Music Theatre

WICKED presented by MIRANDA MUSICAL SOCIETY @ SUTHERLAND


WICKED presented by MIRANDA MUSICAL SOCIETY @ SUTHERLAND ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE

WICKED is a musical prequel to The Wizard Of Oz. The clever storyline covers the years before Dorothy’s arrival in the wonderful Land Of Oz. We experience the unlikely but profound friendship, and the extraordinary adventures of a quite misunderstood green girl named Elphaba (Emma Taviani), and the blonde and very popular Galinda/Glinda (Misha Williamson).

We follow their fateful journey, that leads them to both fulfill their destinies, one to become the “Wicked Witch of the West” and the other will become “Glinda The Good Witch”.

The citizens of The Land Of Oz are celebrating the death of the Wicked Witch, when Glinda appears. The musical continues as an extended flashback of the lives of these two women, from the moment they first meet as sorcery students at Shiz University.

Continue reading WICKED presented by MIRANDA MUSICAL SOCIETY @ SUTHERLAND

ROCKDALE MUSICAL SOCIETY DELIVERS A MEMORABLE ‘THE KING AND I’

This Rogers and Hammerstein play is one of the great works in the canon of musical theatre.

There is so much heart in this tale, based on a true story, about a widowed English schoolteacher who travels to Siam, now Thailand, to take on the job of the King of Siam’s flock of children.

Rockdale Musical Society, in a production directed by Cathy Boyle, has just completed a very fine revival of this masterpiece, replete with melting moments. It is a production which the Society should be immensely proud of.

Stephen Halstead was suitably regal and arrogant as the King of Siam, a fictional version of the King Mongkut. Halstead showed good dramatic range but also displayed some good light touches, etc, etc, etc….

Charmaine  Gibbs gave a faultless performance as the anything  but demure British widow, Anne Leonowens.

Tisha Kelemens was a stand-out as the King’s proud chief wife Lady Thiang and she thrilled the audience with her rich, strong voice.

Natalie Rose Cassanti gave a heartfelt, luminous performance as Tuptim, one of the King’s junior wives, formerly a slave in Burma, who rebels and  falls in love with Lun Tha, a Burmese scholar, well played by Jeremy Boulton. The romantic scene played  out between Natalie and Jeremy was one of the show’s highlights.

Max Fernandez  was very fetching as  Anne’s sweet, adorable son, Louis.

Ellis Pinkerton, playing the King’s oldest son and heir Prince Chulalongkorn made the most of his big scene when the dying King hands over the reins of power to him.

The large supporting cast playing the King’s wives, the Amazons who protect them, his many children and an array of Ballet dancers each made important  contributions to the show.

As indeed did Boyle’s impressive creative team – Bob Peet’s very functional set, Keely Soulsby’s choreographer, and Musical Director  Ian Buchanan and his very fine, lush sounding orchestra.

Rockdale Musical Society’s impressive production of THE KING AND I played the Rockdale Town Hall between the 3rd and the 13th March.

 

KOALA JOE – THE MUSICAL @ KING STREET THEATRE NEWTOWN

The Australian Premiere of a musical for kids

KOALA JOE – THE MUSICAL
By Markus Weber & Michael Summ

From the producers who brought the successful season of Jungle Book – The Musical in 2014 and 2016, finally KOALA JOE – THE MUSICAL is coming to the King Street Theatre.

Brought to you again by Author/Director Markus Weber and Composer Michael Summ, this new musical will take you on a mystical journey driven by the spirit of the Dreamtime.

Continue reading KOALA JOE – THE MUSICAL @ KING STREET THEATRE NEWTOWN

BARE THE MUSICAL @ THE DEPOT THEATRE

 

BARE THE MUSICAL (Bare: A Pop Opera) debuted at the Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles, California, running from October 2000 to 25 February 2001.

The year is 2000, this thought-provoking rock musical is set within a private Catholic co-ed high school, St Cecilia’s Boarding School. We see the auditions and the rehearsals of the high school’s musical version of Shakespeare’s ROMEO AND JULIET.

