Community Theatre

CALENDAR GIRLS : BRASSY, BOLD AND AS COMIC AS EVER

This is the stage adaptation, by Tim Firth, of the very popular movie of the same title, starring Helen Mirren.

Many will know the story, based on real life events, when a group  of women working in a small Women’s Institute group in Yorkshire, London, took their kit off to put together a calendar to raise funds for cancer research after one of the women in the group, Annie,  lost her husband John to cancer.

The Calendar was released and went ‘viral’. The women found their sudden fame hard to deal with, and friendships within the group become strained. All however does end up happy enough.

Firth’s adaptation is clever, racy, funny and at times touching, and Pymble Players have given it another life with a fresh, winning production in their intimate theatre,  a converted church space.

Julia Griffith’s direction is sharp and featured elegant staging. Her cast maintained their accents well. Ian Ackland’s  compact set  of a village church hall where the Women’s Institute meets. Other locations are well established by full length images projected on the back wall.

Melissa Abrahams soundscape, primarily featuring excerpts of popular songs worked well, as did Jan McLachlan’s period costumes.

Griffith’s enthusiastic cast were all good. Louise Deibe as Chris and Fran Etheridge as Annie were very effective in the main roles. Favourite performances in the supporting cast were by Bronwyn Courts  as the glamorous, good natured Celia, Maria Karambelas as the vivacious, feisty retired teacher.Jessie, and Racquel Boyd, who after initially being reluctant, does pitch in with her friends. 

Margaret Olive plays the social climbing Marie, Helen Hunter-Lee plays both local dignitary Lady Cavendish and a deceitful beauty consultant, Elaine, Royden Broad has a brief part playing Annie’s dying husband John before he shuffles off his mortal coil, Wills Burke is the shy photographer Lawrence who receives his best assignment ever, and Murray Fane plays two roles, those of Rod and Liam.

Make a date soon to meet up with these feisty, vivacious Calendar Girls. They are a lot of fun, and keep the audience well entertained. The show is playing at Pymble Players, on the corner of Bromley Avenue and Mona Vale Road, until 28th October.  Please check the website for performance times.

http://www.pymbleplayers.com.au

 

 

 

MIRANDA MUSICAL SOCIETY PRESENTS ‘HELLO, DOLLY!’

Production photos by Grant Leslie Photography

From the moment when Dolly Levi, played with joyous charm and wonderful exuberance by Michele Lansdown, walks onto the stage to the very last note the audience is enthralled by this classic feel good, romantic musical. HELLO, DOLLY! was first performed in 1964 with lyrics and music by Jerry Herman and a book by Michael Stewart, based on Thornton Wilder’s 1938 farce The Merchant of Yonkers.

The musical rides on the shoulders of Dolly, a feisty Jewish widow in 19th-century New York who has an amazing talent for romantic meddling. Dolly is a rare independent woman, and she’s aware of that rarity, with comments such as “Marriage is a bribe to make the housekeeper think she’s a householder”. Though tough is some respects she too is looking for a husband and has her sights set on Horace Vandergelder, a well-known half millionaire of Yonkers. Christopher Hamilton is excellent in the role of Horace with just the right mixture of haughtiness, dignity and finally capitulation to the wiles of Dolly. Continue reading MIRANDA MUSICAL SOCIETY PRESENTS ‘HELLO, DOLLY!’

13 THE MUSICAL : THE BRIGHT AND DARK SIDES OF ADOLESENCE

Theatre foyers these days are too often the province of the middle aged and older.  How refreshing it was then to see such a young crowd mingling pre show.

We had all come to see 13 THE MUSICAL, book by Dan Elish and Robert Horn, music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown,  which premiered on Broadway back in 2009.

This was the return season of this show which was originally presented  by the Chatswood Musical Society.  This production was brought to us by the newly formed theatre Company, Brand New You, in association with The Annex Dance and Arts Centre.

