Timeless and evocative, Stephen Sondheim’s 7 time Tony Award Winner COMPANY is regarded as one of the great modern musicals.
On the night of his 35th birthday, confirmed bachelor, Robert, contemplates his unmarried state. Over the course of a series of dinners, drinks and even a wedding, his friends force the habitually single Robert to question his rigid bachelorhood during a hilarious array of interactions.
COMPANY features a brilliantly brisk and energetic score containing many of Sondheim’s best known songs including the renowned finale Being Alive. With discussions about marriage, divorce, homosexuality and commitment, COMPANY is a sophisticated and honest look at modern adult relationships.
COMPANY will be playing between Tuesday 4th April and Saturday 8 April at STUDIO ONE, UNSW : Tuesday to Friday at 7.30 pm and a Saturday matinee at 2 pm.
It was lights, cameras, action at the Hayes theatre for this very slick production of MACK AND MABEL, book by Michael Stewart and catchy music by Jerry Herman, directed by Trevor Ashley.
This musical, set in Brooklyn in 1911, centres on the turbulent relationship between the two main characters – Mack Sennet, a controlling, director of silent films with tyrannical tendencies and his aspiring screen star, Mabel Normand.
The production features an effective set design by Lauren Peters, featuring moving mirrors and projections on screens, and wonderful lighting design by Gavin Swift and sound design by Neil Mclean.
We see that Mack’s memories shape the narrative and that they are very subjective.
An assured and appealing Scott Irwin plays Mack ‘I just wants to make the world laugh’ who meets Mabel, a deli shop worker, played with verve and vivaciousness by Angelique Cassimatis.
Mack sees acting potential in Mabel and casts her in one of his comedy movies which he churns out prolifically. Mabel soon has the ‘acting bug’ which the lyrics to the song Look What’s Happened To Mabel describes well, ‘she is ambitious and has to say goodbye to bagels and knishes”.
The acting troupe leave Brooklyn for studios in California and Lottie Ames, played by the charismatic Deonne Zanott, sings Big Time with the lyrics, “the cherry on top of the sundae… the shiny star on top of the tree.”
In the the song I Won’t Send Roses Mack warns Mabel about his nature, ‘I’m preoccupied with me…Forgetting birthdays is guaranteed.” Later Mabel sings, “Who wants chocolates, they’d make me fat. I can get by without a gushing valentine. I know I will be left out on a limb.”
Scriptwriter Frank, played by Adam Di Martino, warns Mabel that, “Mack is a despot who doesn’t respect her as an artist”. Alas, Mabel loves Mack and ignores his advice.
For Mabel her meteoric rise to stardom isn’t enough and she meets the charming, suave yet phony director – William Desmond Taylor, played by Shaun Rennie, who has a part for her in one of his upcoming serious films.
At one point Mabel, resplendent in fur coat and hat with silver handbag and shoes, (lovely costume design by Angela White who shows great attention to detail), sings Wherever He Ain’t.
Mack’s films are getting more involved and now feature bathing beauties – a scene of which is played out with stunning choreography by Cameron Mitchell.
Act Two reveals the five piece band under the musical direction of Bev Kennedy.
All of the actors wish for Mabel to return. Comedian Fattie Arbuckle, played by Stephen Valeri, sings when When Mabel Comes In the Room ‘artificial flowers might even bloom’.
The bumbling slapstick of the Keystone Cops, one of Mack’s creations, adds to his popularity and success.
Other song highlights include Mabel singing the heartfelt Time Heals Everything, ‘One fine morning the hurt will end’, and a tour de force rendition by Lottie of Tap Your Troubles Away, a treat for dance aficionados.
Mabel’s life hits a downward trajectory. What’s to become of her? It is as if Mack has written the script to his own life and is unable to alter the ending. In retrospect, he is trapped by his own torturous demeanour and having regrets.
The more than marvellous MACK AND MABEL, 19 Greenknowe Avenue, Potts Point, is playing the Hayes Theatre until December 18.
