Reviews

Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert

Written by Stephan Elliott and Alan Scott. Spotlight Theatre, Benowa, Gold Coast. 23rd July to 21St August, 2021

Bursting onto the stage at Spotlight, the Priscilla bus erupted in a giant wave of glitz, colour, fabulous costumes and brilliant performances from the extremely talented cast led by Dean Giltinan – Tick / Mitzi Mitosis, David Valks – Bernadette and Brin Jenke – Adam / Feliciajollygoodfellow.

Director/Choreographer Jamie Watt, Musical Director Peter Laughton and Associate Choreographers Jackson Kook and Jessica Ng have presented an outstanding production which rivals the professional show.

Into the Woods

By James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim. Stirling Players. Directed by Kimberley Shaw. THEATRE. Stirling Theatre, WA. July 9-July 23, 2021.

Overcoming lockdowns and floods, Stirling Players have come out against the odds to produce a delightfully charismatic show that captivates their intimate, sold-out audiences and draws them deep Into the Woods.

One of Sondheim’s most renowned musicals, Into the Woods follows the adventures of several fairy tale characters as they journey to, and beyond, their respective happily ever afters.

Schmigadoon!

Music & Lyrics: Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio. Screenplay: Julie Klausner, Kate Gersten, Allison Silverman, Bowen Yang. Director: Barry Sonnenfield. Choreographer: Christopher Galletti. Now screening on Apple TV+

With a knowing wink and its tongue firmly set in its cheek, Schmigadoon! is a satirical spin on Broadway’s ‘Golden Age’ musicals. An ‘A’ list cast - Kristen Chenoweth, Aaron Tveit, Jane Krakowski, Ariana Dubose, Alan Cumming, Martin Short and Dove Cameron - do justice to this enjoyable spoof now streaming on Apple TV+.

York

By Ian Michael and Chris Issacs. Black Swan State Theatre Company. Directed by Clare Watson and Ian Wilkes. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of WA. Jul 17-Aug 1, 2021

Black Swan State Theatre Company's production of York has been over two years in the making - and was well worth the wait. A striking and compelling production, it is an unusual compilation of genres - the most dominant being horror - and I have it on reliable authority that multiple audience members from Opening Night are reporting nightmares,

Playhouse Creatures

By April De Angelis. Javeenbah Theatre Company, Nerang. Directed by Kaela Gray. July 16 – 31, 2021.

It is more than 20 years since I last saw April de Angelis’ all female play about the very first actresses in London’s 17th century Restoration period. Brash and bawdy, the play is set in a playhouse that was formerly a bear pit. Its feminist message shows that, for women in any time period, freedom is mythological – there’s always a man somewhere pulling the strings and deciding our fate. A depressing thought but nonetheless beautifully masked in what is, after all, a comedy, albeit one with a poignant heart.

Things I Know To Be True

By Andrew Bovell. Director: Gary Kliger. Centenary Theatre Group. Community Centre, Chelmer, Qld. 17 July – 7 August 2021

Andrew Bovell is one of our best and most frequently performed playwrights. His stage adaptation of Kate Glenville’s novel The Secret River won five Helpmann Awards in 2013, his 1996 Awgie Award-winning Speaking in Tongues became the critically acclaimed 2001 movie Lantana, whilst his When the Rain Stops Falling has become a modern masterpiece, was named the ‘Best Play of 2010’ by Time magazine and won 5 awards when it was produced at Lincoln Center, New York.

The Addams Family

By Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice and Andrew Lippa. Zealous Productions. Directed by Michael McCall. The Regal Theatre, Subiaco, WA. Jul 15-18, 2021

Zealous Productions, a new professional company, have burst onto the Perth theatre scene with this very impressive, very slick production of The Addams Family. Very slick, very polished, with outstanding production values, this is a company with some amazing ideas, who are delivering on their promise of quality theatre.

Emil and the Detectives

By Erich Kästner. Adapted for the stage by Nicki Bloom. Slingsby Theatre Company. Director: Andy Packer. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC. Jul 14 – 18, 2021

Emil and the Detectives is about a group of kids who band together to help a boy recover his stolen goods and get justice. It’s the first and quintessential story of the genre, later personified by Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five. Based on Erich Kästner’s novella, Emil und die Detektive, first published in 1929, it has never been out-of-print. And Slingsby’s production, directed by Andy Packer, and adapted by Nicki Bloom, looks like setting its own record having toured Australia, USA, India, China and the UK.

Wind in the Willows

Adapted by Todd Espeland from Kenneth Grahame’s book. Directed by Christine Ellis. Roxy Lane Theatre, Ninth Ave, Maylands, WA. July 9-18, 2021

This adaptation of the much loved children’s book was targeted at family audiences, with multiple matinee performances. After losing performances to the last Perth Lockdown, this sweet little show has played to near capacity audiences - a lovely initiative from Roxy Lane Theatre, the company formerly known as Arena Arts.

The Marriage of Figaro

By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Libretto: Lorenzo Da Ponte. Based on La folle journee, ou le marriage de Figaro by Piarre Beaumarchais. Opera Queensland with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Dane Lam. Director: Patrick Nolan. Choreographer: Elise May. Playhouse, QPAC. July 15 – 31, 2021

Opera Queensland this year celebrates its 40th Anniversary, and what better way to celebrate it than a sparkling new production of an opera that is considered a cornerstone of the repertoire, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. The story of the servants Figaro and Susanna and their efforts to get married and foil the efforts of their philandering employer, Count Almavira to seduce Susanna, is the classic infidelity plot enjoyed throughout the years in everything from Upstairs Downstairs to Downton Abbey.

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