Tag Archives: Rockdale Musical Society


Rockdale Musical Society is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year and kicking of a special season of festivities and shows the society is presenting the magical musical THE WIZARD OF OZ.

This production of THE WIZARD OF OZ is an enchanting adaptation of the all-time classic developed from the ever-popular MGM movie of the same name, “which ironically was released the same year as Rockdale Musical Society was formed” says RMS President Fran AppleyardThis was one of the deciding facts for putting this show on”.       Continue reading ROCKDALE MUSICAL SOCIETY TURNS 80 WITH THE WIZARD OF OZ. GIVEAWAY



This image: James Casimiro as Sebastian
Featured image: Nicole Butler as Ariel                                 Photos by Rod Herbert

Rockdale Musical Society is proud to present DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID with Book by Doug Wright, Music by Alan Menken, and Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater.

Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen's most beloved stories and the classic animated film, Disney's The Little Mermaid is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages. With music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, and a compelling book by Doug Wright, this fishy fable will capture your heart with its irresistible songs including "Under the Sea," "Kiss the Girl," and "Part of Your World."

Ariel, played by Nicole Butler, King Triton’s youngest daughter, wishes to pursue the human Prince Eric, played by Matthew Harter, in the world above and bargains with the evil sea witch, Ursula, portrayed by Ellie Phillips, to trade her tail for legs. But the bargain is not what it seems and Ariel needs the help of her colorful friends Flounder the fish, played by Bille-Rose Brotherson, Scuttle the seagull, played by Tim Wotherspoon, and Sebastian the crab, played by James Musumeci, to restore order under the sea.

Directed by Cathy Boyle, this Disney classic with a cast of over 40 people will delight audiences and warm the hearts of both the young and the old. Cathy is supported in bringing her vision of this magical show to the stage by Musical Director Kane Wheatley and Choreographer Ste Casimiro.

Rockdale Musical Society‘s [Facebook]  DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID  will run from September 7th, through September16th, 2018


Rockdale Musical Society’s LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is a deadly, under-fed, big green plant load of fun.  It’s got some great singing and acting and lots of well-loved songs, great thought and execution in the tech and a really lovely vibe about the audience and foyer.  This is community theatre that shines.

Before the show there are some very naughty skid row residents in the auditorium who, to the delight of the children, are throwing stuff at people and generally being loud and skid row-ish.  There’s lots of community support here as the crowd goes wild when the overture starts, right on time I might say!  The first thing one notices about Rockdale Musical Theatre’s production of LITTLE SHOW OF HORRORS is the quality of the tech.  The Star Wars inspired lyrics scroll up the screen and then we meet our guides to this story. A girl group.  Crystal , Chiffon and Ronette and beginning with their ‘Da-Doo’ they are going to be very important to our enjoyment of the macabre fun of a people-eating plant, innocently raised by Seymour. Continue reading LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS: SHOCKINGLY GOOD FUN FROM ROCKDALE MS


Wedding scene Fiddler on the Roof. Photo Geoff Sirmai


A most impressive version of this much loved musical now regarded as a classic.

While FIDDLER ON THE ROOF is now over 50 years old and its story set in a Jewish community in pre-revolutionary Russia, the issues it raises of racism, displacement and refugees are still more than relevant today. Continue reading ROCKDALE MUSICAL SOCIETY’S FIDDLER ON THE ROOF


The internationally acclaimed hit musical DREAMGIRLS is about to make it’s NSW premiere this September at the Rockdale Town Hall.

DREAMGIRLS is the story of three black singers, Deena Jones played by Sasha Saunders, Lorrell Robinson played by Jade Montalvo and Effie White played by Kaleigh Wilkie-Smith, who take their group the “Dreamettes” on a journey from rags to riches, with their song writer and brother C.C. played by Stefan Jamal, in the competitive world of show business to become “The Dreams”. Continue reading DREAMGIRLS : ROCKDALE MUSICAL SOCIETY PRESENTS THE SYDNEY PREMIERE PRODUCTION


Above: Charles McComb as Roger. Featured image: the full ensemble sing  ‘Seasons Of Love’

Giacomo Puccini, was the composer of La Boheme the opera on which the musical RENT is based. He adored the chance to present confronting plots with a range of characters, as well as scenes both joyous and tragic. He wedded music to an operatic libretto which demanded naturalistic performances dripping in genuine chemistry.

Puccini would love this visceral and evocative Rockdale Musical Society production of RENT as deftly directed by Kate Berger. The clear treatment of Jonathan Larson’s score by musical director David Lang would also titillate Puccini’s musical drama palette, which savoured purely atmospheric soundscapes over which a tapestry of exuberant and decaying energies were colourfully contrasted.

Rockdale Musical Society’s wintry 2017 RENT succeeds amongst assorted attempts by community theatre contemporaries due to the fiercely believable quality which imbues all singing, and action on the stage. Many of the main characters are superbly well cast and chemistry between the main Bohemists struggling to find love and avoid death in a poor and drug-filled neighbourhood cuts keenly. Continue reading ROCKDALE MUSICAL SOCIETY PRESENTS ‘RENT’ @ ROCKDALE TOWN HALL


RMS Reefer Madness ReeferMadness_Press-10Production photos by Chloe Snaith

It was a dark and stormy night when your intrepid theatre critic ventured into the bowels of Marrickville to find The Depot Theatre and to review this musical. We drove into a forlorn precinct in which there were a scattered miscellany of various buildings and there, suddenly a dimly lit sign “The Depot” . An uncertain push, or was it a pull of the door and we were inside and then ushered to our seat amidst a sea of bright earnest young faces.

