Tag Archives: Jo Ansell

Miranda Musical Society’s CAROUSEL @ Sutherland Entertainment Centre

MMS Carousel-inset

CAROUSEL is based on the venerable Ferenc Molnar’s 1909 play LILIOM, which has a tragic plot narrative, together with the sometimes unsympathetic and downbeat protagonist. The original stage production of CAROUSEL opened at the Majestic Theatre in New York on 19th April 1945, and ran for 890 performances.

The music and lyrics of CAROUSEL are undoubtedly the ultimate Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II score, and this production of CAROUSEL is a joy both to watch and to listen to. Set in the years 1873 to 1888, this timeless story is both dark and introspective, and tells of the ever trusting and faithful Julie, from her first meeting at night with Billy, who becomes her brutish husband. Location is a New England fishing village, and the multitude of period perfect costumes, and elegant and thoughtful staging eliminated the need for a full sized working carousel. Continue reading Miranda Musical Society’s CAROUSEL @ Sutherland Entertainment Centre

OKLAHOMA

Rebecca Carter as Laurey and Eden Plaisted as Curly. Pic www.francisfotography.com.au

This production of OKLAHOMA is as up to date as Kansas City! Amidst acres of well-costumed colour, huge hoedown numbers and dream sequences, clever direction from James Worner also emphasizes the serious and sombre contrasts within this work.

On top of much comedy, lyricism and ambition relating to romance and gender roles, OKLAHOMA also covers the concept of the isolation of an outcast turned desperado. This extra layer fringing the top of all else is clearly presented by Miranda Musical Society.

Dark smokehouse scenes with a broodingly expressive Jud Fry are achieved in the using the reverse side of the Act One farmhouse set. This farm hand, often openly labelled as rough and different, has an out of control yearning for a wife and a place in the environment. The complex role is played with exquisite intensity by James Jonathon.

Continue reading OKLAHOMA

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

Gavin Leahy and Tamesin Howard in Lloyd-Weber's classic
Gavin Leahy and Tamasin Howard in Lloyd-Weber’s classic

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.