Secret lovers Peter and Jason, are two gay high school students, and experience their constant romantic struggles with great sensitivity, centred around their identity and sexual preferences. Continue reading BARE THE MUSICAL @ THE DEPOT THEATRE

FACES THE MUSICAL @ THE FUSE BOX, FACTORY THEATRE MARRICKVILLE

 

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FACES THE MUSICAL tells the story of five young people, searching for ways to improve their world, interlinked with a second storyline related to the history of one of their grandfathers.

Four friends, Mia (Bethany Taylor), Yin (Soohan Jennifer Yoo), Farid (Eamon Moses), and Rya (Ethan Taylor) come to help their friend Ethan (Adam Bowes) sort through Ethan’s dead grandfather’s things in the attic of the family home. Ethan is searching in particular for his grandfather Arthur’s (Nicholas Gledhill) penny whistle, which he remembers from his childhood, but in the search the friends find far much more than just the penny whistle.

Their lives will change forever because on this stormy Saturday night they will all  be embarking on journeys of self-discovery, aided and abetted by the ghostly spirit of Arthur.

As they search for the penny whistle scenes from different times and places allow the characters to explore their beliefs and desires for a better world. In the end a secret which has been kept for forty years is revealed, and melds the themes of injustice in the grandfather’s past with the injustices faced in the present day by the group.

FACES is part mystery, part comedy and part exploration of themes of justice and hope. The tunes are bright, the lyrics of the songs inspired. The play’s world is brought to life by a talented cast, well supported by a strong ensemble. Perhaps there was a little too much of the “soap box” in a couple of scenes, but this new and youthful Australian musical, delivered an upbeat entertaining experience.

FACES THE MUSICAL has clever choreography that rises above, to become more than just the music, and often caused laughter with uncontrollable goosebumps, making for a genuinely fun theatrical experience.

FACES is a new and youthful Australian musical, and delivered an upbeat entertaining experience, with a cast of fresh voices many with an impressive voice range and excellent  voice control.

Duration 120 minutes, including one interval.

Directed by Kyle Stephens
Music Directed by Kailesh Reitmans
Choreographed by Natasha Window
Set Design Riley Cope
Fill in Musical Director Andrew Freeborn

Book by Carmelita Lees
Songs by: Carmelita Lees, Jim Shipstone, John Roy & Stewart Peters
Script Consultant: Isaac Owen

Cast:-
Nicholas Gledhill ………….Arther Fielding
Adam Bowes ………………..Ethan Fielding
Bethany Taylor …………….Mia
Soohan Jennifer Yoo ………..Yin
Eamon Moses ……………….Farid
Ethan Taylor ………………Ryan
Sammy Jayne ……………….Leah Feilding
Jessie Baker ………………Miriam/ Ensemble
Sasha Cole ………………..Refugee boy/Ensemble
Bea Low …………………..PA/Ensemble
Kyle Stephens ……………..Toms Boss/Ensemble
Mitch Thornton …………….Ensemble
Maselina Metcalf …………..Lilly

Band
Kailesh Reitmans ……………..Keys/Musical Director
Noa Kidd …………………….Guitar
Edward Hampton ……………….Bass
Amy Graham …………………..Flute/Sax/Tin whistle
Trish Daviszz ………………..Reed
Jason Murray …………………Drums

FACES THE  MUSICAL played the Fuse Box at the Factory Theatre between the 11th and the 23rd October 2016.

 

 

MY FAIR LADY’S 60TH ANNIVERSARY PRODUCTION @ SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

Featured  image – Dame Julie surrounded by the principal cast. All images by Ben Apfelbaum taken at the recent media call.

MY FAIR LADY, produced by Opera Australia and John Frost, held its Australian premiere production on Tuesday September 6 at the Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House. Opening night is a culmination of several years of research  to help recreate and present the original Broadway production of My Fair Lady which opened in 1956 starring Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews who was just 20 years old.