The show follows Evan Goldman’s journey. Evan is 12 and coming up to that landmark day in his thirteenth year when he has his Bar Mitzvah – when a Jewish boy becomes a man and receives heaps of presents and cash from his family and friends. Continue reading 13 THE MUSICAL : THE BRIGHT AND DARK SIDES OF ADOLESENCE

HUNTERS HILL THEATRE PRESENTS ‘A LETTER FROM THE GENERAL’

In Maurice McLoughlin’s poignant play A LETTER FROM THE GENERAL, a revolution has taken place in the Far East in 1950 and the nuns who work at a mission for orphaned children are ordered to leave.

One of the nuns receives a letter from the General, who is the new Governor of the Province, which has a profound impact on the decision to stay or go.

CAST
Rev. Mother: Robyn Williams
Sister Henry: Linda Young
Sister Lucy: Courtney Gibson
Sister Bridget: Janet Shay
Sister Magdalen: Carole Grace
Ruth Stilton: Paula Searle
Arthur Stilton: Christopher Clark
Capt. Lee: Dan Ferris
Father Schiller: Michael Richmond

Director: Jennifer Willison. Lighting Design: Wayne Chee. Costume Design: Joanna Simpson & Rhonda Chapman

SEASON- 
8th to  17th September 2017 at Hunters Hill Theatre, 22 Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill.

For more about A Letter from the General, visit http://www.huntershilltheatre.com.au/component/content/article/37-2017/100-a-letter-from-the-general
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TERRENCE RATTIGAN’S ‘AFTER THE DANCE’ @ THE NEW THEATRE NEWTOWN

This is the first time that this neglected rather early Rattigan play has been seen in Sydney. While it now perhaps seems rather dated and ‘of its time’ under Giles Gartrell-Mills’ excellent direction this play while at first, seemingly very artificial, superficial and slow to take off, develops and becomes quite intense and multi-layered.

Rattigan’s play, AFTER THE DANCE written in 1939, examines the life of the young people who survived World War One and lived life to the full in the hedonistic 1920s, only to find themselves now middle-aged, disillusioned and facing another World War .It is a study of a  lost generation. The script is brilliantly written and the play well plotted and structured. At times the play seems a bit like a brittle Coward comedy – the audience laughed heartily at certain points at the sparking , witty dialogue –  but there remains  an underlying passion and morality. Rattigan is able to let the audience see  the hidden sadness of these doomed fantasists. Continue reading TERRENCE RATTIGAN’S ‘AFTER THE DANCE’ @ THE NEW THEATRE NEWTOWN

AND THEN THERE WERE NONE : WYONG DRAMA GROUP PRESENTS AN AGATHIE CHRISTIE CLASSIC

 

AND THEN THERE WERE NONE by Agatha Christie has been brought successfully to the stage at The Art House. Christie’s complex and intriguing narrative is directed by Pollyanna Forshaw, the play is about a diverse group of 10 people who are all lured into coming to an island. All the members have committed an act that was not subject to legal sanction or they have escaped justice. The guests are “charged” for their respective crimes and are told  via a message conveyed through a gramophone speaker that they will have to pay for their actions. Nobody can escape from the island due to the distance from land and the turbulent weather.

Christie commented that adapting her novel to the stage was challenging and decided to change the ending slightly in 1943 as she felt it might be too bleak for wartime audiences. Suspense plays an important role in making this play so intriguing and 10 miniature Indian figurines are a clear representation of it. Every time someone dies, one figurine out of the original 10 disappears off the mantlepiece. This creates an atmosphere of suspense for both the audience and the interaction between the characters in the story. Continue reading AND THEN THERE WERE NONE : WYONG DRAMA GROUP PRESENTS AN AGATHIE CHRISTIE CLASSIC

CASTLE HILL PLAYERS PRESENT ‘THE WOMEN OF LOCKERBIE’ @ THE PAVILION THEATRE

Deborah Brevoort’s  play is based on the terrorist attack on December 21 1988 in which Pan Am Flight 103 exploded in mid-air, due to a time activated bomb in a suitcase, as it travelled from London to New York City. The explosion scattered pieces of the plane over Lockerbie, Scotland, and the surrounding hills, Scotland, as well as the remains of the 243 passengers and 16 crew members. Twenty-one houses on the ground were destroyed, and 11 people there lost their lives. An international conflict arose in the aftermath and eventually the Libyan leader Qaddafi extradited two suspects in 1998, one sentenced to 27 years and the other acquitted.

