Theatre

MUSICA VIVA PRESENTS ZOFO: ‘ZOFOMOMA’ @ THE CITY RECITAL HALL

Above and featured images  : four-hands piano performers ZOFO.

Piano duet artists Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi (ZOFO) made their Musica Viva and Australian debut with a unique and entertaining project. ZOFO commissioned fifteen new pieces for the piano four hands repertoire. In the sprawling yet slick multimedia presentation in the form of a medley of new works, ZOFO brought to life the fifteen musical responses of composers about the globe to a chosen artwork from their culture.

The resulting work, ZOFOMOMA, is varied and eclectic. As well as being an active anthology of music from living composers, it is a fine meditation on the possibilities of piano sound,, particularly the piano four hands sound. The juxtaposition of fifteen different cultures and countries in the swoop of one concert with no interval is an important one.

The delight of composers in searching for an appropriate piece of  modern art from their country and their passion in freely reacting musically to it for this project is obvious.

The comissioned composers relish in the chance to write for twenty fingers at the keyboard when the pianistic team is as athletic, unified, dramatic and able to welcome new effects as the global superstars ZOFO.

Eva-Maria and Keisuke present a visually stunning, highly physical performance at the keyboard. It is also a timbral and textural offering of much depth.

In this concert has the piano is situated below a large screen for projection of the artworks as the commissions are played.

The choreography of the piano duetists beside and around each other in every manner imaginable is quite amazing to watch. They comfortably blend their personal space, intertwining hands, arms and bodies as they unite on the same keyboard to deliver the new compositions.

This stage action and music resulting from composers exploiting the skills of this team is a truly inspiring excursion into painting with twenty-finger keyboard-orchestra colour.

ZOFO’s transitional walks between pieces to ponder the concert progress, the art just exhibited on screen  cleanse the visual and aural palette. The meanderings are as important as the featured works here. The promenades are just as well executed by the pair, whose stage presence and evocative flair is as successful as it is innate.

These interludes in the event structure have music for ten fingers only. At these times, different variations of a fragment from Mussorgsky’s famous ‘Promenade’ from Pictures at an Exhibition help one of the pianists shift from primo to secondo or treble to bass keyboard position and vice versa.

These nicely accompanied segues across the stage are unexpected at first. However, when ZOFO’s style of interlude here manipulates the well-known music the promenade music and routine becomes an anticipated part of the presented itself, prior to the next assault on a new duet work and each new cultural shift in the art and new music from fifteen different countries.

The fifteen works presented with their new ‘pictures at at exhibition’ music and artwork pairs were greatly varied. Throughout all segments of  this event, the consistency of mood or atmosphere and effective keyboard writing which the twenty fingers tackle see the duo move as the one super-pianist.

The individual pieces are joyously different and are played with stunning sensitivity and virtuosity by the ZOFO musical machine.

Australian composer and Musica Viva Artistic Director Carl Vine composed the second piece in the sequence. This is an impressive showcase for piano duet. The exciting work has a painting from 1985 by Australian artist James Gleeson as its inspiration.

This piece, like many in the work, demands much of a piano duet on a technical and interpretative level to successfully draw it together. The duets written by Japan’s Kenji Oh and China’s Lei Liang were
highlights of the peaceful and calmer evocative end of the broad musical spectrum.

Above : ‘Sacred Peaks of Chichibu at Spring Dawn’ (1928) by Japanese artist Yokoyama Taikan, which inspired the piece by Japanese composer Kenji Oh.

These pieces, as individual as all of the fifteen, are performed with as much respect for their uniqueness as all commissioned works. They are based on nature and the artworks’  images of landscape use modern musical ecclecticism in the creation.

Notable amongst these two works are extended string techniques that see ZOFO just as comfortable inside the piano, plucking strings and dropping soft objects on them as they always are interlocked and working with great physicality at the keyboard proper.

Stamping, shouting and being accompanied taped sound are demanded of the pair at other times, and these interesting additions to keyboard playing are capably and confidently delivered.

Extracts of ZOFOMOMA can be viewed online in some of its multifaceted multimedia glory. However, the chance to experience this series of totally newly commissioned music and superior four-hands piano virtuosity live is an unforgettable one.