Trips to Wisconsin, London, New York City and Los Angeles were made  and hours were spent trawling over drawings, costume and set designs in the Victoria Albert Museum  and the Arts Centre Melbourne Performing Arts Collection, just to name a few.  Along the way, the team were fortunate enough to meet with the assistance of Cecil Beaton (the original costume designer) and Oliver Smith who  uncovered important materials that made recreating the magic of the 1956 production a step closer to reality.

Continue reading MY FAIR LADY’S 60TH ANNIVERSARY PRODUCTION @ SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

NUTS PRESENTS A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC @ NIDA

Set designers- Matt McKinnon and Stewart MacLaine
,Set designers :- Matt McEwen, who also played the role of Frederick in the production, and Stuart MacLaine.
James Coates
James Coates who played the role of Count Carl- Magnus Malcolm.
Producer - Charlotte Goodsir
Priscilla Issa who played the role of Charlotte.
Chiara Middleton as Petra
Chiara Middleton who played the role of Petra.

Featured photo- Director Ryan Fogwell with Natasha Atkins (Anna Egerman) and Emma Gillespie (Desiree Armfeldt). All photos by Ben Apfelbaum.

I left NIDA  last night on a high after seeing this show opening night.

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC is a lovely  work. The storyline, inspired by the Bard’s Midsummer’s Night Dream  along with Ingmar Bergman’s Smiles Of A Summer Night, appeals with its expansive, multi-angled take on love and relationships, engages from start to finish. The main players are all in love but sometimes their hearts are set on someone who loves another. Stephen Sondheim’s score is a delight.

There was a vibrant energy coming from a large, focused  cast, more than ably directed by Ryan Fogwell, which carried the show.

Fogwell’s creative team vividly create the play’s world. Matt McEwen and  Stuart MacLaine create a functional set and staging. Kate Bobis’  period costumes are apt and impressive.

The scenario sees ex-lovers Frederick Egerman and Desiree Armfeldt have a chance meeting, Frederick and his wife are invited to Desiree’s ex-courtesan mother’s country house where Desiree intends to win him back. The weekend in the country plays out very differently than expected.

Continue reading NUTS PRESENTS A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC @ NIDA

ROCKDALE OPERA COMPANY PRESENTS ORPHEUS IN THE UNDERWORLD

Rockdale Opera Company presents 4 performances of Jacques Offenbach’s satirical operetta ORPHEUS IN THE UNDERWORLD at Rockdale Town Hall, corner Bryant Street and Princess Street, on 30 and 31 July and 6 and 7 August. The Saturday night performances begin at 7.30pm and the Sunday matinees at 2pm.

Enjoy a delightful and irreverent romp through Greek mythology as Offenbach turns the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice on its head! From Thebes to Mt Olympus and down into Hades, Offenbach takes the audience on a sublime musical journey, including the origins of the Can-Can!

Tickets are available at the door and through Tickets4me-  02 4730 6932.

DATES
30 July @ 7.30pm, 31 July @ 2pm, 6 August @ 7.30pm, 7 August @ 2pm.

For more about Orpheus in the Underworld, visit http://www.rockdalopera.com.au
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WiTCHES @ CONCERT HALL SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

Leading Australian musical theatre performer Ben Lewis will return from London to join Australia’s very own Witches of Wicked and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for the world premiere of WITCHES in July.

Ben Lewis is best known as playing The Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies, for which he received stellar reviews and Helpmann and Sydney Theatre Award nominations – the Sydney Morning Herald described him as “towering physically and vocally over the show”.

In Australia Lewis has starred in such musicals as A Little Night Music for Opera Australia, Spamalot and Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and most recently Ben has been working in London on Candide and Forbidden Broadway and the UK tour of Love Me Tender.

In a show that is guaranteed to defy gravity, Australia’s favourite leading ladies Lucy Durack, Amanda Harrison, Helen Dallimore and Jemma Rix (pictured L to R) will come together for the very first time to perform songs from magical favourites including Wicked, Frozen, The Witches of Eastwick, Dance of the Vampires, The Wizard of Oz, Into the Woods, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Love Never Dies.