THE WOMEN OF LOCKERBIE is a poetic drama, in the form of a Greek tragedy, takes place on a hillside near Lockerbie seven year after the attack as a woman roams searching for the remains of her son. It is a moving and intimate portrayal of the effects of grief. As one of the women say, grief is a guest who remains too long, and the characters must come to terms with loss and decide whether the desire for justice and hate should rule their lives or whether they can somehow turn these feelings around to a more compassionate approach.

Madelaine Livingston, played by Kim Schad, is a New Jersey housewife who lost her son but whose body was never found. Grief has been all consuming in her life as she cannot find closure and it is destroying her marriage to Bill Livingston, played by Stephen Snars. These people portray their loss in very different ways but cannot connect and support each other.

They meet Olive Allison, played by Michelle Masefield, a woman of Lockerbie with her own tragic story. Ollie and two women, played by Rebecca Fletcher and Anne Geenen, form the “chorus” and offer a special kind of grief counselling, telling their own tragic stories about that awful day when the plane crashed quite literally on their houses.

Directed by Bernard Teuben this is a dark and emotional journey set with very subdued lighting and traditional Scottish music. A touch of humour to lighten the atmosphere is found in the character of Hattie, played by Penny Johnson, who is a cleaning lady working for George Jones.

George Jones, played by Larry Murphy, is a US Government official whose job it is to burn the clothes of the victims found in the plane’s wreckage. The women, determined to convert an act of hatred into an act of love, want to wash the clothes of the dead and return them to the victim’s families in a symbolic act of cleansing.

This is a sentimental and touching production and very much resonates today when acts of terrorism proliferate. The play asks how do we respond?

THE WOMEN OF LOCKERBIE is playing till the 12th August. Performance times are Wednesday’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s at 8.15pm and Sundays at 4.30pm at the Pavilion Theatre. Castle Hill.

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JANE AUSTEN’S ‘EMMA’ @ THE GENESIAN THEATRE

The Genesian Theatre Company, responding to the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, is currently presenting a production of Austen’s classic novel EMMA with the stage adaptation by its very own Pamela Whalan.

EMMA tells the story of the mischievous Emma Woodhouse, a spirited, independent young woman who has no plans to marry. She does, however, spend a lot of her time matchmaking others! In the end, she herself falls into the most tender of traps.

I went on opening night and the full house embraced the performance. No doubt, there were many Jane Austen devotees amongst them.

We entered the theatre to be treated to another finely detailed period set – the time the early nineteenth century- by Owen Gimblett. Over his time with the Company Gimblett has put together over 25 mainstage sets. Continue reading JANE AUSTEN’S ‘EMMA’ @ THE GENESIAN THEATRE

THE MURDER ROOM : HUNTERS HILL THEATRE PUTS ON A CLASSIC MURDER SPOOF

There is never a bad time for a good murder spoof and Hunters Hill Theatre’s production of Jack Sharkey’s THE MURDER ROOM went down a treat.

Sharkey’s plot is very much more on the ridiculous than the sublime side..The play is set inside a country estate, Bynewood Cottage, Harrogate in the countryside of England in earlyn June 1969. Husband Edgar Hollister is suspicious that his newly married second wife is having an affair, which she of-course is. He confronts her about it, she is aggrieved, gets her hands on a gun, shoots him dead or does she?! and carts him out of the way.

Before long the stage is filled with an assortment of characters who come to the Hollister’s house and are vetted by their very efficient maid, Lottie. Edgar’s long lost daughter Susan arrives with her boyfriend, Barry. Then of-course the constabulary arrive in the form of Inspector James Crandell and Constable Howard who attempt to sort out the puzzle of Edgar’ disappearance. Continue reading THE MURDER ROOM : HUNTERS HILL THEATRE PUTS ON A CLASSIC MURDER SPOOF

JON ROBIN BAITZ’ ‘OTHER DESERT CITIES’@ ARTS THEATRE CRONULLA

 

This is sharply observed dark comedy about people maintaining their false façades. It is a a stunning script by Jon Robin Baitz containing an unexpected outcome.