For this opportunity we must thank Musica Viva for bringing such artists and their innovative concert format to Australia.

LADIES IN BLACK @ STRATHFIELD MUSICAL SOCIETY

LADIES IN BLACK is a thought-provoking comedy drama about the lives of a group of department store employees in 1959 Sydney Australia, with important female lifestyle messages that are still relevant today. Timeless and memorable coming of age story, focused on the naive bookish ultra-intelligent sixteen year old Lisa Miles. December 1959 she takes a summer job for two months, at Goodes department store, which is a fictional business that is loosely based on the Australian department store chain, David Jones Limited. The required work-uniform that all female counter staff wear, is the LBD (Little Black Dress) made iconic and famous by Coco Chanel when published in Vogue Magazine in 1926.         Continue reading LADIES IN BLACK @ STRATHFIELD MUSICAL SOCIETY

MANAGING CARMEN : GREAT LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT

A very light, entertaining night of theatre awaits you if you make your way across to Rockdale. This is one of the funniest plays in Williamson’s extensive oeuvre.

The scenario. David Williamson’s play takes us into the world of elite sport. Brent is an elite sportsman, an Aussie Rules football player who has won two Brownlow medals. As is well known, elite sportsman make a heap of money out of advertising, from putting their name to various products.

Brent is managed by leading sports agent Rohan. Rohan has been trying to get Brent some good deals but they kept on being unstuck by Brent’s complete lack of charisma. Brent is just so wooden that Rohan simply can’t clinch a deal.

Hard times call for desperate measures, after all Rohan knows that there is good money to be made out of Brent. Rohan calls in sports psychologist Jessica to see if she can get install some perkiness, some spunk into Brent’s character. He also wants Jessica to do some ‘digging’ to see if there’s anything troubling Brent. Continue reading MANAGING CARMEN : GREAT LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT

MOSMAN MUSICAL SOCIETY PRESENTS ‘A NIGHT ON BROADWAY’

Mosman Musical Society proudly presents an original show about a TV talent quest, its contestants and the crazy world of high stakes television, set to glorious showstoppers from the full gamut of musical theatre. Great characters, wacky conflict, love and romance, and just plain goofiness, with music everyone will know and love.

Written by Clare Gerber, who has had plenty of experience of television, and directed by Nick Bone, A Night On Broadway is a hilarious spoof on the world of the television talent quest in the age of Instagram!

The show tells the story of the battling contestants, the frustrated tv executive, and the result of the ultimate showdown on prime time, with songs from a huge range of classic Broadway musicals.

This is a true homage to Broadway, and very, very funny. The show will include a talented array of community theatre performers from all over town, with musical direction by Dominique Parker and choreography by Chris Bamford, production design by Alex Cotton, and creative direction by Susan Boyle. Director Nick Bone brings a wealth of experience in musical theatre.

DATES FOR THE DIARY
4 July 7.30pm, 5 July 7.30pm, 6 July 2pm, 6 July 7.30pm at the Independent Theatre, North Sydney

For more about A Night On Broadway, visit https://www.theindependent.org.au
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HUNTERS HILL THEATRE PRESENTS ‘PLAY ON’

Play On! tells the story of a plucky community theatre group trying desperately to produce a murder mystery play with a plot which doesn’t actually have a murder, an interfering playwright who keeps changing the script, and an increasingly disgruntled cast and crew.

All your typical ‘theatre types’ make an appearance in this hilarious romp. The Director (Susan Mozell) along with the Stage Manager (Carol Keeble) and Lighting and Sound Technician (Frances Etheridge) work furiously to keep on top of the Playwright’s (Anthea Brown) script changes and keep her out of the way of the bickering cast, which includes Character Actors (Michael Richmond and Lois Marsh), a Supporting Actor (Georgia Golledge), a Villain (Mark Massingham), a Juvenile (Blake Eaton) and an Ingenue (Prudence Foxe).

Presented in 3 acts, the audience is witness to a rehearsal of the dreadful show ‘Murder Most Foul’ (Act 1), a disastrous dress rehearsal (Act II), and the ‘Opening Night’ performance (Act 3), in which anything that can go wrong, does.

If you like Noises Off!, the Play That Goes Wrong, or have ever been a part of a community theatre production, then you’ll love Play on!

