Reviews

The Credeaux Canvas

By Keith Bunin. Lambert House Enterprises. El Rocco Café and Theatre, 154 Brougham Street, Kings Cross. July 25 – August 23, 2020.

The Credeaux Canvas is a play about longing for success, connection and affirmation.

Three young people live together in New York’s East Village. Two long for artistic triumph, the other to fill the gap his long dead mother and recently departed, but estranged father, have made.  None are gaining traction and they’re struggling to pay the bills, so hatch a plan to forge a famous painting and get rich off the proceeds.

She Loves Me

Music: Jerry Bock. Lyrics: Sheldon Harnick, Book: Joe Masteroff based on Miklos Laszlos “Parfumerie” (1937). Direction: Scott Ellis. Musical Director: Paul Gemignani. Choreographer: Warren Carlyle. PBS Broadway At Home. 24 July 2020 (also Broadway HD)

For years She Loves Me was on every musical theatre buffs bucket list of ‘must see’ musicals. Melbourne’s Production Company presented the first Australian production of it in 1999 and recently Sydney’s Hayes Theatre did a highly acclaimed version as well.

Friday Night Live

The Reservoir Room – Virtual Cabaret. Online from June 2020.

I emailed the publicist for The Reservoir Room asking if I could appear on the show to spruik the latest print edition of Stage Whispers Magazine, which we had triumphantly published during the pandemic. I expected the answer to be no, as they already had a brilliant line up of guests for their variety show broadcast which was on the next day.

Carousel

Music: Richard Rodgers. Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein ll. Stage Director: John Rando. TV Director: Glenn Weiss. Choreography: Warren Carlyle. Musical Director: Rob Fisher. Lincoln Center at Home Streamed Live 10 July – 8 September 2020

This version of Carousel springs from a performance on April 26, 2013, when PBS’ Live From Lincoln Center presented the New York Philharmonic’s concert-staging of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s iconic musical.

Love Letters

By A. R. Gurney. Directed by Jane Sherwood. Camelot Theatre, Mosman Park, WA. July 10-12, 2020

In what may be the first live Community Theatre performance in Australia post-Covid 19, Harbour Theatre’s Love Letters plays to a physically distanced audience this weekend. Due to the reduced audience capacity, I attended the final dress rehearsal with other reviewers and the Harbour Theatre committee.

Selby & Friends present Beethoven’s Ghost

Filmed at the Sydney's City Recital Hall. Streaming from July 4, 2020.

Pianist Kathryn Selby’s second concert since lockdown was recorded in Sydney’s beautiful – but sadly empty - City Recital Hall. With violinist Harry Ward and cellist Timo-Veikko Valve she presents a special tribute to celebrate the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven. The concert is “centred on Beethoven’s revolutionary ‘Ghost’ Piano Trio, bookended by his much-loved C minor Trio Opus 1, No. 3 and Beethoven’s own arrangement for piano trio of his spectacular Symphony No. 2”. 

Hamilton

Book, Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Directed by Thomas Kail. Filmed at Richard Rogers Theatre NYC. Streaming on Disney+ from July 3, 2020.

Hamilton is here and aren’t we glad! With no live theatre for months we can now indulge and immerse ourselves in the most talked about (and rightly so) production of the last decade. Yes, it really is that good.

Dear Australia: Postcards to the Nation

Livestreamed monologues, presented by PlayWriting Australia. 2–5 July 2020

Dear Australia is billed as “50 fearless and inspiring short works from some of Australia’s best playwrights”. It is presented as a series of pre-recorded monologues over three nights, live on Facebook at the PlayWriting Australia YouTube channel. The ‘postcard’ format is perfect for getting across short and sharp messages, addressing themes current during the COVID-19 lockdown, including of course the virus itself, as well as other issues in the news such as the Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd in the US.

Rattling the Keys

By Zoe Muller. Adelaide Repertory Theatre. Virtual Play/You Tube. Screened live on June 27, 2020, and available for one month.

As I sit down to write my first review in many months, much has changed. When the pandemic Covid-19 swept the world, life as we knew it ground to a halt. Unfortunately, the Arts were left in the dark, as our government dubbed the industry non-essential. Companies were left with no choice but to close theatre doors and it remains to be seen how many will be able to open again.

The Sound Of Music – Live!

Music: Richard Rodgers. Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein 2nd. Additional Lyrics: Richard Rodgers. Book: Howard Lindsay & Russell Crouse adapted for television by Austin Winsberg. Executive Producers: Neil Meron, Craig Zadan. Directors: Rob Ashford, Beth McCarthy-Miller. Musical Director: David Chase. The Shows Must Go On YouTube Free Stream 26-27 June 2020

Repeating The Sound of Music Live! on The Shows Must Go On was a good idea. Pulling 10 million viewers, this NBC production once again proved it was a winner.

In the role of Maria, five-time Grammy winner and theatre virgin Carrie Underwood brought warmth and grit to the part and sang the heart out of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s iconic score. Particularly nice was “Something Good”, a song interpolated from the movie.

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