The whole family is visiting at the wealthy Wyeth’s family home, located in Palm Springs California on Christmas Eve 2004. Daughter Brooke has just written a politically and emotionally dangerous memoir about her life, her parents and the tragic loss of her older brother.  Her memoir sends shockwaves through the family.

Polly and Lyman Wyeth are old-guard Republicans, highly regarded in old Hollywood circles. Recently released from rehab, Polly’s sister Silda, is also living with them, and is a politically active Democrat. Continue reading JON ROBIN BAITZ’ ‘OTHER DESERT CITIES’@ ARTS THEATRE CRONULLA

ANNIE GET YOUR GUN : GALACTIC SPACE ALIENS INSTEAD OF REDSKINS

Frank Butler (Clive Hobson) is a tall dashing and suave sharpshooter working in Buffalo Bill’s wild-west show. Annie Oakley (Suzanne Chin) is a backwoods woman, and this feisty country tomboy, is an incredible talent as a markswoman, who immediately falls completely head over heels in love for Frank.

All the songs in this version of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN are winners, indeed a complete pleasure hearing some of my Irving Berlin favourites, delivered by the magnificent voices of the huge ensemble cast, but most especially by both mezzo-soprano Suzanne Chin and baritone Clive Hobson.

This is a classic Broadway musical comedy romance, about mistreatment of North American Indians. For this huge fan of this genre, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN is the quintessential “bigger is better”  Broadway Musical of the 1950s, especially with a woman taking a strong and dominant role.

Based on real life people and actual events. The real William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody was born on 26th February 1846. The real Annie Oakley was born Phoebe Ann Mosey on 13th August 1860. The real Francis E. “Frank” Butler was born on 30th of January 1847.

ANNIE GET YOUR GUN was supposed to be the Peter Stone 1999 revival, a politically corrected re-working of the 1946 musical written by Irving Berlin, a 1800s western-era period piece of historical Americana with North American Indians, and set around the American midwest and in New York City.

Continue reading ANNIE GET YOUR GUN : GALACTIC SPACE ALIENS INSTEAD OF REDSKINS

HILLS MUSICAL THEATRE COMPANY PUT ON A CRACKER PRODUCTION OF ‘BUGSY MALONE’

There’s a “stage full of stiffs” in the Hills…

In the first few minutes of BUGSY MALONE vast numbers of bad guys are done in by vicious cream pie attacks and random bystanders are felled by crazy string machine guns. Little Chicago circa 1920s is littered with speakeasy staff and speak quickly mob bosses. By the time we get to Fat Sam’s Grand Slam and the body count is piling up, we are so glad that there are over 50 young people in the cast … we just don’t want the fun to end through lack of upright citizens.

Because, from the top of the show, Hills Musical Theatre Company’s BUGSY MALONE, performed exclusively by kids (from 10-16 years) is joyous, thrilling, incomparable community theatre. It’s a treat for all ages and a testament to what young people can do if we prepare them, support them and let ’em loose!

There’s a mob war happening, you see. Fat Sam is being out-armed by Dandy Dan who has managed to find a supplier for a secret weapon. Splurge guns! No longer are the streets slick with the failed hurlings of mano-on-mano flans, this new invention targets victims directly where it hurts. Fat Sam needs to get those guns and he has the green stuff to hire the best driver in the business, our narrator and all round good guy, Bugsy Malone.

In 1974, to keep his four kids entertained on long car trips English Filmmaker Alan Parker (who would direct a huge variety of films from FAME to MIDNIGHT EXPRESS) made up a story about a Chicago gangster from snippets of memory of films and books he had encountered. His eldest son, Alex, insisted that the story had to be about kids. When Parker decided to make a film of his amusing tale he enlisted Paul Williams to write the music and went on a talent search for young people. Jodie Foster and Scott Baio were just two names in the film and when it became a musical in 1983, Micky Dolenz from The Monkeys directed a young Catherine Zeta-Jones to wide acclaim.

