trimmings. He was told this was not wise – but pressed on.

Entertaining Mr. Sloane by Joe Orton

State Theatre Company of SA – Dunstan Playhouse 2 - 25 July

Entertaining Mr. Sloane by Joe Orton tells the story of a teen boy who takes up lodgings with the sex starved Kath and her elderly father after a chance meeting at the library. Kath’s live-in father, hard of hearing and slowing in memory, recognises Sloane from the past and identifies him as the murderer of his old boss. So infatuated by Sloane is Kath, that she pays no attention to her father’s warning.

Miss Saigon

by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, with lyrics by Boublil and Richard Maltby, Jr. Ballina Players. Directors: Sue & Paul Belsham

A difficult show for any company to present, Ballina’s production contained all the right elements to make it a memorable show. The strong principal line up was headed by Dean Salonga (a cast member of the original 1995 professional production) as the Engineer and capably supported by Grace Cockburn – Kim, Dean Doyle – Chris, Jessie Matthews-Cooke – John, Brian Pamphilon – Thuy and Meredith Betts – Ellen.

The Truth About Fairytales.

Performed by Sharon Kirschner. Accompanied by Trevor Jones. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne.

I tip my hat to anyone who dares get up on stage to perform on their own. Anyone who has ever done it knows how terrifyingly exhilarating it can be. I am also always especially thrilled to have the opportunity to see young performers taking to the stage of Melbourne’s cabaret gem of a venue – The Butterfly Club. Here, in spite of its glittering façade, welcoming bar, utterly charming staff, and a fascinating and enviable collection of bric-a-brac, is a stunning little cabaret room and tiny stage that forgives nothing. Absolutely nothing.

The Arcadians by Lionel Monckton and Howard Talbot. New Book by Mel Morrow.

Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Victoria. Director: Robert Ray. Musical Director: Ben Kiley. June 25 - July 10, 2010

The Gilbert and Sullivan Society broke with tradition to perform The Arcadians at the Malvern Theatre, and this proved very successful. A much smaller theatre than the Alex, there was no problem hearing all the singers, and the small orchestra (keyboard, violin and oboe) worked well, though a recording was used for the overture.

West Side Story by Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim.

Lyric Theatre, Sydney. Director: Joey McKneely. Musical Director: Donald Chan. Jerome Robbins’ original choreography recreated by Joey McKneely. July 4 to August 15, then touring.

Fifty years since Australian audiences first saw West Side Story, the balletic musical theatre reinterpretation of Romeo and Juliet, set amidst New York’s inter-racial gang wars, is indelibly etched on theatrical and cinematic consciousnesses.

Prior to rehearsals, director Joey McKneely told me that Jerome Robbins’ choreography is the DNA of West Side Story.

Long Day’s Journey Into Night

By Eugene O’Neil. Sydney Theatre Company and Artists Repertory Theatre. Sydney Theatre. July 3rd to August 1st

Pulitzer Prize-winning and two-time Tony Award winning play, Long Day’s Journey into Night by American Playwright Eugene O’Neil is largely autobiographical and hits the audience with the torment and longing for normality that this family crave. These characters constantly dance around issues as gradually more of the characters' selves are revealed throughout the play.

Drum Tao

Her Majesty's Theatre, Adelaide. July 2 & 3, 2010.

Drum Tao have literally "hit" Adelaide again for the third time in four years! Off the back of sellout audiences in Australia and Edinburgh it's not hard to see why this troop of Japanese drummers is so popular. The acrobatic, high energy, complicated drumming skills of the artists incorporates a Japanese form of Martial Art, which is unmistakably difficult. Each of the performers demonstrates outstanding stamina and fitness.

A Little Night Music by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler.

Opera Australia. Opera Theatre, Sydney Opera House. Director: Stuart Maunder. Conductor: Andrew Green. Designer: Roger Kirk. Choreographer: Elizabeth Hill. Lighting Designer: Trudy Dalgleish. June 28 to July 15.

Opera Australia’s forays into Broadway and operetta dovetail neatly into a single production with Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music.

While it’s a 1970s Broadway musical, there’s so much about the setting, style and music of this adaptation of Ingmar Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night that is redolent of operetta.

The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds by Paul Zindel

Director: Jane Sherwood. Phoenix Theatre, Phoenix Theatre Memorial Hall, Hamilton Hill, WA. June 24 -July 3

This was my first trip to see Phoenix at their home in Spearwood, which is rather remiss of me. This was a lovely performance in a charming venue. This is the first drama they have produced in a nicely revamped theatre.

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