DATES FOR THE DIARY 
June 7: 7:30pm | June 8: 2pm & 7:30pm |June 9: 2pm | June 14: 7:30pm | June 15: 2pm & 7:30pm | June 16: 2pm at Hunters Hill Theatre, 22 Alexandra Street Hunters Hill 2110.

For more about Hunters Hill Theatre presents Play On!, visit
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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PAUL @ THE PLAYHOUSE

From Wollongong to Wyong, from Port Macquarie to Penrith and Parramatta, Jonathon Biggins has been touring his wildly acclaimed play throughout New South Wales.

Wherever Biggins takes this show he performs nearly always to deserved full houses. Paul Keating is unique in that he has had two shows written about him that are highly entertaining ie that is Keating The Musical and now The Gospel According To Paul.

I must declare my bias in that I am a huge fan of Paul Keating. I used to watch question time in Parliament to witness Keating’s  wit and viciousness. In this regard I am similar to President Suharto who although he was a dictator would obtain tapes of Paul Keating performing during Question Time and as a result relations with Indonesia  became warmer. Continue reading THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PAUL @ THE PLAYHOUSE

SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS @ THE ETERNITY PLAYHOUSE

American writer Bess Wohl’s play is set in a week long ‘mind, body and spirit’ retreat that encourages residents to be silent and take the time out to leave their troubles behind and re-centra themselves.

The play starts with a row of chairs facing the audience. First to grab a seat is Jan (Justin Smith), who appears very anxious and out of his comfort zone.

Next to arrive is a hippie character Rodney (Dorje Swallow) who immediately ups Jan’s anxiety by straight away going into a yoga/mediation pose.

Next to arrive is the anxious Ned (Yalin Ozucelik) followed by a couple who are in the middle of a spat (Sharon Millerchip and Jane Phegan). Continue reading SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS @ THE ETERNITY PLAYHOUSE

WINYANBOGA YURRINGA @ UPSTAIRS BELVOIR STREET

Inspired by Hyllus Maris and Sonia Borg’s seminal TV series, writer Andrea James has called her play Winyanboga Yurrunga Yorta Yorta for Women of the Sun. As James takes her characters on a journey of renewal, she both entertains and educates her audience about the Aboriginal concept of Country. In the program, cultural design advisor Daniele Hromek quotes Kevin O’Brien’s explanation of country as “an Aboriginal idea … that binds groupings of Aboriginal people to the place of their ancestors past, current and future… it is revealed over time by camping in it.”

Accordingly, Auntie Neecy (Roxanne McDonald) and her younger relatives have come camping on Yorta Yorta land, as they have done before. While the women are setting up camp on Isabel Hudson’s functional yet evocative set, their easy banter reveals much about the baggage, both literal and metaphorical, that each has brought along. Neecy brings along vast cultural knowledge and spirituality – as well as essential camping gear and a mysterious, large cardboard box.

She runs a strictly dry camp, much to the chagrin of Carol (Tasma Walton), who is super-stressed about completing her PhD thesis, while dealing with misogyny and racism in her high-flying Museum job. Continue reading WINYANBOGA YURRINGA @ UPSTAIRS BELVOIR STREET

FOLK @ THE ENSEMBLE THEATRE

FOLK by English playwright Tom Wells, is a simple story of faith, loneliness, unlikely friendships and the healing power of music.

Delightfully irreverent and fun-loving Irish nun, Sister Winnie, (Genevieve Lemon), has befriended 50 year old Stephen, (Gerard Carroll), a reclusive, withdrawn guitarist and folk singer who is too shy to sing in public. Winnie loves a Guinness and a good time so each Friday night, she has Stephen over for some raucous slapstick and singing.

Genevieve Lemon as Winnie fills the stage with her excellent delivery of one-liners, compassion and infectious energy. After another Guinness and quick cigarette at the window, she quips to Stephen, “Sing me something holy – something wholly inappropriate”. Continue reading FOLK @ THE ENSEMBLE THEATRE

THE POOR KITCHEN @ LIMELIGHT DOWNSTAIRS, Limelight on Oxford

The audience’s first glimpse of THE POOR KITCHEN is the fully-detailed immaculate set, giving the immediate ambiance of a rustic farmyard kitchen. Fully able to suspend disbelief, these huge characters are Italian, on a organic Olive Grove farm making the best possible bitter olive oil. Wonderful ensemble cast, and also in vivid flashbacks the cast provide insights about ELLE’s grandmother and grandfather ROBERTO plus her father ALDO and his sister SOPHIA.