Durack, Harrison, Dallimore and Rix are four of Australia’s most successful performers, each having performed the roles of Wicked’s Elphaba and Glinda to critical acclaim in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the West End.

Prepare to be bewitched as five of Australia’s favourite musical stars join the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for an evening of magic and mystery at the Sydney Opera House in July.

Venue: Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House
Dates: Fri 15 July 8pm, Sat 16 July 2pm
Bookings: www.sydneysymphony.com or phone (02) 8215 4600

DATES
Fri 15 July 8pm, Sat 16 July 2pm

For more about Witches, visit
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Pennsylvania Avenue @ The Playhouse Sydney Opera House

Pennsylvania-main

This is one of the best shows on in Sydney at the moment. The show is brought to us by the sensational team that brought us the wondrous Songs For Nobodies- writer Joanna Murray-Smith, director Simon Phillips and fine musical direction by Ian McDonald leading an impressive band.

The amazing Bernadette Robinson plays Harper Clemence, a White House worker who is retiring after forty years. George W. Bush is now President but is “dumber than a bucket of rocks.”

She has her last box packed and in her arms, yet she is not quite ready to leave- just yet. Having worked in the East Wing since the first weeks of the Kennedy presidency there are so many memories of organising Presidential entertainment and various First Ladies to reflect on… Continue reading Pennsylvania Avenue @ The Playhouse Sydney Opera House

GHOST THE MUSICAL @ THEATRE ROYAL

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GHOST THE MUSICAL has come to Sydney for a two month season following on from successful seasons in the top theatre centres of the world, Broadway and the West End.

It is very easy to give a recommendation in regards to this musical. The show, a fairly faithful adaptation by Bruce Joel Rubin of the hit movie with Demi Moore and the late Patrick Swayze is aimed right at the heart, telling the story of a beautiful young woman who loses her lover to a violent city mugging and then finds him coming back into her life as a ghost.

This is a show for all the punters who enjoy big performances, the latest and finest production values, and a breezy pop soundtrack. The show will especially appeal to women who will love intensely emotional experience that the show offers. Continue reading GHOST THE MUSICAL @ THEATRE ROYAL

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF COMING TO CAPITOL THEATRE

Sydney music theatre lovers are in for a treat when one of the world’s great musicals comes to town.

The much loved musical FIDDLER ON THE ROOF is coming to the Capitol Theatre from Thursday 24th March. With music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and book by Joseph Stein, the action takes place in the Pale of Settlement of Imperial Russia in 1905. The story is based on Shalom Aleichem’s story Tevye and his daughters.

Tevye is a poor Jewish milkman and family man, a father of five daughters, who is trying to maintain his religious and cultural traditions at a difficult time in history. Continue reading FIDDLER ON THE ROOF COMING TO CAPITOL THEATRE

THE FANTASTICKS @ HAYES THEATRE

Jonathan Hickey and Martin Crewes in The Fantasticks. Production photos by  (c) Marnya Rothe
Jonathan Hickey and Martin Crewes in The Fantasticks. Production photos by (c) Marnya Rothe

The original off-Broadway production of THE FANTASTICKS premiered in 1960, and ran a total of 42 years and 17,162 performances, making it the world’s longest-running musical theatre production, and has music by Harvey Schmidt with book and lyrics by Tom Jones.

Wooden Horse Productions Theatre  Company has brought this mercurial musical to the Hayes Theatre in a production directed by Helen Dallimore, with co-musical direction by Hayden Barltrop and Glenn Moorhouse.

This production features a compact live orchestra- just two musicians- guitar and electronic keyboard. Continue reading THE FANTASTICKS @ HAYES THEATRE

THE SOUND OF MUSIC @ THE CAPITOL THEATRE

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SoundOfMusic4 Sound Of Music3 Sound Of Music-main

This evergreen musical, inspired by the lives of the actual von Trapp family as retold by Maria Augusta Trapp in her book The Trapp Family Singers, came together through the book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse and the music by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein 11.