John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John lit up the cinema screen in GREASE, the unforgettable movie cult classic, released in 1978.
The Manly Musical Society is currently presenting the original musical which originally premiered in Chicago in 1971. The Society fills the stage with an energetic ensemble cast showcasing magnificent voices, each with unbounded energy, which bring back the rock ‘n’ roll 1950s in true greased-lightning style.
Willoughy Theatre presented the now-standard much loved Disney/Cameron Macintosh version, with small adjustments from the London version which was seen here at the Capitol several years ago.Matthew Bourne’s choreography is not retained but rather altered and adapted by Declan Moore and Janina Hamerlok .
The harbour city’s elegant Sydney Lyric theatre is currently home to DREAM LOVER THE BOBBY DARIN MUSICAL, a very impressive, brand new Australian musical. The journey of the legendary American entertainer proves to be different and strong enough to hold a full length show, and the song book is more than catchy.
These were ‘my favourite things’ from an uplifting night of musical theatre.
First, this show has some great numbers which an excellent cast perform with verve and panache.
Mac The Knife, what a great number to start a show with. David Campbell as Darin goes to town with it, and he is supported by some great young dancers dressed in cool black who do the whole soul/ razzamataz thing with plenty of hands and black hats flapping (choreographer Ellen Simpson).
Splish Splash gets a great treatment. Campbell comes out with a bevy of sexy ladies garbed in just a bath towel. Half way through the rocking number the towels come off and glittering costumes are revealed – a great coup-de-theatre.
The show features a few great rock and roll medleys/sets. Songs such Peggy Sue and The Wanderer were performed by Darin along with Frankie Avalon (Joshua Robson), Dion (Xander Ellis) and Buddy Holly (Tim Maddren).
Many might not know that Dream Lover strikes a very personal note for Campbell. In the show’s most powerful scene Darin is thunderstruck to find out that who he had understood to be his mother is actually his grandmother, and who he understood to be his sister was actually his mother. One hell of a shock. It is no wonder that Campbell plays the scene in a very sensitive manner.
There is good reason. Campbell himself experienced the same disturbing situation growing up and only found out the truth in young adulthood. As an aside, for followers of celebrities, Hollywood legend Jack Nicholson also experienced the same family deception.
David Campbell and Hannah Fredericksen as Sandra Dee – a lovely performance – sang a very tender version of the title song which beautifully took the show to interval.
Martin Crewes was a highlight playing Steve Blauner, Darin’s agent who goes so far above the call of duty and doesn’t always get the respect that he deserves, as was the always wonderful Caroline O’Connor playing both Bobby’s mum and Sandra Dee’s mum.
This was a show which put the Ensemble cast in the spotlight for a lot of the time. The talented young performers were outstanding.
A great 18 piece band – musical director Daniel Edmonds with assistant director Jack Earler ‘conducting’ from the keys- was in great form for the whole show.
Tim Chappel’s costumes contributed to depicting character, and the changing social mores that took place over the four decades which the show spans.
Veteran stage designer Brian Thomsen’s exciting design was a major part of the experience – a cyclorama enclosed in a series of arches which arc and centre around the characters in a lightbulb outlined cocoon. Thomson’s idea was that the world he created was very similar in appearance to the glitzy venues such as the Copacabana which Darin would have played in his prime.
These were some of my favourite things about this exciting new Australian musical. I had a great night. Now over to you! DREAM LOVER : THE BOBBY DARIN MUSICAL, directed by Simon Phillips, based on an original concept by and stage play by Frank and John Michael Howson and then adapted for the stage by Frank Howson with Simon Phillips and Carolyn Burns, is playing at Sydney Lyric Theatre, the Star until Sunday November 27.
One of Sydney’s most anticipated musicals, DREAM LOVER : THE BOBBY DARIN MUSICAL, directed by one of Australia’s leading music theatre director Simon Phillips and starring David Campbell as the late, great Bobby Darin, will start previews at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre next Thursday.