Now for a new list of names. Any one of these kids could be the next generation of Australian musical theatre stars. They are remarkably talented and focused in a family friendly show with Hills MTC’s traditionally high production values.

Let’s have a quick chat about that first. Peek at the early promo images for the show and you will see kids in school musical costumes. Dangling sleeves, Dad’s cut down suit. Go and see the show now and you will see superbly envisioned costumes (Rebecca Demary- co-ordinator).

Every child’s costume fits them, so do their hats and shoes and ties and furs and fans and pom pom fringes. Each change, and there are many, gives the young artist a character to bring on with them. The showgirls look glorious in their beaded and sequined and fringed gold flapper dresses and then they come out in the second act in equally lush silver costumes. Just brilliant! Continue reading HILLS MUSICAL THEATRE COMPANY PUT ON A CRACKER PRODUCTION OF ‘BUGSY MALONE’

PERFECT WEDDING : FAST PACED BEDROOM FARCE COMES TO CASTLE HILL

The audience thoroughly enjoyed itself on opening night with gales of laughter filling the Pavilion Theatre. Only the British do bedroom farce with that certain touch and this script is a wonderful example of the art of adding confusion to confusion in a seemingly logical way. Will it be possible to untie all the knots by the end of the play or will more be tied?

The play opens in the honeymoon suite of a hotel where the bridegroom wakes on his wedding morning, with his fiancée about to arrive any moment, and finds an unknown, very attractive girl in bed beside him. His best man arrives, his fiancée arrives, the girl is hidden in the bathroom pretending to be the best man’s girlfriend, the best man’s real girlfriend has to be kept ignorant of the fact and the chambermaid is coerced into being everyone’s girlfriend. By interval when the bride’s mother arrives chaos has ensued which only escalates in Act Two.

Daniel Vavasour plays Bill, the panicked groom, who has some doubt as to wherever Rachel, his fiancée, is really the perfect partner.                          Continue reading PERFECT WEDDING : FAST PACED BEDROOM FARCE COMES TO CASTLE HILL

MANLY MUSICAL SOCIETY PRESENTS ‘SWEENEY TODD’ @ THE STAR OF THE SEA THEATRE

This was a hugely entertaining musical that enthrals the audience with its depravity, its fabulous lyrics together and the brilliant performances by all the leads and the large ensemble.

This dark story of hatred, is a unique musical and a revenge thriller, with multiple murders delivering so much blood and gore from each throat slitting.  The musicals’ dark themes include a young woman being raped, and a mother and daughter being wrongfully committed to an institution. Just what you expect from the City Of London in that era?!

Benjamin Barker was a barber in 19th-century London, an expert with the cut-throat razor, and was transported to an Australian penal colony by Judge Turpin.  Fifteen years later, and now named Sweeney Todd (Paul Nicholson), Barker moves into his old shop above the pie shop owned by Mrs. Lovett  (Miriam Rihani).

Continue reading MANLY MUSICAL SOCIETY PRESENTS ‘SWEENEY TODD’ @ THE STAR OF THE SEA THEATRE

REGALS MUSICAL SOCIETY’S PRESENTS A TAPFASTIC PRODUCTION OF 42ND STREET

The Regals Musical Society’s revival of 42nd Street opened with a wonderful brass heavy Overture played by a solid 14 piece Orchestra led by Peter Sampson as Musical director.

A strong opening to the revival of this quintessential musical comedy directed by Christie Koppe who was drawn to this project due to it’s large-scale, its classic tunes and effervescent storytelling.

It’s the kind of Broadway feel good musical loaded with knockout song and dance numbers (“We’re In the Money’, The Lullaby of Broadway, “Dames”, ‘42nd Street) requiring high energy from the cast and creativity from the production team.

