Held up at glorious gunpoint between Miranda Musical Society’s previous show OKLAHOMA and the upcoming ANNIE comes a successful revival of Stephen Sondheim’s ASSASSINS. This show is a cavalcade of would-be killers and successful assassins from several eras of history. They taunt and help each other from an impossibly simultaneous present when the opening number sends them off in a carnival game to kill with guns of various descriptions.
As the eight assassins interact and react to their failed American Dreams they reveal a myriad of personal sensitivities, disorders, obsessions and excuses. All believe their only solution is to kill a president. This production’s faithful depiction of the show contains much humour as well as accuracy of accent and cultural predicament.
Proudly announcing the Sydney amateur premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s PHANTOM OF THE OPERA the Miranda Musical Society take up the challenge of this lavish musical. Can they pull it off? You bet your sweet opera glasses, which is what I needed up in the ‘Gods’ (dress circle, five rows from the back) at the Sutherland Entertainment Centre last night. My old acting teacher once said that amateur theatre companies were sometimes brilliant but professional companies had to sustain at least “very good” over a season. The challenge now for this talented group will be to live up to the high standard of opening night!
The singing was good and occasionally great from our leads, Tamasin Howard as Christine, Gavin Leahy as the Phantom, Jack Dawson as Vicomte Raoul, April Neho as Carlotta Guidicelli, Chiz Watson as Madame Giry, and Sarah Furnari as Meg Giry, and a host of enthusiastic supporting cast too numerous to list.
The thing with Lloyd Weber’s music is he loves to challenge his singers with a wide ranging score and unfortunately the lowest notes are often the hardest to produce. The ensemble were good, the corps de ballet also. The orchestra, strangely sequestered in the dress circle foyer were nevertheless excellent under the deft direction of Andy Peterson. The rest of the technical team from the two spotlight operators perched on platforms in the last row of the dress circle to the sizable backstage crew also deserve mention for keeping things running smoothly, apart from a brief pause before one of the scenes.
Of course, Col Peet’s masterful direction, reflecting more than 45 years of experience, and Andy Peterson’s musical direction, along with Jo Ansell’s choreography should not be underestimated.
Wonderful show. Worth a trip to Sutherland, especially if you’re a Phantom fan!
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA by the Miranda Musical Society opened at the Sutherland Entertainment Centre on Friday September 20 and runs until Sunday September 29, 2013.
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