Showing posts with label Musicals in Sydney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Musicals in Sydney. Show all posts

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Ruthless - Review

Ruthless the Musical is playing at the Seymour Centre until 5 July.

If you have never heard of this musical don't worry this is an Australian Premiere! This is a little surprising as it  opened off-Broadway at the Players Theatre on March 13, 1992 and closed January 24, 1993 after 342 performances. It was also nominated for several awards and Joel Paley won  a Drama Desk Award for outstanding lyrics.

The cast for this production has some of Australia's finest woman with many decades of experience - Katrina Retallick, Meredith O'Reilly and Geraldine Turner, so as you can imagine the singing was superb. Katrina played Judy Denmark, and it was a truly outstanding performance, especially in the opening scenes as the 1950's blonde bimbo Mommy! Tina Denmark played by Madison Russo again she played the perfect star brat! Understandably, she was rather nervous on the opening night as were a few of the others, but I think as the season goes on they will relax into their role some more.  I think the actual set had something to do with the flow of the play too. Obviously, during rehearsals they would have practiced on a flat stage; but the set has a revolving platform to change the scenes.  This was a good idea and did provide a stage within a stage, however, there was quite a step up which didn't help the choreography and general movement.  The costumes and the actual set furnishings were excellent good, again particularly for the 1950's scenes and the hats!

The music was very good, no large chorus songs but certainly a few tunes that the actors could sink their teeth into and show off their singing talents. The music was live and on the whole very good, I did think that the keyboard player and pianist were out of sync a few times and it was a pity that the staging didn't allow us to see them all.

The story of Ruthless is about the cut throat world of musical stardom. Tina wants to be a star and will do anything to get that leading role. Her mum, Judy is the dutiful mum but feels something is amiss in her life, other than her husband. Sylvia St Croix is a manager and wants to manage Tina, she again is a Ruthless character that will do anything to make it big. Lita Encore, is Judy's adoptive mum is a critic and she sing a really great song all about why she hates musicals! There are a couple of other woman's characters but the plot is simple. Tina kills to get the main role, Judy turns her in to the police and becomes a star herself. Tina then "reformed" comes home to find her world has changed and .....  well I don't want to spoil the end!
What I did want to know was, what happened to Judy's baby?

For more information and book your seats - Seymour Centre

Photo credit: Blueprint Studios

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Strictly Ballroom searches for a Fran - Auditions

STRICTLY BALLROOM THE MUSICAL will tango, sashay and bogo pogo its way onto the Sydney Lyric stage from 25 March 2014, thanks to the original creative team behind the classic 1992 film, director and co-writer Baz Luhrmann, set and costume designer Catherine Martin, choreographer John “Cha Cha” O’Connell and co-writer Craig Pearce.

Although auditions have been held for some time Baz Luhrmann is still looking for an actress to play the lead female role “Fran”.

General auditions will be held in Melbourne on Saturday 21 September and in Sydney on Sunday 22 September. Just show up on the day ready for action.

“Fran” is a girl in her early 20’s who blossoms from the ugly, awkward duckling of the dance studio into a beautiful and passionate dancer (and Scott’s dance partner) as they display their breathtaking, rule-breaking new dance routine in the finale of the show. A character who undergoes a real transformation, as Fran and Scott become dance partners, fall in love and stand up for what they believe in. She is truthful, can be very direct and is strong and proud.

Anyone can come and audition but certain skills are required. Auditionees should be a strong actor/singer with dance training, ballroom training is a bonus but not essential. No vocal range is specified. Auditionees should bring sheet music for a song of their choice in the right key, but ideally people auditioning should prepare the Cyndi Lauper song “Time After Time” or another 80’s ballad.

Just turn up on the day and register between 9am and 10am. Auditionees must bring a headshot and full resume of their training in singing, acting and dance and any performance work they have done. If they are called back to dance on the day they will need to wear characters shoes. They need to be prepared to wait around. Any successful auditionees will be required to attend a professional audition call – in Sydney on Monday the 23rd and in Melbourne on Thursday the 26th. Full details will be supplied to them at the end of their audition on the Saturday or Sunday.

Melbourne Saturday 21 September from 9am

Revolt Theatre, 12 Elizabeth St, Kensington 3031

Sydney Sunday 22 September from 9am

Bangarra Dance Theatre, Pier 4, 15 Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay 2000


STRICTLY BALLROOM THE MUSICAL is the inspiring story of a championship ballroom dancer who defies all the rules to follow his heart. This uplifting and courageous tale originated as a stage play that Baz Luhrmann devised with a group of students at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) back in 1984. Then, after a preview season at the Brisbane Expo in 1988, the play opened at the Wharf Studios in Sydney.

Strictly Ballroom went on to become one of the most successful Australian films of all time, earning more than $80 million at the box office. Discovered at the Cannes Film Festival, it was winner of the Prix de Jeunnesse and runner up for the Palme D’Or. When released in Australia, Strictly Ballroom swept the field at the 1992 Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards, gaining 13 nominations and winning in eight major categories. With the success of the film, its closing song, a remake of the John Paul Young song Love is in the Air, re-entered the Australian charts and became a Top 5 hit in October 1992.

In a brand new theatrical production, STRICTLY BALLROOM THE MUSICAL will bring this iconic story to life on stage. It will feature break-into-song numbers created from original classics from the film, Love is in the Air, Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps, and Time After Time as well as newly composed songs.

