THE DROWSY CHAPERONE is a stunning modern parody of 1920s American Musical Comedies, vividly presenting the fictional 1928 Broadway Hit musical THE DROWSY CHAPERONE.
A constant Narrator (Man in Chair) played superbly and authentically and with gusto by David Verdejois, is the ultimate Broadway Nostalgia Fan, who acknowledges and talks to the audience, taking the entire audience through the delicious delights of his favourite musical. Stopping and then re-starting the musical, to provide the audience with his clever behind-the-scenes insightful commentary on the music, the play, the actors, the characters, and the tap-dancing. Plus an unexpected bedroom arrives, and an unusual entrance double-doorway opens onto the stage. Continue reading The Drowsy Chaperone @ The Zenith Theatre in Chatswood→
For those of us lucky enough to attend, this was an absolutely glorious concert as part of the Willoughby Symphony Chamber series at the Zenith Theatre as directed by Daniel Dean .
First was a shimmering, exquisite rendition of Maurice Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro for Harp Septet . (1907) After a delicate start by flute and clarinet, it was lush and limpid then darting , bubbling and scurrying. Soloist Will Nichols on the harp was superb passionate , authoritative yet fragile and delicate in his instrumental solos and the featured cadenza ,all leading to a scampering conclusion.
The we heard Carl Vine’s Inner World : Cello and Tape , with Liam Meany on solo cello. Vine apparently hand edited the sound score of the tape, which at times includes cascading piano, at one point has an insistent almost Flamenco like rhythm and at another time is very poignant. For one section towards the end it is as if the music is sort of revolving in circles .Meany’s live , passionate playing in an extraordinary bravura performance is at times dominant , sometimes fast and furious, at others delicate or sometimes sharp and spiky . As Vine has written : ‘The performer is not only live, but also crystallised, dissected and re-arranged’ in a striking performance’. Continue reading WILLOUGHBY SYMPHONY CHAMBER SERIES : SHATTERED RESTRAINTS→
The second of the new chamber series of concerts by Willoughby Symphony at the Zenith Theatre at Chatswood was most exciting with some sensational performances and excellent ensemble work. The various short works were mostly presented in chronological order of composition .The program was introduced and led by Madeleine Retter of the WSO. Continue reading WILLOUGHBY SYMPHONY CHAMBER SERIES – TALL TALES→
Under the inspired direction of Kenney Ogilvie, the current production by Mosman Musical Society is the darkly satirical URINETOWN.
The Zenith Theatre has been transformed into a darkly menacing city, where a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets in a world wracked by ecological disaster. The citizens are required to use public amenities, all managed by a single malevolent company, the Urine Good Company (UGC) that avariciously profits, led by Caldwell Cladwell, by charging admission for one of humanity’s most basic needs. It is supported by a corrupt government and police force. Continue reading MOSMAN MUSICAL SOCIETY PRESENTS ‘URINETOWN’ @ ZENITH THEATRE, CHATSWOOD→
Gwendolyn Fairfax:- “I always take my diary with me when I go on trains. I need something sensational to read”.
OUTATOWNTHEATRE presents its first production at Chatswood. THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST is the three act version of Oscar Wilde’s 1895 masterful comedy of British Society and its manners, and is set in 1895 with excellent attention to detail on every costume. Oscar Wilde’s rapid fire entertainment is expertly directed by Allan Walpole.
“The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy for Serious People”, was first performed on Thursday 14th February 1895, at the St. James’s Theatre in London. The comedy plot concerns Mistaken Identity, Love Triangles, Etiquette, and a somewhat large black leather hand-bag (however this version has a carpet-baggers hand-bag).
This production is theatrically and impossibly brilliant and clever too, unlike the recent Disney movie version …
Once upon a time, there lay a small village at the edge of the woods, in a far off fairy tale kingdom. Full ensemble cast, a more traditional version of the twisted fairy tale that is INTO THE WOODS as created by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim, with this inspired vision by director Leonie Cambridge, assisted by Peter Meredith. No expense has been spared, and each character is fully costumed and instantly recognisable. Musical direction by Anthony Cutrupi, and carefully orchestrated choreography by Melissa Trickey. Continue reading INTO THE WOODS @ The Zenith→
For their final production of the year, the Epicentre Theatre Company has taken on one of the classic courtroom dramas, Reginald Rose’s 1955 masterpiece, TWELVE ANGRY MEN.
The play opens with the twelve jury members congregating in the jury room shortly after having heard the closing arguments in what, at first blush, appears to be a clear-cut homicide case. If the the defendant is found guilty, the sentence is the electric chair.
As is the case with the American legal system, twelve jurors need to unanimously decide on a verdict of either guilty or not guilty. If a decisive verdict is not reached then the jury is declared a hung jury. The prosecution then have the right to seek a retrial.
The current show on offer from the Chatswood Musical Society is a freshened up and slick sail through Gilbert and Sullivan’s THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE. The new production concept and musical adaptation comes to Sydney from Broadway, after a performance by the New York Shakespeare Festival. A confident and disciplined delivery of this new version ensures the 1879 show remains popular, whether audience members are familiar with the original style of operetta or not.
Though the Zenith Theatre space is not as huge as this production could fill, Neil Shotter’s great set, Anne Veitch’s direction and James Wallis’ successful lighting allow all the depth and width of the stage to be used by animated characters throughout. The basic ship set with decking and raised dais morphs speedily to suggest exterior and interior scenes when needed.