Next to Normal

Music by Tom Kitt, book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey. Oscar Theatre Company. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC. 18 April – 4 May 2013

The best shows are sometimes found just off the theatre glitter strips in London and New York. Next to Normal is a case in point. Oscar Theatre Company (OTC) shares an ethos and philosophy with these ‘off-centre’ companies, so they usually select shows that established their early reputations there.

Hence OTC productions are more than light entertainment. They are usually provocative, challenging or controversial, with real-life characters.

The Ham Funeral

By Patrick White. New Theatre (NSW). April 23 – May 25, 2013.

Written in 1948, and originally set in 1919, this play is loosely based on the story behind William Dobell's painting The Dead Landlordand White's own recollections of the seedy world of London boarding-houses.

Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele

Cabaret by Adam Brunes & Naomi Price. The Little Red Company Production. Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts (Qld). 24-27 April 2013.

The insanely-talented Naomi Price has done it again. After turning in some brilliant performances in recent years in Jesus Christ Superstar, The Last Five Years and Rent, she upped the ante to a whole new level with her new show Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele

Eric Whitacre in Concert

MAPA in association with Music Productions Ltd. Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University. Saturday 13 April, 2013.

Eric Whitacre is a Rock Star in the world of choral music - he is good looking, with a mane of beautiful shoulder length hair and moves with the grace of a ballet dancer. He is a composer and conductor, has a Grammy, and chart topping albums, and is a gifted orator and has created a ground breaking Virtual Choir.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

By Rachel Sheinkin and William Finn. Canterbury Theatre Guild. Director: Rachael Thompson. Canterbury Bowling Club. April 19 – 28, 2013

Adults play kids absolutely joyously in this delightful little musical – something they also do so often in the best productions of equally engaging shows like You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown and Small Poppies – finding resonances of all our childhoods, and inner childhoods.


By Verdi. Opera Australia. Director/choreographer: Graeme Murphy. Musical Director: Renato Palumbo. State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne. April 22 – May 11, 2013.

Graeme Murphy’s Aida for Opera Australia was quite a spectacle. There were projections, Egyptian columns flying on and off, a lap pool across the front of the stage and a travellator. Some of these enhanced the production, some not.

Amneris fighting her way through the approaching columns for the Judgment Scene was effective. The travellator worked well in the Triumphal March, carrying cardboard Egyptian figures across stage, but was annoying and/or comical in other scenes.

Glengarry Glen Ross

By David Mamet. Seriousboys. Darlinghurst Theatre. April 11 – May 5, 2013.

Staging David Mamet's modern classic Glengarry Glen Ross as your debut outing comes with high expectations and pressure to deliver. And while I did have high hopes for this production, I am not convinced it delivered.

New independent Sydney theatre company Seriousboys comes with a pedigree in Artistic Director Marcus Graham. He is a fantastic actor. But as a director I am troubled by the series of mistakes or decisions he made which indicate a lack of skill that ultimately undermined what could have been a very impressive piece of theatre.

Billy Buckett

Story, music and lyrics: Jay Turner, script: Peter Cann, Jay Turner & Cath Mundy. Beenleigh Theatre Group. April 26 – May 11, 2013. World Premiere.

A brand new rock‘n’roll musical, an insight into love and family affairs in post-war England, enough unbridled energy onstage to light Beenleigh for a whole weekend ─ the adrenaline rush should send theatregoers home smiling so people at work will think they’re in love. As they ought to be, with this new show!

Pea! A Tale of Truly Vegetariable Proportion

Presented by The Street. Director: Barb Barnett. Writer: David Finnigan. The Street Theatre, Acton, ACT. April 20 – 27, 2013.

Pea! is a funny, short play for children and parents who haven’t forgotten what it’s like to be a child. It was advertised as being for children aged from 4 years to 10 years, though I think maybe 5 years would be a better lower age as the audience seemed to drift in the first 5 minutes while there was a long preamble involving histories of vegetables.

Peter Pan

By J.M. Barrie. Hobart Repertory Theatre Society. Director: Danni Ashton. Playhouse Theatre, Hobart. 19 April – 4 May, 2103.

Peter Pan, the J.M Barrie play, as produced for the third time by Hobart Repertory Theatre, looked and felt like a pantomime. The opening night audience, including very young children, gave it the full pantomime treatment, including vocal interaction with the stage players.

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