The show will present many of the great hits from the 1950s and 1960s including Mac The Knife, Beyond The Sea and the title song. The stage will be filled by a cast of over 40 performers including an 18 piece big band. As well as David Campbell, the principal cast will also include Caroline O’Connor, Hannah Fredericksen, Bert LaBonte, Martin Crewes and Marney McQueen.
Sydney Arts Guide is delighted to announce that it has two double A Reserve passes to give away to the evening performance – 8 pm -performance on Saturday September 24. Be one of the first to email the Editor on firstname.lastname@example.org. with Dream Lover : The Bobby Darin Musical competition in the subject heading. The two winners will be advised by return email. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED.
Yesterday, in the middle of the day, invited media attended the ABC rehearsal studio in Ultimo to take a first look at DREAM LOVER : THE BOBBY DARIN MUSICAL which is currently in the early stages of rehearsal.
The media call began with introductions by producer John Frost and director Simon Phillips. John Frost said that he is every excited to be presenting what he expects to be another great Australian musical, written by Australian brothers Frank Howsen and John-Michael Howsen.
Queensland Theatre Company has announced that the critically acclaimed, smash hit and Helpmann Award winning musical LADIES IN BLACK will tour nationally in early 2017, opening at the Sydney Lyric Theatre on January 3 for its premiere season, in the city in which the story is based.
From the adaptation of Madeleine St John’s 1993 novel, The Women In Black, this acclaimed production has been brought to life by Australian screenwriter Carolyn Burns and internationally renowned director Simon Phillips. The show features over 20 original songs written by Tim Finn and a stunning range of some 30 custom – designed and created dresses and suits to reflect the 1950’s in which the musical takes place.
With a dash of delicate comedy, LADIES IN BLACK is a modern day fairy tale set in a stylish department store – F. G. Goode – in a Sydney on the cusp of becoming cosmopolitan, crossing the threshold between the stuffy repression of the 1950’s and the glorious liberation of the 1960’s. From the Christmas rush to the chaos of the sales, these women stand shoulder to padded shoulder and together learn lessons in life, love and longing – and at the end, it’s not just the fancy frocks that are forever altered.
The cast includes Sarah Morrison in the lead as Lisa, Bobby Fox, Natalie Gamsu, Kathryn McIntyre, Carrita Farrer Spencer, Greg Stone, Kate Cole, Madeleine Jones and Ellen Simpson.
LADIES IN BLACK will play the Sydney Lyric Theatre between 3 and 22 January 2017.
Fellow Ozians! Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Riverside Parramatta , stampede the box office and book now if you haven’t already for this wonderful production by Packemin of WICKED. Lovingly , lavishly directed with a sure touch by Neil Gooding , Packemin have outdone themselves in this splendid version . ( Packemin have also previously performed a terrific version of the original The Wizard of OZ ).
Seymour Krelborn (Brent Hill) has come from bleak beginnings. He is often reminded of this by Mr. Mushnik (Tyler Coppin), who rescued Seymour from an orphanage to work at his run down florist on skid row. Seymour holds a flame for Mushnik’s quirky and warm hearted employee, Audrey (Esther Hannaford), but, she has resigned herself to sadistic dentist, Orin Scrivello, DDS, (Scott Johnson).
The shop is in disarray. Drenched in monochrome, it is decorated with garbage bins, a bum and three feisty chorus girls (Josie Lane, Chloe Zuel, Angelique Cassimatis). The girls open the show and proceed to break into a few numbers stylishly achieved by choreographer Andrew Hallsworth and musical director Andrew Worboys.
Seymour attempts to increase clientele by showing off a quirky plant he discovered, nicknamed Audrey II. After weeks of failed attempts to grow the plant, Seymour stumbles across the key as he pricks his finger and realises his plant has a fresh appetite for human blood. Continue reading LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS @ ROS PACKER THEATRE→
Joyful and exuberant this superb, slick, sleek production of SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN has splashed its way to Sydney’s Lyric Theatre. This is a revival of British director Jonathon Church’s very successful 2011 production for the Chichester Theatre.
