A stunning feast for the senses, LE NOIR – THE DARK SIDE OF CIRQUE is a distinctive and dynamic theatrical experience. It comes to Australia following a world tour and is performed on a custom-built stage, allowing a spectacular 360-degree view of the performance. It could be called Cirque du Soleil “after dark”, an intimate adult encounter with the magical world of Cirque.
The circus features 20 talented performers, including world-class acrobats, specialty acts and comedians captivating the audience as on a spellbinding journey of three acts – white, red and black. This production is seductive and at times risqué as it explores emotions through colours as the cast shift from delicate and pure white, through to the passion of red and finally closing with the darkness of LE NOIR.
Producers Howard Panter and John Frost just announced the full cast for the 2015 season of Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show, which will be playing at the Sydney Lyric Theatre from 11 April 2015 and then moves to Melbourne from 12 June 2015.
In the coveted role of Frank N Furter will be television and theatre star Craig McLachlan, who won the 2014 Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Musical for this performance. Beloved theatre and television performer Bert Newton will play the Narrator, and reprising their roles from the 2014 Australian tour of The Rocky Horror Show will be Kristian Lavercombe as Riff Raff, Nicholas Christo as Eddie and Dr Scott, and Brendan Irving as Rocky.
It always works! Combine catchy songs, teenage love, lyrics that everyone in the audience knows and an infectious beat – and you have a sensational evening! In Australia we have had Johnny “O’Keefe – the Musical, Buddy Holly – the Musical and Peter Allen – the Boy from Oz, to mention a few, which successfully invoked this formula. You could go a hundred times and still want more!
GREASE is no different. From the moment disc jockey Vince Fontaine (aka Bert Newton) sets the 1950’s scene as the DJ, until the end when Sandy (Gretel Scarlett) turns into “The One that Danny Wants” the audience and the cast have a fun time. A few hours without the Global Financial Crisis or the collapse of the USA Debt Ceiling is a great tonic for the mind. Surprisingly perhaps, most of the audience were from 9 to 35 with only a sprinkling of Baby Boomers who first saw Harry Miller’s production in the 70’s.
The temptation to compare the stage production with the Travolta/Olivia movie will always be there, but this cast put their own stamp on it. We sat next to one of Australia’s emerging young musical stars, and he was constantly leaping to his feet, applauding the dancing of Rob Mills as Danny and marvelling at the incredible range of Gretel Scarlett’s voice.
There were plenty of audience participation segments, led by Principal Lynch (Val Lehman), which were enormous fun! She had the “boys” and “girls” in the audience singing along to “Summer Nights”, as she pointed to the lyrics on a whiteboard. There were big voices and shrieks of laughter all around!
The highlights of the evening were Todd McKinney as the Teen Angel singing “Beauty School Dropout” and the boys dancing in the shower room to ‘Those Magic Changes’. Rizzo (Lucy Maunder) singing “There Are Worse things I Could Do” was powerful and moving.
This does not rate as a show that you should see if you’ve nothing better to do. You must find time to see it, particularly if you are feeling a bit miserable about the outside world.
GREASE is playing the Lyric Theatre at the Star where it will run till the end of the year after which the show then moves to Melbourne.
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