42nd Street comes from a line of musicals that emerged initially as Hollywood films. Based on the 1933 Warner Bros movie, the original stage production had a nine year Broadway run and was a tap-dancing extravaganza. It’s based on a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, lyrics by Al Dubin, and music by Harry Warren. Continue reading REGALS MUSICAL SOCIETY’S PRESENTS A TAPFASTIC PRODUCTION OF 42ND STREET

AGATHIE CHRISTIE’S ‘A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED’ @ THE GENESIANS

 

You can’t go wrong with Agatha Christie. Well I suppose you could. But not if you are the Genesian Theatre Company. This is their metier. A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED is gripping, stylish entertainment. Adapted by Leslie Darbon, the play is from 1987 but it retains all the period elements that audiences require of a Christie Mystery. The Genesians have assembled an excellent cast, put them on a lovely set and costumed them superbly.

A unusual notice has been put in the village paper of the small English spa town of Chipping Cleghorn. It announces a murder will be committed at ‘Little Paddocks’ on Friday evening at 6:30. The household see it as rather a joke but neighbours and villagers are sure to drop by around about then. And no one is going to keep a certain Miss Jane Marple, in the village to take the waters for her rheumatism, away from the possibility of a delicious mystery.

And delicious it is. Owing much to  the way the climax has been adapted by the playwright who has wisely removed some of the novel’s more hysterical events such as an attempted drowning in the kitchen sink and the Snugglepuss redolent, Miss Murgatroyd: yet kept the period flavour which is required to keep Miss M in her place and time. Continue reading AGATHIE CHRISTIE’S ‘A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED’ @ THE GENESIANS

THE WOMAN IN BLACK @ SUTHERLAND MEMORIAL SCHOOL OF ARTS

Do you believe in ghosts?

Regardless of your opinions on the paranormal, you’ll be glancing over your shoulder as you leave the theatre after The Sutherland Theatre Company’s upcoming production of the classic ghost story THE WOMAN IN BLACK.

Based on Susan Hill’s gothic horror novel of the same name, The Woman in Black is a gripping ghost story set in a dusty old theatre.

Arthur Kipps, a middle-aged solicitor, engages the services of a professional actor to help him re-enact a ghostly event that he experienced many years before at a deceased client’s old manor house in the English countryside. From the cluttered stage, Kipps begins to read his story: painfully, self-consciously and hesitantly at first, but gradually increasing in confidence.

The actor is enthusiastic and passionate, taking on the role of a young Kipps for the purpose of the performance. But as the two men delve deeper into the spine-chilling events that befell Kipps during his time at Eel Marsh House, the actor gradually realises that not all ghost stories are works of fiction.

In his second show with The Sutherland Theatre Company, Anthony White will play the reluctant storyteller Arthur Kipps.

Dirk Strachan-Thornton is to play the self-assured actor whom he hires to help bring his story to the stage.

Mallatratt’s adaption has been seen by millions of people worldwide and has been running on the West End for 27 years.

Director Belinda Balhatchet was drawn to the play’s use of simple theatrical techniques, rather than a detailed set, to bring the story to life.

“Nowadays, big budget productions can create almost anything on stage. Audiences don’t have to use their imagination as much as they used to because everything is created before them through lavish sets and huge casts. This show is the complete opposite. With a cast of two and an incredibly simple set, The Woman in Black relies on the talent of the cast and the imagination of the audience to create an atmosphere of tension and horror.”

Belinda knew that the Sutherland Memorial School of Arts was the perfect venue for the show.

“The School of Arts is a relatively small theatre in an old building. It fits the theme of the show perfectly, and the small size of the theatre puts the audience right in the middle of the action.”

THE WOMAN IN BLACK will be playing for a strictly limited season at the Sutherland Memorial School of Arts from May 26-28. Performance times are Friday 26 May @ 8pm, Saturday 27 May @ 2pm, Saturday 27 May @ 8pm, Sunday 28 May @ 2pm.

Tickets can be booked online via TryBooking: http://bit.ly/stcwomaninblack. Alternatively phone bookings can be made on 91507574.

For more about The Woman in Black, visit http://www.thesutherlandtheatrecompany.com.au/index.htm
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COSI : LANE COVE THEATRE COMPANY REPRISES A NOWRA CLASSIC

Production photography by Dawn Pugh.