The uplifting story of Maria, a fun-loving governess who changes the lives of the widowed Captain von Trapp and his seven children by re-introducing them to music, culminating in the family’s escape from the Nazis across the mountains from Austria, has enthralled and captivated audiences around the world since it was first produced on Broadway in 1959. Continue reading THE SOUND OF MUSIC @ THE CAPITOL THEATRE

PETER PAN COMES ALIVE @ HORNSBY RSL

SYDNEY MUSICAL THEATRE presents PETER PAN.49.peter SYDNEY MUSICAL THEATRE presents PETER PAN.77.wendy

Sydney Youth Musical Theatre presented an impressive and magical restaging of J.M.Barrie’s classic tale featuring a large ensemble cast and a vibrant live orchestra.

For over 110 years, the legendary story of Peter Pan, a boy who can fly, but never wants to grow up. has been delighting children and their parents.

A quick sprinkle of fairy dust from Tinker Bell, and we see Peter take Wendy Darling and her brothers John Darling and Michael Darling to the magic world of Neverland. There they meet Lost Boys, Mermaids, Tiger Lily’s Indians and of course all the pirates and their malevolent leader Captain Hook.

Director Elizabeth Hogan provided her inspired direction that provided stunning rapport between all ages in the high energy cast featuring mostly teenagers. The show featured show stopping performances from all the leads and the well choreographed sword fighting scenes were exciting to watch.

The very functional set easily provided each of the many locations around Neverland, the choreography was delightful and effective, whilst the traditional costumes were just as one would have imagined.

The production delivered consistent, well-timed audience participation, with plenty of raucous laughter. One’s dreams take full flight during this 150 minute musical journey to Neverland.

Sydney Youth Musical Theatre’s production of PETER PAN played a brief season at the Hornsby RSL Club theatre between the 26th and the 28th November.

http://www.symt.com.au/

THE SOUND OF MUSIC COMING SOON TO THE CAPITOL THEATRE

Cameron Daddo and Amy Lehpamer in The Sound Of Music. Pic Brian Geach
Cameron Daddo and Amy Lehpamer in The Sound Of Music. Pic Brian Geach

The lavish London Palladium production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC is coming to Sydney in December followed by a national tour.

The Australian production helmed by Jeremy Sams will be led by Amy Lehpamer (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Once, The Rocky Horror Show) as Maria Rainer and Cameron Daddo (Legally Blonde, Big River) as Captain Georg von Trapp, starring alongside Marina Prior (Mary Poppins, The Secret Garden) as Baroness Schraeder, Jacqueline Dark (Opera Australia’s Aida, Don Giovanni) as Mother Abbess, Lorraine Bayly (Calendar Girls, The Sullivans) as Frau Schmidt and David James (Playschool, Avenue Q) as Max Detweiler.

Liesl will be played by Stefanie Jones (Once) and Rolf by newcomer Du Toit Bredenkamp. The ensemble cast includes Johanna Allen (Sister Sophia), Eleanor Blythman (Sister Margaretta), Sophie Cheeseman, Colin Dean, William Groucutt, Dominica Matthews (Sister Berthe), Katie McKee, Kathleen Moore, Meredith O’Reilly, Ashleigh Rubenach and Sophie Weiss.

The Sydney season of THE SOUND OF MUSIC will start at the Capitol theatre from the 13th December. Bookings www.soundofmusictour.com.au or 1300 111 011. The show moves from Sydney to Brisbane, with the Brisbane season commencing at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre on the 11th March, 2016.

Sydney Arts Guide has been offered two double passes to the performance at the Capitol theatre on Wednesday 16th December at 8pm. Be the first to contact the Editor on editor.sydneyartsguide@gmail.com.  (This offer has now closed).

