Reviews

Dumped! The Musical We’ve All Been Through by Emma Powell.

Twelfth Night Theatre, Brisbane (Qld). May 6 to June 12, 2010. World Premiere. Director: Terrence O’Connell.

Menopause The Musical has a lot to answer for, some of it good – some of it bad. But what it has done is pave the way for a series of similarly themed shows to make their way on to the Australian stage - albeit masquerading as legitimate musicals. It has also made it possible for a lot of first time ticket buyers to access an appealing, uplifting, live theatre experience.

Songs For a New World

Music & Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown. Harvest Rain Theatre Company. May 13 to 20. Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane. Director/Producer: Tim O’Connor. Music & Vocal Director: Maitlohn Drew

Musical theatre requires good voices, and there’s no shortage of them in Harvest Rain’s Songs for a New World. Four of Brisbane’s top singers, Luke Kennedy, Naomi Price, Angela Harding and Luke Venables, together with a vocal ensemble of 12, bring Jason Robert Brown’s contemporary music theatre song cycle to life.

Every Single Saturday

Written and directed by Joanna Weinberg. Tuggeranong Arts Centre, Canberra
 - May 11-15, 2010. Casula Powerhouse, Liverpool
 - Sat 12 June at 2pm and 8pm. The Parade Space, NIDA, Kensington
- September 13 to October 10

Moon Over Buffalo by Ken Ludwig

Canberra Repertory Society, directed by Cate Clelland. Theatre 3, Acton, 30 Apr to 15 May 2010

George and Charlotte, who feel their heyday passing as stars of the stage, are set to impress the film director Frank Capra, casting for his forthcoming blockbuster, when things start to go awry, in Rep's latest paragon of comic timing.

Richard III by William Shakespeare

Melbourne Theatre Company. Sumner Theatre. Director: Simon Phillips. Set Designer: Shaun Gurton. Costume Designer: Esther Marie Hayes. Lighting Designer: Nick Schlieper. Composer: Ian McDonald. Until June 12

Simon Phillips commences his production of Richard III with a short segment from Henry VI. Richard enters somewhat surreptitiously, during this prologue, and ingratiates himself prior to launching into the play’s opening monologue. The character appears relaxed and confident and the actor has a chance to get the measure of his audience. So the famous soliloquy beginning: “Now is the winter of our discontent”, is spoken by a character the audience is familiar with.

Copacabana

Book & music by: Barry Manilow. Lyrics by: Jack Feldman & Bruce Sussman. Hobart Repertory Theatre. Playhouse Theatre, Hobart. Director: Patricia Kempa

“Her name was Lola,” and yes, it’s true, “she was a showgirl”, and she was gorgeous! The Hobart Repertory Theatre production of Barry Manilow’s Copacabana, a musical theatre extravaganza, had all the right ingredients: music, singing and dancing, lights, costumes, sequins, fun and laughter. The proof of a successful production must be the number of people singing after the show. The signature tune, the only original, of course featured in the after-show singing.

The Musical of Musicals by Eric Rockwell and Joanne Bogart

Triptych Theatre. Directors: Avigail Herman (also Musical Director) and Jane Miskovic (also Choreographer). Accompanist: Mark Chamberlain. Parade Space, NIDA. May 6 to 30.

Love musicals? I do. And I reveled in this lively send-up of their special charms, idiosyncrasies, formulaic elements and well-loved clichés, from the Golden Age to the contemporary.

A simple plot is re-told in five send-up mini-musicals, in the style of musical theatre giants Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Kander and Ebb.

The Price by Arthur Miller

State Theatre Company of SA. Dunstan Playhouse. April 23 – May 16.

The State Theatre Company’s production of The Price sees them take on one of Arthur Miller’s most acclaimed plays.

Set around story of Victor Franz (Michael Habib), it explores the re-opening of old wounds as the New York City cop attempts to finalise his father’s estate before the demolition of their Manhattan apartment.

[title of show] an original broadway musical

Music and lyrics by Jeff Bowen and a book by Hunter Bell. Magnormos. Theatre Works, St Kilda. May 4 to 15. Return Season Aug 26 to Sept 11.

[title of show] is my new favourite thing. Magnormos present the Australasian premiere of the show about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical, and it rocks.

Second Samuel by Pamela Parker

Playlovers and David Young Productions. Director: Sue Hayward. Subiaco Arts Centre, April 30 - May 8

Like a Southern American accent, Second Samuel is slowly paced at first, like warm honey or a hot summer’s day, but like some other Southern tales (Steel Magnolias and To Kill a Mockingbird spring to mind) behind its gentle tale of small town life are some wonderful messages about acceptance. Told through the eyes of the mentally challenged B Flat, in a captivating performance by Tyler Jones, we meet the folks of Second Samuel (the first Samuel was burned down), as they deal with a most unusual circumstance.

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