There are just so many comic and dramatic possibilities that come to mind with this particular Louis Nowra scenario. Nowra makes some good choices and the result is one of his most flamboyant and entertaining plays.

A young director, Lewis, desperately in need of work, takes on the job of putting  on a production at a psych hospital, to be performed by patients. The hospital’s social worker has come up with the idea of the project, believing that it will be good for his ‘charges’. We follow Lewis’ rocky journey from his first meetings with his ‘actors’ all the way through to his reflections after the performance has finally taken place.

Lane Cove Theatre Company recently completed a very satisfying revival, which sadly only had a very short season, directed by the very experienced Debbie Smith.                                        Continue reading COSI : LANE COVE THEATRE COMPANY REPRISES A NOWRA CLASSIC

IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU : AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE OF A BROADWAY HIT MUSICAL

Chatswood Musical Society’s Australian premiere of the Broadway  hit, IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU, music by Barbara Anselmi and lyrics by Brian Hargrove, is 90 minutes of non-stop hilarity. With his production of the show,  Director James Worner has been able to spread the joy he felt when he saw the play on Broadway.

This is a roller coaster musical farce featuring nervous grooms, overbearing mums, unexpected guests, and the odd blushing bride.

The bride is Jewish. The groom is Catholic. Their mothers are gale force matriarchs. The audience related to, and many times laughed at, the familiar fears, expectations and tensions that come with family celebrations. As old relatives staggered about, young friends weaved in and out of the melee seeking reassurance. When the bride’s ex-boyfriend crashed the party, it was up to the sister of the bride to turn things around to enable the happy ending. Continue reading IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU : AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE OF A BROADWAY HIT MUSICAL

CASTLE HILL PLAYERS PRESENT ‘THE BOOK OF EVERYTHING’ @ PAVILION THEATRE

THE BOOK OF EVERYTHING is the English translation of a Dutch children’s novel by Guus Kuijer. It was adapted for the stage by the Australian playwright Richard Tulloch and first performed in 2010.

This production by Castle Hill Players is an engaging insight into the world of young Thomas as we look at the adults’ moral codes through the imagination of a nine year old boy.

Set in Amsterdam in 1951 Brayden Sim brings to the main character, Thomas Klopper, a charming innocence as he comes to understand a little better the relationships of the people around him. Continue reading CASTLE HILL PLAYERS PRESENT ‘THE BOOK OF EVERYTHING’ @ PAVILION THEATRE

CONSENSUAL : WHEN THE PAST COMES BACK TO HAUNT DIANE

British playwright Evan Placey’s CONSENSUAL, the current play at the New Theatre, is a confronting, highly charged drama. A play written for, and about, some of the challenges that face young people today, it is one of the best of its kind that I have seen.

Johann Walraven’s sensitive, finely honed production serves the piece well.

The play is set in the classroom of a co-educational high school. Most of the classes we ‘sit in on’ are sex education classes, so yes, as you can imagine the classes are amusing and raucous.

The centrepiece of the set design is a large chalkboard filled with all sorts of adolescent student graffiti. Scattered around the stage are a number of student desks.   Continue reading CONSENSUAL : WHEN THE PAST COMES BACK TO HAUNT DIANE

THE BOLD, THE YOUNG AND THE MURDERED @ BANKSTOWN ARTS CENTRE

Can you guess “who done it”? This fun production by Bankstown Theatre Company will have you guessing to the very end. The long running soap-opera The Bold and the Young is in its last day with ratings tumbling and a cast with serious personality issues ranging from an obsession with soup, self-esteem problems to slightly psychopathic tendencies.

The executive producer give this motley mix of actors an ultimatum, either complete one episode overnight or the show will be cut. But shortly after the director is murdered and then in quick succession several of the other cast members meet the same fate. Can these unlikely Sherlock Holmes discover the murderer before the show is literally killed off?!