Set in 1927 the classic musical tells the story of Kathy Seldon’s rise to stardom during the transition from silent movies to talkies. What we see is pretty much a stage version of film, slickly superbly staged in an incredibly energetic performance . It is a reverent yet exuberantly inventive recreation of the film.
Above: Annie (Caitlin Frazer) and Daddy Warbucks (Simon Militano) with ensemble. Featured image: Miss Hannigan (Susie Blackwell) and orphans.
At the centre of ANNIE the musical is a great big heart, a fully dressed smile and bucketloads of energetic optimism. Mosman Musical Society’s recent production, as directed by Jody Rose, stays true to these required features.
Principal cast members and the versatile ensemble preserve the traditional caricatures within this tale. The reactions of individuals and the group in this production clearly outline the tone of 1930’s New York in need of a ‘New Deal’ and a better life.
After seeing JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT last night, I have a dream that I won’t need Joseph to interpret. My dream is that every table in the auditorium is filled for the next outing of this Hills Musical Theatre Company show. As a believer in the theological concept of free will, I’m going to follow Joseph in making my dream come true by giving you a bread-basket load of reasons why you and your family should attend this wonderful night out. Firstly, it’s a classic. As I was waiting in the bitter cold for my friend to arrive I heard a patron add to his Box Office greetings, “You never get sick of Joseph!” This is so true. The show, Andrew Lloyd Webber music and Tim Rice lyrics, did have a troubled start though. Beginning life as a 15 minute ‘pop cantata’ school performance in 1968, it had many incarnations, rewrites and false starts. Continue reading HILLS MUSICAL THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOUR DREAMCOAT→
During early acting classes we were taught to critique performances objectively. Sure they won us but how/ what are the elements, the ingredients that made such a treat? Not easy when you’re talking about the music of Queen and an excitement quotient offs the scale!
My introduction to Queen was their third album Sheer Heart Attack in 1974. And I was lucky enough to see the London production of WE WILL ROCK YOU and the bar was set pretty high. Until last Wednesday night it was one of my very favourite performances!Continue reading WE WILL ROCK YOU @ LYRIC THEATRE, THE STAR→
Tickets are now on sale for the Hills Musical Theatre Company’s production of ‘Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.’ This production has a fantastic cast of up and coming young people and up and coming young at heart people who are looking forward to bringing you this uplifting show.
Book tickets now for best seats.
Fri 27th May 8pm, Sat 28th May 2pm & 8pm, Fri 3rd June 8pm, Sat 4th June 2pm & 8pm.
VENUE- Model Farms High School Auditorium Gooden Drive Baulkham Hills.
In the depths of the 1930’s, Annie is a fiery young girl who must live in a miserable orphanage run by the tyrannical Miss Hannigan. Her seemingly hopeless situation changes dramatically when she is selected to spend a short time at the residence of the wealthy munitions industrialist, Oliver Warbucks.
Quickly, Annie charms the hearts of the household staff, and even the seemingly coldhearted Warbucks cannot help but learn to love this wonderful girl.
Oliver decides to help Annie find her long lost parents by offering a reward to any couple who can prove to him they are Annie’s parents. However, Miss Hannigan, her evil brother, Rooster, and a female accomplice, plan to impersonate those people to claim the reward for themselves, putting Annie in great danger.
Mosman Musical Society (MMS) is working hard to put together a memorable show which will feature a very talented cast of local girls as the orphans and a wonderful mix of familiar faces from previous MMS shows in addition to some great new talent in some of the leading roles.
The show opens on Friday the 17th June at the Zenith Theatre in Chatswood. A total of 8 great shows will entertain lower North Shore audiences with evergreens ballads such as: Tomorrow, NYC, and Hard Knock Life, to name just a few hits from the shows’ wonderful score.
Friday 17 June 7.30 pm Saturday 18 June 2 pm & 7.30 pm Sunday 19 June 3 pm Thursday 23 June 7.30 pm Friday 24 June 7.30 pm Saturday 25 June 2 pm & 7.30 pm
The 1960s was a decade that saw many talented Australian artists recognised in the United Kingdom, helping to debunk the somewhat patronising, colonial stereotype that was associated with Australia in those days.
