Regent Theatre, Melbourne, and touring nationally. Wednesday, 21 April 2010. Capitol Theatre, Sydney from October 14.

The musical based on a TV show based on a movie has hit Melbourne. Following a “Seasons of Love”-style opening, the audience is introduced to a stage-width LED curtain backdrop that is used to change the time and location of the on-stage action. All cast and creatives should be congratulated on a sterling effort, considering they are running on only four weeks of rehearsal and four days in the theatre (including two previews).

Wild World – The Cat Stevens Story

Featuring Paul Dillon and ‘The Tillermen’ with guest vocalist Sarah-Louise Younger. Parade Theatre, NIDA. April 16, 2010.

Most people of a certain age, with barely a passing interest in Cat Stevens know that he was a prodigiously gifted English singer song-writer who’d achieved phenomonal success in the late 1960s and 1970s, who abruptly walked away (albeit temporarily) from music when he converted to Islam in 1978. The effusive publicity material which accompanies this show leads you to believe you are about to catch a rare, behind the scenes glimpse into Cat’s private world.

Handle With Care

Music & Lyrics by Megan Shorey. Director: Lewis Jones. Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts (Qld.). April 14.

Whilst best described as a ‘song cycle’, Handle With Care is more than that. Composer Megan Shorey has crafted some very strong musical pieces, performed magnificently by an accomplished cast of eight female performers, with some truly stunning group harmonies. A new work is always tough on an audience, and an audience is always tough on a new work – especially when that work is a new music theatre piece.

Let The Sunshine by David Williamson

QTC/MTC. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC (Qld.). Director: Michael Gow. April 12 - May 15

Two Stage Whispers reviewers, Jay McKee and Paul Dellit, review the QTC / MTC co-production of David Williamson's Let The Sunshine.

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum

Music by Stephen Sondheim, Book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart. Melville Theatre, Melville (WA). April 9-24

This farce-like musical, nicely executed under director Lars Jensen, was a great deal of fun.

The Colour of Glass by Gabrielle Macdonald

La Mama, Carlton. Wednesday, 14 April 2010

I have been told that people change every seven years. We do not choose our new personality, our new path and our new goals, but unknowingly arrive at the other end a different person. “J” in Gabrielle Macdonald’s The Colour of Glass (the characters are unnamed in the programme) had a clear, definitive image of her new persona, but her life was cut violently short just as her dream was realized.

Candy Man.

Kermond Creative, Her Majesty’s Theatre (Adelaide) until Sunday 18 April, then Sydney (7 - 9 May) and Melbourne (16 - 27 June).

One local musical theatre performer planned to avoid Candy Man. He thought it wrong for a white man to play a black man. But Candy Man isn’t a dramatized version of Sammy Davis Jr’s life; it is – in Wayne Scott Kermond’s words – “a homage.” In 1986, Kermond had a role in Guys & Dolls. After the show, Davis came to the green room and said to Kermond: “We need young cats like you, to take over from old cats like me.”

Codgers by Don Reid

Steady Lads / Christine Dunstan Productions. Touring.

Set in Gerry’s Gym, this is the sometimes heartwarming, sometimes saddening but always poignant tale of five ex-military men and their weekly workout session. Starring Ronald Falk as Keith, Ron Haddrick as Jimmy, Edwin Hodgeman as Les, Russell Newman as Patrick and Shane Porteous as Rod, the five reminisce and cajole each other over an effortful work out consisting of lunges, marching, squats, coffee and Salada biscuits - usually retiring to the biscuits and coffee long before any workout has truly been undertaken! Each have their own troubles and fixed beliefs.

Calendar Girls by Tim Firth

John Frost. Lyric Theatre, Brisbane, then Theatre Royal, Sydney, and Comedy Theatre, Melbourne

Calendar Girls opened its eastern capitals tour in Brisbane after a blaze of titillating advertising. It lives up to its promise. This is a show full of heart and laughs. A real life event prompted a popular movie. Subsequently the principal screen writer, Tim Firth, adapted it for the stage. The action focuses on six of the original eleven Women's Institute members who posed for the calendar prototype.

The Walworth Farce by Enda Walsh

Druid Theatre, Ireland / STC. Sydney Theatre. April 14 – 24.

Druid Theatre Company Theatre can be fabulously deceptive! For a short time as I watched the Druid Theatre Company’s acclaimed The Walworth Farce, I wondered, “Am I watching accomplished actors, acting very badly?” Suddenly, briefly, a switch threw the action into reality, and it became clear that this was playful, absurd manipulation of classic farce form, adding a dark underlying Irish subtext.

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