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FALSETTOS

Tamblyn Henderson, Ben Hall, Elise McCann, Margi de Ferranti. Pic Helen White
The scourge of AIDS is poignantly featured in this Broadway masterpiece.
Tamblyn Henderson, Ben Hall, Elise McCann, Margi de Ferranti. Pic Helen White

A strong though flawed revival of the wonderful Tony award winning musical FALSETTOS-music and lyrics by William Finn and book by James Lapine and Finn- is currently playing the Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s pristine new home, the Eternity Playhouse.

With so many different variations in play within the modern family the scenario in place in FALSETTOS is as edgy and relevant as ever.  Marvin and Trina’s goal is to hold family life together and, in particular, the well being of their clever, adorable teenage son, Jason. Not such an easy task when they both move on to new partners,- Marvin falls in love with a guy called Whizzer, and later, Trina falls into the  arms of the  family psychiatrist, Mendel.

There is  much to love about this play,-the plot is involving throughout, the score is a treat with the thirty something songs all commentating superbly on the action, and most of all the unpretentious, erudite humour and resilience with which these characters, in Falsetto land, face the challenges that life throws their way not in ‘single file but in battalions’.

Colyer direction impressed and the simple, adept staging worked well. There was one reservation. The production would have been well served with a dialect coach. The way some of the Jewish expressions and Hebrew passages were delivered more embarrassing. A disappointment.

The actors were a powerhouse. Favourite performances were delivered  by Ben Hall as Whizzer, Katrina Retallick as Trina, Stephen Anderson as the frizzy (a great wig), eccentric psychiatrist, and Anthony Garcia, who showed plenty of promise in his assured performance as a teenager enmeshed in complex adult dramas.

Stephen Colyer’s production is playing the Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton Street, Darlinghurst until Sunday 16th March.

STEPHEN COLYER directs FALSETTOS

Director Stephen Colyer with the full cast of the upcoming FALSETTOS
Director Stephen Colyer with the full cast of the upcoming FALSETTOS. Pic Helen White

One of the perks of being the first play of the season is that you get to rehearse in the space.

No wonder director Stephen Colyer was pleased as punch when I spoke to him a week into rehearsals of FALSETTOS, at the Eternity Playhouse, Darlinghurst’s newest theatrical tabernacle.

Colyer was at the helm of  Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s production of Torch Song Trilogy last Mardi Gras, and is clearly delighted to have the opportunity of revisiting another in the cannon of landmark queer theatre for this year’s festival.

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