MANLY MUSICAL SOCIETY PRESENTS EVITA @ STAR OF THE SEA THEATRE MANLY

MMS Evita Jim Muir - 0N3A0780
Keira Connelly gives a stellar performance in the lead role. Production photography by Jim Muir.

Manly Musical Society is currently presenting the evergreen musical EVITA charting the extraordinary journey of Eva Peron (Keira Connelly) from the slums, heading to the top of society, until she becomes the most powerful woman in Argentina.

Director Carl Olsen, has brought the world of the play vividly to life, and we follow everything that happened to Eva up until her untimely death in 1952 including her extensive charity work and her passionate romances, most famously with President Peron (Neville Bereyne)

In this excellent revival every member of the ensemble was in great voice. Costumes, choreography and the minimalist and very flexible set added to the experience.

After interval, Eva’s costumes were truly magnificent. A guilty pleasure was the wonderful quality of the presentation of the many love songs and ensemble pieces.

 Duration 120 minutes with one interval.

Remaining performances are:-

Thursday 26 November  at 7.30pm
Friday 27 November  at 7.30pm
Saturday 28 November at 2.00pm
Sunday 28 November at 7.30pm

Official website:-

http://www.manlymusicalsociety.com/

Venue:-

The Star of the Sea Theatre
52 Eurobin Avenue,
corner Iluka & Collingwood Avenue
Manly, NSW

ACTT PRESENT THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE

The Actors College Of Theatre and Television (ACTT) presented the musical comedy THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE, directed by Stephen Lloyd Helper, the final show of six unique student productions this year, that have elegantly showcased the talents of their graduating Advanced Diploma acting students.

This is a revival  of  Rodgers and Hart’s entertaining musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s COMEDY OF ERRORS that was first produced back in 1938- book by George Abbott, music by Richard Rodgers,  lyrics by Lorenz Hart.

Stephen Lloyd Helper has reset the musical to the 21st century and the audience location has also been changed to the beautiful tropical island of Manu, which has within it a completely mismanaged tourist “holding centre” with two security guards (actors) on constant patrol. Welcome To Paradise?!…. Continue reading ACTT PRESENT THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE

ACTT presents ROUND HEADS AND PEAK HEADS @ BONDI PAVILION

ROUND HEADS AND PEAK HEADS.cast
The team behind ROUND HENDS AND PEAK HEADS currently playing the Bondi Pav

ROUND HEADS AND PEAK HEADS is the fifth of six student productions that the Actors College of Theatre and Television (ACTT) is presenting to showcase the talents of their graduating Advanced Diploma acting students.

This play, a very clever political satire, had its premiere in a Danish-language production performed in November 1936. The piece is a work by the radical German playwright Bertolt Brecht, penned during the rise of Nazism, with the original German title being Die Rundköpfe und die Spitzköpfe.  This production features the translation by Tom Kuhn.

The play’s tag line is ‘money calls to money’. Brecht described his socialist play as ‘a tale of horror’ and the confronting anti-communist/fascist dialogue has all the subtlety of an exploding atomic missile.        Continue reading ACTT presents ROUND HEADS AND PEAK HEADS @ BONDI PAVILION

CATS @ CAPITOL THEATRE

Delta Goodrem shines brightly as Grizabella in this revival of the classic West End musical
Delta Goodrem shines brightly as Grizabella in this revival of the classic West End musical

For those few not in the know the the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical CATS is drawn from the whimsical verse of TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and a few other choice bits of the great British poet’s works. The musical is arranged around  a dozen or so scenes.

The show’s current season  at the Capitol is a revival of the classic West End production which premiered way back in 1981.

In CATS  the Jellicle Cats gather once a year to hear who will be chosen by their leader, Old Deuteronomy, to journey to the Heaviside Layer to be reborn into a new life, after the traditional nine lives that they have already spent. One by one, the cats take the stage to make their case to be reborn.

Continue reading CATS @ CAPITOL THEATRE

WILLOUGHBY THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS LEGALLY BLONDE @ THE CONCOURSE CHATSWOOD

Legally Blonde-inset

Oh My God you guys, it’s PINK!