The Seekers’ rise to fame was chronicled by singer Judith’s brother-in-law, Patrick Edgeworth and Graham Simpson, who had written The Judith Durham Story – Colours of my Life. From this, the musical GEORGY GIRL was born.Continue reading GEORGY GIRL @ THE STATE THEATRE→
Currently playing at Sydney’s wonderful Capitol theatre in the Haymarket is a new revival of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF- music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick- set in Anatevka, in the Pale of Settlement of Imperial Tsarist Russia in 1905.
The current production has been directed by the highly experienced local/Aussie director, Roger Hodgman.
This year marks forty years since ANNIE the musical first brought its optimism to a pre-Broadway tryout theatre in Connecticut. The music, comic strip characters and human struggles across class boundaries still strike a chord with audiences today.
Adapted from the Oscar winning movie musical, CALAMITY JANE is set in Dakota Territory, USA, in the time of the American Old West. The show tells the story of the small western mining town of Deadwood City which is about to undergo a calamity. The Golden Garter Saloon, owned by Henry Miller and his niece Susan, is preparing for the visit of a lovely New York entertainer, Frances Fryer. Due to a mix-up, Frances Fryer turns out be a man, Francis Fryer. Henry finds himself on the horns of a dilemma. In an attempt to save face, he forces Francis to do the show dressed as a woman. But all hell breaks loose when the audience realise they’ve been hoodwinked.
Calamity Jane comes to the rescue. She takes the reins of The Deadwood Stagecoach and rides off to Chicago to bring back the most popular music hall performer of the time, Adelaide Adams.
Yes, the fabulous cult classic musical has returned with this dazzlingly superb production at the Hayes. Viewers might be familiar with the 1986 film starring Steve Martin and previous stage versions of the 1982 off-Broadway show.
This is a magnificent black comedy musical which can be read as a moral fable about the pitfalls and horrors of capitalism and the prevalence of the greed is good mentality. Styled on the B grade sci-fi horror movies of the 1950’s, the plot is set down in Skid Row and sees mild and meek flower shop assistant Seymour Krelborn (Brent Hill) come across a weird new plant species, which he names after his stunning but vulnerable colleague Audrey (Esther Hannaford).
The sinister plant appears to be his ticket to fame and fortune, but the plant, (which feeds on one sort of dangerously obtained food only ), unexpectedly grows and grows…and GROWS! Seymour discovers horribly that feeding his ambition starts to demand horribly fussier and juicier ingredients. Eventually, Seymour and Audrey must battle the perilous and persuasive plant- not just for their lives, but for the very future of planet Earth!
This current revival of the classic show has been brought to us by the producers and award-winning creative team behind the 2014 production of Sweet Charity, and joining forces with them are the master puppet-makers Erth who have created a very exciting and new Audrey II for the 21st century. Continue reading LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS @ THE HAYES THEATRE→
Oh dear. Sorry readers, but yes, while it opened appropriately enough on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, this production of GODSPELL REIMAGINED-based on Stephen Schwartz’s (Music and Lyrics) and John-Michael Tebelak’s (Book) classic musical, is unfortunately a Godspell dumbed down’ for the masses.
The cast is good and there are some nifty lighting effects especially in Act 2 however unfortunately there is a rather juvenile approach to the whole show. While yes, the idea is great to update the show so that there are contemporary references, (for example, John ‘taking a selfie’ with Jesus and references to Donald Trump and the Tinder website), some of the gags are in bad taste and repeated unnecessarily.
This version of Bernstein’s much loved ‘opera for the people’, first performed in 1957 was an impressive, passionate production.
The audience got to relive again the great dark scenes- the fighting scenes, the attempted rape of Maria, the brash, humorous scenes- Gee, Officer Krupke, and the very romantic scenes- such as the scene where Tony and Maria first see each other across a crowded room at the gym- One Hand One Heart .