Tag Archives: Peter Meredith

AVENUE Q @ THE INDEPENDENT THEATRE NORTH SYDNEY

 

It looks and sounds a lot like Sesame Street but Avenue Q ventures into territory a long way from the cute and snappy songs of a children’s television show. Avenue Q is an R rated musical comedy featuring puppets and human actors with music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx and book by Jeff Whitty. The titles of some of the songs give a good indication of some of the production’s themes. Songs included are “You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You’re Makin’ Love)”, “I’m Not Wearing Underwear Today”, “The Internet Is for Porn”, and “If You Were Gay”. The enthusiastic audience clearly enjoyed themselves, laughed throughout the performance and energetically applauded songs and the show.

The fantastic cast sang and danced their way through the catchy numbers. The singing was impressive and the six piece band was equally accomplished. They occasionally drowned each other out and the lyrics were often hard to follow, especially when the singers were at full volume. The understated numbers were much clearer and easier to understand.

The show featured an excellent set, reminiscent of Sesame Street and was well used to create different spaces and avoid set changes.

Some of the material seems a little dated and does not quite hit the mark. The song “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” is the most problematic. It is well intentioned but does not recognise that everyone’s experience of racism is not equal and white people do not experience the same systemic problems that other people experience. The song promotes the message that everyone should try to get along but that inherently glosses over entrenched cultural difficulties.

The cast includes Pete Davidson, Laura Dawson, Isaac Downey , Suzanne Chin , Kris Fenessy , Cam Ralph , Miriam Gonzaga , Luka Bozic , Stephanie Gray , Josie Lamb , Hayley Driscoll , and Jake Severino. The production team is director Peter Meredith, musical director Philip Eames and choreographer Laura Beth Wood. The band is made up of Peter Meredith, So Cho, Laura Power, Charlie Snedden, Jason Smith and Danny Bale.

Avenue Q is a North Shore Theatre Company production at the Independent Theatre, North Sydney and runs until 4th May.

WILLOUGHBY THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS ‘WICKED’ @ THE CONCOURSE CHATSWOOD

 

‘No one mourns the wicked’.

The Willoughby Theatre Company transport us to OZ in this, their latest splendid production. It is colourful and spectacular with some sensational staging. The cast is young, vibrant, energetic and enthusiastic.

For this version the front cloth is a green and gold revolving compass like design . (No looming dragon, sorry fellow OZians).

The orchestra as boisterously led by Greg Jones played magnificently, but in Act 2 a couple of times I thought the sound was a little overwhelming and was presented like a rock opera rather than a musical.

Now regarded as a modern classic WICKED by Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holman, based on the book by Gregory Maguire tells the story ‘ behind the scenes’ of The Wizard of Oz and what really happened. Who is Elphaba, the ‘Wicked Witch of the West‘? Why is her skin green ? What is Glinda’s real name? Who were the Tin Man , Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion originally ? All these questions are answered in the show… Continue reading WILLOUGHBY THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS ‘WICKED’ @ THE CONCOURSE CHATSWOOD

WILLOUGHBY THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS LEGALLY BLONDE @ THE CONCOURSE CHATSWOOD

Legally Blonde-inset

Oh My God you guys, it’s PINK!

Yes, bright pink is the signature colour of this show from the very beginning. Excellently directed by Courtney Cassar, this show is high octane energy. Whilst seeming to be superficial this show does look at contemporary issues such as chauvinism, gender politics and the law.

Based on the novel Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown and the 2001 film of the same name, this musical tells the story of Elle Woods, a sorority student who enrolls at Harvard Law School, complete with purse pooch, in an attempt to win back her ex-boyfriend Warner. She grows and changes as she discovers how her knowledge of the law can help others, and successfully defends exercise queen Brooke Wyndham in a murder trial. No one really has faith in Elle Woods throughout the show, but she manages to surprise them when she defies their superficial expectations and transforms from law school embarrassment to valedictorian. Continue reading WILLOUGHBY THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS LEGALLY BLONDE @ THE CONCOURSE CHATSWOOD

WTC’s JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

Jesus Christ sits down to his Last Supper. Pic Perfect Images Photography
Jesus Christ sits down to his Last Supper. Pic Perfect Images Photography

This is a dazzling, superb version of Lloyd Webber and Rice’s rock opera JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR that takes one’s breath away.

Willoughby Theatre Company‘s (WTC) revival, directed by Stig Bell is a contemporary reworking of the now classic 1970’s musical that burns , including contemporary choreography,slang and ironic allusions to modern day life that make it as fresh as if it was written yesterday .

In a strong ,powerful piece of theatre , Lloyd Webber and Rice take us through the last week of Jesus’ life and ministry,as based on the Gospels . This includes Palm Sunday ,the Last Supper and end with the events of Good Friday and Mary Magdalene sobbing over Jesus’ inert body.

The cast is excellent featuring magnificent leads and a large, terrific ensemble.  Continue reading WTC’s JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

ASSASSINS

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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.

Continue reading ASSASSINS