The cast of 13 actors gives this comedy/mystery by Don Zolidis a life of its own as it pokes fun at the characters in soap operas and the actors portraying these. I defy any audience member to pick the ending with several twists to ensure one’s interest is held to the very last. Continue reading THE BOLD, THE YOUNG AND THE MURDERED @ BANKSTOWN ARTS CENTRE

MIRANDA MUSICAL SOCIETY PRESENTS ‘WICKED’ @ SUTHERLAND ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE

WICKED – music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, book by Winnie Holzman, tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two girls who first meet as sorcery students at Shiz University: the blonde and very popular Glinda and a misunderstood green girl named Elphaba. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz  see them fulfill their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.

The Miranda Musical Society’s (MMS) revival of WICKED will play the Sutherland Entertainment Centre on Wednesday March 22 at 8 pm, Thursday March 23 at 11 am and 8 pm, Friday March 25 at 2 pm and 8 pm, and Sunday March 26 at 11 am and 5 pm.

Bookings :-   95218888  or  http://goo.gl/pC7ylM          

For more about WICKED presented by Miranda Musical Society, visit   http://www.mirandamusicalsociety.com.au/      

Find MMS on:-   YouTube   |   Facebook         

SUTHERLAND THEATRE COMPANY TO PRESENT ANDREW MORTON’S ‘BLOOM’ IN MARCH

The Sutherland Theatre Company is proudly presenting Andrew Morton’s heart-warming play, Bloom, at the Sutherland Memorial School of Arts from March 3-12.

Following the death of his father, 15-year-old Daniel and his mother Lisa are forced to move to an unfamiliar town. After a violent outburst at his new school, Daniel’s social worker Michelle suggests that he spend a week working with her father, Bobby, an urban gardener of several abandoned lots in the middle in the city.

A week soon turns into a few months and, as the two men spend the summer tending the gardens, they begin planting some much-needed hope in a neighbourhood plagued by blight and help each other heal old wounds.

A finalist at the Write Now festival and a winner of the Aurand Harris Memorial Playwriting Award, Bloom is a coming-of-age story about grief, growth and gardening.

Director Christiane Brawley chose the play because of its simple and relatable story about the power of human connection.

“The media is so full of material telling us of our cruelty and indifference to each other, but this story is about the positive ways that human interaction can enrich and revitalise us. I don’t think we can ever have too many reminders about the importance of kindness and family and friendship.”

The heart-warming story at the centre of the show has broad appeal.

“It is gently humorous and reminds us why it is good to be alive. It has characters and situations that everyone will recognise and a story which will make the audience smile and feel good.”

The multi-generational cast of talented local performers includes Graham Yates, Ben Moss, Mel Day, Grace Fabris and Emma Dalton.

PERFORMANCE TIMES –

Friday 3rd March @ 8pm Saturday 4th March @ 2pm Sunday 5th March @ 2pm Thursday 9th March @ 8pm Friday 10th March @ 8pm Saturday 11th March @ 8pm Sunday 12th March @ 2pm

Tickets are available from http://www.thesutherlandtheatrecompany.com.au or by calling (02) 9150 7574.

For more about Bloom, visit http://www.thesutherlandtheatrecompany.com.au
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CASTLE HILL PLAYERS PRESENT ‘CALENDAR GIRLS’ @ THE PAVILION THEATRE

Featured image – Megan Hipwell, Leigh Scanlon, Margaret Olive and Annette Emerton in CALENDAR GIRLS.

CALENDAR GIRLS by Tim Firth comes from the popular 2003 film of the same name which starred Helen Mirren and Julie Walters.

The play is based on the true story of a Yorkshire women’s club that earned money for its village hospital by having members pose nude on an annual printed calendar. Presented by Castle Hill Players the show is a highly entertaining start to their 2017 season.

CALENDAR GIRLS is about friendship, loss, the strength and beauty of older women and community. The audience greatly appreciated the entire production with intakes of breath at the “nude” scenes and applause for the bravery of the actresses. There is comedy throughout but the jokes are gentle and the more serious moments are played with deep feeling and sensitivity. Continue reading CASTLE HILL PLAYERS PRESENT ‘CALENDAR GIRLS’ @ THE PAVILION THEATRE