Reviews

Triangle

By Glyn Roberts. Presented by MKA (Winter Season). (Vic). Director: Tanya Dickson. Dramaturg: Jane E. Thompson. Set Designer: Eugyeene The. Costume Designer: Chloe Greaves. Lighting Designer: Rob Sowinski. Sound Designer: Russell Goldsmith. Co-Sound Designer: Chris Wenn. Voice Coach - Leslie Cartwright. Movement Consultant: Janine Watson. July 25 to August 4, 2012

Like an old haunting fairytale, Triangle seduces with the familiar, then commences a journey traversing the realms of passion, violence and the supernatural in a perfectly unexpected yet strangely anticipated manner.   

It is set in and around a supermarket like Tuesday, another terrific work presented by MKA in June.  However, unlike its predecessor, Triangle veers into fanciful, lyrical subliminal territory.

Grievous Angel: The Legend of Gram Parsons

Australian Premiere. By Michael Bate. Room 8 and AT Management (Vic). Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne. Director Michael Bate. 20th – 29th July, 2012.

A country music fan I’m not. Yet there is something magnetic about this musical tribute to Gram Parsons despite a prevalence of twang, yodel and pedal slide.

Grievous Angel: The Legend of Gram Parsons is predominantly a biographical study in concert form. Constructed around thirty-three songs, it’s punctuated by scripted dialogue as the characters of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris are brought to life.

Metamorphoses

By Mary Zimmerman. Direction & Design: Dino Dimitriadis. Lighting Design: William Ratcliff. Featuring Jarrod Crellin, Rowan Freeman, Sophie Haylen, Richard Hilliar, Daniel Hunter, Jacqui Livingston, Danielle Maas, Alex Nicholas, Katrina Rautenberg, Katie Shearer, Tim Warden. Pact Space Erskineville NSW. 4-21 July 2012

Ovid’s erotic and audacious 12,000 line epic poem ‘Metamorphoses’ was written in the first century of the Roman Empire. These were turbulent times of experimentation, licentiousness, love and violence. Ovid’s poem recalls one hundred and fifty stories from Greek mythology that illustrate these compulsions in man. Mary Zimmerman turned some of the tales into theatre and director Dino Dimitriadis and his team were drawn to her invitation to “create images that amplify the text, lend it poetic resonance or even contradict it”.

Chicago

Book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse. Music by John Kander. Lyrics by Fred Ebb. Townsville Choral Society, July 18 – 22, 2012.

It’s 10 years since Chicago was last seen in Townsville, so it was good timing for the Choral Society to bring back this vibrant, exciting show. Director Pat Nuttall put together a generally young, but certainly talented ensemble and the end result made for a wonderful night’s entertainment.

The Duchess of Malfi

By John Webster. Bell Shakespeare. Sydney Opera House, Playhouse. July 6 – August 5, 2012.

Jacobean playwright John Webster knew the older Shakespeare but shared none of his optimism in man’s ultimate nobility and good reason. Webster’s darker vision, captured in the hit premiere of The Duchess of Malfi back in 1613, is a relentlessly brutish view of man, instinctively violent and corrupted by power. Webster was perfectly enacted as that treacherous urchin in the film, Shakespeare in Love; the one who hunted back stage of the Globe killing rats and whinging that the plays weren’t bloody enough.

Money and Friends

David Williamson. Genesian Theatre (Sydney). July 21 – August 25, 2012.

Critical appraisals of David Williamson’s work often infer that the messages are ephemeral, the one-liners forgettable, the characters one dimensional.  Well, it is twenty years since he wrote Money and Friends, yet the underlying messages – both social and fiscal – still ring remarkably true and translate relatively well to a twenty first century setting. People are just as ambitious, just as greedy, just as gullible and just as vulnerable. Money still dominates, and, unfortunately, still causes rifts between families and friends.

A Chorus Line

Book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante. Music by Marvin Hamlisch. Lyrics by Edward Kleban. Conceived and choreographed by Michael Bennett. Capitol Theatre, Sydney. July 20 – August 11, 2012.

The experience of seeing A Chorus Line has been greatly enriched in recent years by the remarkable documentary Every Little Step, which traces the origin of the work – based on real stories of real dancers.

It adds another dimension that resonates when you see this musical again staged at the highest level and think back to the originally recorded interviews that form the basis of the book.

The Marriage of Figaro

By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Victorian Opera. Conductor: Richard Gill. Director: Jean-Pierre Mignon. Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse. July 18 – Aug 3, 2012.

Normally concentrating on less familiar operas, Victorian Opera broke away with an innovative production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. A triangular portion of the stage protruded into the audience bringing them closer to the action. There were minimal scene changes, although these did take time on opening night.

Hairspray

Book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, Music by Marc Shaiman and Lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman. Matt Byrne Media, Arts Theatre, Adelaide and Shedley Theatre, Elizabeth, July 5-28, 2012.

Adelaide missed out on the professional tour of Hairspray.

With such a void to be filled, enter director/producer/actor Matt Byrne with a vibrant, joyous, exciting version of the classic show.

He said his production was based on John Waters’ original 1988 film, rather than the 2007 version which featured John Travolta.

With Byrne’s biggest cast to date, 60 performers, the show ticked all of the boxes with a fantastic ensemble cast, an innovative pastel set and a rocking 12-piece band led by Rodney Hrvatin.

Vivienne Powell’s Sentimental Journey

Seymour Centre, Sydney. July 18, 2012

Fresh from successful performances in the Hunter Valley, Vivienne Powell’s sentimental journey with Ella Fitzgerald, Julie London and Doris Day continues the seemingly popular trend for performers to pay tribute to their favourite stars. And why not? The songs they made famous are timeless and passing them on to succeeding generations seems like a good idea – though the audience, who certainly enjoyed the performance  in the cosy Sound Stage at Sydney’s Seymour Centre, were hardly newcomers to the repertoire!

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.