Yes, bright pink is the signature colour of this show from the very beginning. Excellently directed by Courtney Cassar, this show is high octane energy. Whilst seeming to be superficial this show does look at contemporary issues such as chauvinism, gender politics and the law.

Based on the novel Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown and the 2001 film of the same name, this musical tells the story of Elle Woods, a sorority student who enrolls at Harvard Law School, complete with purse pooch, in an attempt to win back her ex-boyfriend Warner. She grows and changes as she discovers how her knowledge of the law can help others, and successfully defends exercise queen Brooke Wyndham in a murder trial. No one really has faith in Elle Woods throughout the show, but she manages to surprise them when she defies their superficial expectations and transforms from law school embarrassment to valedictorian. Continue reading WILLOUGHBY THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS LEGALLY BLONDE @ THE CONCOURSE CHATSWOOD

RENT @ THE HAYES THEATRE

Inset pic- Casey Donovan  and Laura Bunting fire away in one of the show's big numbers Take Me Or Leave Me. Featured pic- the cast of Rent. Production photos by Kurt Sneddon.
Inset pic- Casey Donovan and Laura Bunting fire away in one of the show’s big numbers Take Me Or Leave Me. Featured pic- the cast of Rent. Production photos by Kurt Sneddon.

This late Jonathon Larson’s Pulitzer Prize winning musical still has what it takes close to twenty years since it premiered.

Larson’s tale of the resilience and integrity of the human spirit is set at the dawn of the 1990s in New York City’s East Village, home to a young, vibrant bohemian community, threatened both by the onset of the AIDS epidemic and large scale property development which tried to push them out.

Legend has it that when the show opened off Broadway in 1996 there was a kind of stunned silence when the performance  finished and then a gentleman at the back of the theatre stood up and shouted ‘thank you Jonathon Larson’ and the audience then broke out in spontaneous applause. Continue reading RENT @ THE HAYES THEATRE

LONDON ROAD

London Road-inset

A musical based on serial killings? Well there’s Sweeney Todd. But that was a highly stylised Broadway number, a Gothic thriller. LONDON ROAD is a musical of a very  different stripe,

Hailed as a remarkable, ground-breaking work during two sell-out runs at the National Theatre, this feature film adaptation reunites the award winning team, with script by Alecky Blythe, music by Adam Cork and directed by Rufus Norris, who made the blistering feature film Broken a few years back..

LONDON ROAD documents the events that shook Suffolk in 2006, when the quiet rural town of Ipswich was shattered by the discovery of the bodies of five women. The residents of London Road had struggled for years with frequent soliciting and kerb crawling on their street.

We follow the community who found themselves at the epicentre of the tragic events and the ensuing three ring media circus. What unfolds is a moving story of ordinary people coming together during the darkest of experiences.

This is a film that takes verbatim theatre and lyricises it, making melody from malady, orchestrations from the cadence of speech, and brilliantly captures the rhythms and riffs of intonation, tempo, measure, modulation, meter, and repetition. The music lifts what would have been rather bland, brief interviews into choruses.

LONDON ROAD is astonishing in the way it extracts so entertainingly the musicality of the everyday, the banal, and elevates it. From a community in disharmony a burgeoning harmony emerges and blossoms.

Not every character is singing from the same songbook, socially speaking, yet even from a chorus of disapproval comes a stunning, cohesive composition. From the middle class house-owners, to the targeted prostitutes, the police and the media circus that alights on the town, each has an integral key in this extraordinary urban opera.

LONDON ROAD features an ensemble cast that includes Olivia Colman,Clare Burt, Rosalie Craig, Anita Dobson, James Doherty, Hal Fowler, Kate Fleetwood, Linzi Hateley, Nick Holder, Claire Moore, Michael Shaeffer, Nicola Sloane, Paul Thornley, Howard Ward, Duncan Wisbey and Tom Hardy.