Once upon a time there was a small intimate theatre that decided to put on a musical called BIG FISH and the show became a smash hit and just grew and grew…This captivating musical has a heart bigger than the Nullarbor Plains.
The show is presented as a ‘chamber opera’ in what the producers have called the ‘twelve chairs’ version. Under Tyran Parke’s refined, accomplished direction, and thrillingly staged, the brilliant cast bring this story to magnificent life.
The small orchestra as led by Luke Byrne are invisible behind the scenery – we never see them but they are terrific. The set – young Will’s bedroom with seashell ruffles at the back for the mermaid – allows for fluid scene and locale changes including the moving in and out of beds and tables etc. Continue reading BIG FISH : A MUST SEE @ THE HAYES→
The revue starts with Bob Hawke greeting the audience with, “If any silly old bugger has their phone on turn it off. Where do I send the bill?” The audience sees an ancient Roman backdrop and the cast dressed in togas launch into a Wharf Revue version of ‘Anything Goes”. It has the usual sharp lines we expect from the talented team. With reference to recent political events and Shakespeare’s ancient Rome we hear about the disillusionment trigger and how a knife in the back is quicker.
Toga clad Ericus Abetzus leads the hard right conservative conspirators and a discussion about how to deal with the mighty Emperor of Wentworth. The clever lines come thick and fast. We hear how Jesus delivered a TED talk on the mount and Dutton dressed as lamb gets a mention.
Written and created by Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott, The Wharf Revue delves into the richly rewarding world of Federal politics to take the daft things our leaders have said and emphasise their ridiculousness and to twist the seemingly reasonable into fertile humorous material. They also throw in corny puns, clever puns, bawdy humour and some excellent musical numbers to entertain and amuse the crowd. Continue reading THE WHARF REVUE 2016 ‘BACK TO BITE YOU’ @ THE RIVERSIDE PARRAMATTA→
For die hard fans of the classic movie you can’t go past SING A LONG A SOUND OF MUSIC where audience members get to release their inner, favourite Von Trapp family singer.
SING A LONG A SOUND OF MUSIC promised an evening of wholesome, nostalgic entertainment where everyone from children to senior citizens were given the chance to celebrate the popular, iconic musical’s 50th anniversary. This it certainly delivered with style and panache,
I had an absolute ball with my eighty year old companion, singing in unison with hundreds of devotees, who were helped with the film having surtitles.
New initiative, The Theatre Division, triumphs with its current production, RUTHLESS! THE MUSICAL. This cuttingly satirical piece takes a decent back-stab at many aspects of the musical theatre industry, middle-American home and school life as well as the entertainment media.
Lisa Freshwater’s direction of a stellar cast ensures the piece progresses at a cracking pace. Amidst the mayhem of masked identities, merciless ambition from all ages and mother-daughter dialogues, some snippets of genuine confusion or heartbreak also appear. Issues burst forth from the Sydney stage in the firm hands, feet and voices of this premiere season cast. The strong tradition of this US cult musical is upheld.
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.
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.
On Thursday last I had the great pleasure of watching a rehearsal for the upcoming season of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – and, if I can take the popular modern liberty of inventing a new word, it promises to be ‘scoundralously‘ good!
We only got to see an early couple of scenes, it’s only the eighth rehearsal, but already one can see the wicked main characters and the sense of humour to match blossoming under the genius of such luminaries as Tony Sheldon, John Wood, Matt Hetherington and Amy Lehpamer, deftly directed by Roger Hodgman.
I interviewed Katrina Retallick and Matt Hethrington who both asserted that the rehearsals were such fun that it had to translate to an uproarious, laugh a minute experience for the audiences. Katrina said, “The more outrageous I can be- the better. When asked what they thought the audience would remember most from the show they both agreed, “That they had had a fun night.”
Matt said that, being a fan of the two movie versions, (Marlon Brando and David Niven preceded the eighties flick in 1964 under the name “Bedtime Story”!), he was pleased to see more than the occasional nod to those scripts, which he thought that audiences would appreciate. He was also pleased to be able to introduce younger people to the older style of comedy created by comedians like Jerry Lewis.
The songs sound great, augmented by a talented ensemble. I can’t wait to see the finished show.
DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS opens at the Theatre Royal on 24 October.
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