We were now part of the young Sydney Theatre Scene.               Continue reading ROCKDALE MUSICAL SOCIETY PRESENTS REEFER MADNESS @ THE DEPOT THEATRE, MARRICKVILLE

INTO THE WOODS @ Rockdale Town Hall

Into The Woods- inset
Production photos by Andrew Croucher Photography

Rockdale Musical Society with a very well chosen cast, is revisiting this Sondheim classic, for the first time since its production in 1994.

How far would you go, to make your wish come true? INTO THE WOODS challenges our perceptions of what makes a fairy tale, by taking many of those well-remembered classic fairy tale characters (Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, The Wolf, Jack and the Beanstalk and many more) and sends them all into the woods, all at the same time. Continue reading INTO THE WOODS @ Rockdale Town Hall

High School Musical

Amber-Dawn Finch and Gus Noakes play Sharpay and Ryan Evans

At the centre of any Disney musical is a great big heart. It is an experienced soul which lovingly demands sincerity and constant joy from its cast and creative team. Pulsing out from this core are themes of goodwill, tolerance, diversity and making a champion of the underdog.

Such priorities for HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL-ON STAGE set in an American high school sit well when taken on board by community theatre. Rockdale Musical Society upholds the Disney ideals as its well-drilled cast of exciting triple-threat individuals retell this modern franchised classic. The performers singularly and as a team score dazzling points right throughout this entertainment. Continue reading High School Musical


The cast of NEXT TO NORMAL. Pic francisfotography
Another happy family? Maybe not.Pic francisfotography

The long anticipated Sydney premiere of this rock opera/musical is revealed to be one of the best shows in town at the moment .The small cast packs a terrific emotional punch. The show deals with very difficult subject matter (mental illness, dysfunctional families). Issues such as suicide, grieving the loss of a loved one , drug abuse, ethics in modern psychiatry, and the underbelly of suburban life are also examined .

NEXT TO NORMAL- book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt, opened on Broadway in 2009, running until 2011 and garnering Tony nominations and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama .Since then the show has toured in versions around the US and has also had international productions.

Continue reading NEXT TO NORMAL

HAPPY DAYS- A New Musical

Boshko Maksimovic (Fonzie) and Ryan Connell (Richie) in HAPPY DAYS- A NEW MUSICAL
Boshko Maksimovic (Fonzie) and Ryan Connell (Richie) in HAPPY DAYS- A NEW MUSICAL

The Fonz is back and is as cool as he ever was. Many years after the fabulous tv sitcom had expired- the show ran continuously from 1974 to 1984- the show’s creator, Gary Marshall, together with his mate, singer songwriter Paul Williams, came up with a musical version of the show which premiered in the States in 2007. Presently the St George Theatre Company is  presenting Marshall’s musical to Sydney audiences for the first time.

Some shows one cannot fathom as a musical. HAPPY DAYS, thankfully, is not in this category. Set in the fifties the show tied in with the emergence of rock and roll music and Williams faithfully obliges with a score of over twenty rock and roll songs. During the show we are even given  brief cameos of the King himself, played by Ste Casimiro, as well as the Rebel without a Cause Jimmy Dean, played by Kendall King.

So, how does Marshall’s musical rate? I don’t imagine that  it’s going to suddenly be taken up by a mogul theatre producer and make an appearance at the Lyric Theatre. The plot, something relating to everybody getting together to raise funds to stop Arthur’s treasured diner being demolished, is just basically the contrivance, the scaffolding, to get the show’s main characters up and running.

And the bliss, yes that’s not too strong a word, is to once again revisit that wonderful world again. The show celebrates a much simpler time, when many women had stay at home lives, bringing up their families, like the saccharine sweet Mrs Cunningham, and the men were the breadwinners, faithfully  going to work every morning, like straight-laced Mr Cunningham and his beloved Hardware store which is made fun of in a wry, light-hearted way.  And young people were not ensconced with their computers and ipads but used to hang-out at the local diner and spend time with their friends over a few malts, and maybe share a dance or two…. Happier times?!

Jan Mahoney’s production is on the money and the large cast get behind her well, delivering accomplished performances.Boshko Maksimovic as Fonz, Ryan Connell as Richie Cunningham and Ashli Marin as Fonz’s flame, Pinky, lead the cast. The big company numbers were a  highlight and made one feel like getting up and dancing. The show ended a nice touch with an empty stage and the spotlights falling on an old jukebox planted in the middle of the stage.

Try and catch HAPPY DAYS- A New Musical before it finishes. St George Theatre Company’s production of HAPPY DAYS- A New Musical- has three performances to go,- Friday July 26 at 8pm and Saturday July 27 at 2pm and 8pm at the Hurstville Entertainment Centre, 16t Macmahon Street, Hurstville.