By selecting the perfect cast, director Julie Baz has easily captured the exuberance and vitality of each character, nurturing and developing the delicious performances delivered by all. Playwright Daniela Giorgi has carefully crafted the memorable narrative, and the present-day adult characters, plus the past events are all strongly structured to entertain.

Leading lady ELLE suddenly inherits from her Aunt SOPHIA the family farmstead in Italy, decides to sell, to be cashed-up solely to finally gain entry into the Sydney property market.

Comedy one liners, a huge political history lesson about the leader of the Italian National Fascist Party, Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini (Former Prime Minister of Italy). Family matters with feuds lasting decades, the required essence of personal intrigues, and dramatic parochial secrets hidden but lightly telegraphed to increase audience expectations. Shyster lawyer with his own undisclosed agenda, with thieves stealing Elle’s hire car.

Insightful political commentary with the opportunity to learn about refugee migration to Italy, versus our stop-the-boats. Living to grow your own food, versus working to buy your food. Pro-organic versus anti-pesticide. An interesting multiple message play, and yes an entertaining evening of live theatre, with a delightful unexpected ending.

Running time 100 minutes including a 15 minute interval.

PATINA PRODUCTIONS presents THE POOR KITCHEN by Daniela Giorgi. Originally presented during February 2016 in Newtown as part of Old 505 Theatre’s February 2016 Fresh Works Program.

Directed by Julie Baz

Designer David Jeffrey

STARRING

Amy Victoria Brooks – ELLE/SOFIA

Taylor Buoro – ANNA

David Jeffrey – VITTORIO/ALDO

Wendi Lanham – GUILIA

Myles Waddell – CARLO/ROBERTO

LIMELIGHT DOWNSTAIRS, Limelight on Oxford, 231 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst (near Taylor Square)
Two week season from Wednesday 8th May 2019 until Saturday 26th May 2019 – 8.15pm Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat plus 5:15pm Sundays 12th – 19th – 26th May 2019.
Duration of under 100 minutes, including the 15 minute interval.
Images by Clare Hawley.

Patina Productions curates, develops and supports the plays and musicals presented in the LIMELIGHT DOWNSTAIRS @ Limelight on Oxford. They collaborate with both emerging and seasoned indie creatives who demonstrate the commitment, capacity and enthusiasm required to stage world class indie shows.

http://limelightonoxford.com.au/
https://m.me/LimelightOnOxford
Bookings: http://www.limelightonoxford.com.au/the-poor-kitchen.php
Tickets: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=487980&
https://www.facebook.com/LimelightOnOxford/
https://www.facebook.com/pg/LimelightOnOxford/events/
http://bit.ly/LLTPK

 

 

 

Maureen: The Harbinger of Death (a work in progress)

The phone rings, it’s your mother, “I need you to check in on an old friend of mine. Her name is Maureen and she’d love some company”. You jump on a train, climb the stairs, knock on the door and feign your most polite smile, preparing yourself for an obligatory visit. However the ‘old lady’ you expect to meet and the person on the other side of the door have very little in common.

Maureen is a celebration of those who refuse to be invisible in a world of people who look the other way. Inspired by the work of surrealist Leonora Carrington, and a Kings Cross working-class glamour queen; Maureen is full of life and accepting of death, inhabiting the space between perception and reality.

“Women at a certain age, we become invisible. When people encounter us in the wild, they handle us, but we want you to engage. We want you to feel curious. There’s a lot of history beneath this skin and a future that exists outside of it.”

This performance is a work in progress. Sharing this stage of development with an audience will help the theatre makers craft a very special piece of theatre.

Written and Performed by Jonny Hawkins
Co-conceived and Directed by Nell Ranney
Designed by Isabel Hudson

DATES
14- 18 May, 7pm at Kings Cross Theatre, 244-246 William St, Potts Point

For more about Maureen: The Harbinger of Death (a work in progress), visit http://www.kingsxtheatre.com/
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