Tag Archives: Stephen Anderson

Man Of La Mancha @ The Reginald

Stephen Anderson, Glenn Hill and Courtney Glass in MAN OF LA MANCHA
Inset Pic- Stephen Anderson, Glenn Hill and Courtney Glass. Featured Pic- Marika Aubrey, Ross Chisari and Tony Sheldon in MAN OF LA MANCHA

When MAN OF LA MANCHA opened on Broadway 50 years ago, it was in an era where Martin Luther King was espousing I Had A Dream and the Kennedy’s were quoting George Bernard Shaw You see things and you say “Why?” I dream things that never were, and I say “Why not.”

No wonder then the linchpin lyric of this endearing and enduring show is The Impossible Dream, the musical mantra of Don Quixote, the knight errant tiller of windmills, who sees life as it should be, noble and elevated, not as it is, vulgar and base.

Independent music theatre company, Squabbalogic’s fiftieth anniversary staging of MAN OF LA MANCHA has an impossible dream realised – the securing of Tony Sheldon, lauded local Broadway star now domiciled in the United States, to play the poet paladin. Continue reading Man Of La Mancha @ The Reginald

FALSETTOS

Tamblyn Henderson, Ben Hall, Elise McCann, Margi de Ferranti. Pic Helen White
The scourge of AIDS is poignantly featured in this Broadway masterpiece.
Tamblyn Henderson, Ben Hall, Elise McCann, Margi de Ferranti. Pic Helen White

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.

A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD

James Moody as Toad with Stephen Anderson as Frog and Jonathon Freeman, Crystal Hegedis and Lizzie Mitchell as the Birds
James Moody as Toad with Stephen Anderson as Frog and Jonathon Freeman, Crystal Hegedis and Lizzie Mitchell as the Birds. Pic Natalie Boog

If you want an exciting experience for your children during the school holidays, take them to see A YEAR WITH FROG & TOAD at the Ensemble Theatre.  The young audience yesterday were mesmerised throughout the show’s 60 minute duration.

The play had its first run in 2008 at the Ensemble, winning the GLUGS Award for Best Children’s Production.  Director Anna Crawford has brought back her enigmatic and delightful show for a return season.

The cast are all very competent actors, singers and dancers.

The timid and cautious Toad (played by Jay James-Moody) is reluctant to come out of winter hibernation and is goaded by the swashbuckling and adventurous Frog (played by Stephen Anderson) to greet the spring.  They are visited by an amusing and colourful array of forest creatures,– (played with great flair by Jonathon Freeman, Crystal Hegedis and Lizzie Mitchell) – the elegant birds, the meddling moles, a mouse, a turtle and the hilarious snail with mail – played appropriately with a slow southern USA drawl by Jonathon Freeman.

The play originated on Broadway, followed by its world premiere in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  It has had 3 Tony Award nominations in the USA, including Best Musical and Best Original Score.

Crawford has put together a great crew. A fabulous set by Anna Gardiner, razor sharp choreography by Shondelle Pratt, atmospheric and beautiful lighting by Matthew Marshall, fine costumes by Margaret Gill and sound design by Daryl Wallis.

The dialogue and song lyrics are simple, clever and easy for children to digest.  It is a show well worth seeing.

A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD plays at the Ensemble Theatre from Sunday September 29th to Sunday October 13th.