Bookings: or 1300 795 26

Monday, 8 July 2013

Hot Shoe Shuffle - Review

Australia's most popular, longest running show is back on the stage at the Lyric Theatre.  This year marks the Hot Shoe Shuffle's 21st birthday, for some this is a reminder of how time flies.
The production stars David Atkins who is the Director/ Producer and performer. He directed and produced the original and took it to stages all over the world. In 2003 David was recognized in the  Queen's Birthday Honours with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to the entertainment industry.  David is Australia's most awarded producer, choreographer and director. He has starred in, produced, directed, choreographed and created more than twenty musicals in Australia, Britain, the United States, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. David played Spring in the original show, today he plays the Father.
Hot Shoe Shuffle is about seven brothers who believe their father has left them a large fortune in his will. However, to receive the money they must perform their Father's show - The Hot Shoe Shuffle with their long lost sister April (Jaz Flowers). April however, can't dance and the brothers find it hard to accept her. Eventually she admits she is not really their sister, but she still has to be in the show. Of course they all pull together, only to find out that the Director is actually their Father who just wanted to bring the whole family back together. There are classic songs in the show like Puttin on the Ritz, It Don't Mean a Thing (If you aint got that swing).
This production is amazing, even if you think you don't like tap dancing you will enjoy this show. It is funny, entertaining and fast paced. The costumes particularly the dresses, will make any woman envious. The use of lights in the shoes and costumes also added to the entertainment factor. We took my friends daughter who is just six year's old and yes she sat through the show, memorised for much of the time. Particularly the second half when you can see the big band live on stage; I think she enjoyed watching them almost as must as the dancers.
All the performers were amazing, Jaz in particular was very good in her role as April. She has a great voice and stage presence. 
The new show will play at the Lyric Theatre until the beginning of August, when it will head to Melbourne.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Addams Family - Review

I had been looking forward to seeing this ever since I found out it was going to be go. There is nothing like an evening of escapism and giggles.
The Addams family are a quirky family who live on the darker side of life. Gomez, the father, played by John Waters, is very much the head of the family but very much under the thumb of his beloved wife Morticia played by Chloe Dallimore. These two are the centre of much of the musical. They were well chosen for the roles they played; which were faultless.  The story revolves around their daughter Wednesday (Teagan Wauters) who has fallen in love with Lucas Beineke (Tim Maddren) Usually Wednesday never smiles but love has changed her.  Gomez is torn between his wife and daughter as he tries to keep it secret that Wednesday wants to marry Lucas. Wednesday is terrified that something will go wrong when the two families meet. Of course some chaos does ensue but all works out in the end.
The singing and dancing in this musical are great. I particularly enjoyed the larger choreographed routines with some of the former Addams family members.  The set design was very good, just as you would imagine a stage set for the Addams family. The use of the red curtains was very good and helped keep the flow of the show. Many of the producers and creatives had worked together before, notably on the Jersey Boys, which must have helped when putting this show together.
It was a great show and if you want to catch it, it is playing at the Capitol Theatre at until mid May, tickets are through Ticketmaster.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Dusty - Review

Dusty The Original Pop Diva was brought to the stage by the Chatswood Musical Society.  The story of Dusty's life and her music filled the theatre to the delight of the audience who whooped, whistled, clapped, laughed and cried. Yes, brought to tears even though I was told I wouldn't need a tissue, I did and so did many, men included!
Linda Hale who plays, adult Dusty is so chromatic, even though she doesn't look like Dusty she really got into the character and the songs, which I think is why at the end so many people were reduced to tears at the end. Gabriella Glen who play Dusty (Mary) as a child was also extremely good and had a wonderful voice. Reno played by Miriam Ramsay, Dusty girlfriend was also very good, again fantastic voice. They all did, Peg played by Katherine Wall and Rodney played by Raymond Cullen who looked after Dusty, particularly when she was touring and at the end of her life. Mary's Parents were also very good, great costumes and accents. Kay O'Brien was played by Bernadette Baran and Mr O'Brien by Derek Ebbs.
The music was very good, there were a few first night nerves in the orchestra but on the whole they did a very good job.  The staging was kept fairly simple with revolving screens and furniture either added or taken away. As time goes on this will become slicker too. The costumes on the whole were very good, the only thing to really note was that Dusty's first wig looked like it had stage fright! As it is worn at the opening of the show this does spoil it a little. Unfortunately, it does return but by that time you are so into the show it is a little less off putting.
There are some great moment in the show which will have you laughing, along with a few shocking costumes! There is a lot of talent in the Chatswood Musical Society, they have had a great 2012, I can't wait for next year, when they are going to bring us Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in May and then Fame the Musical in October.
Dusty is only on for a limited period until 10 November click here for more information.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Legally Blonde - Review

If you have never been to America then you do tend to believe that all girls are like Elle Woods, live a fairytale life, wear a lot of pink and say 'like' way too much and that love triumphs in the end. Legally Blonde the Musical is very close to the film. All the characters are there, all the humour and the girlie drama. If you like the film then you will like the musical.
The musical is fairly simply constructed though there are quite a number of scene changes, it must have been good however, as I can't say I really noticed! The wow moments came from the performances, the choreography and the dogs. Yes, Elle's dog Bruiser makes several appearances as does Paulette's dog Rufus. The audience delighted with each appearance.
The singing, music and choreography was all that you expect from a musical that has won awards (Winner Best New Musical 2011 Olivier Awards). There is one part in particular when the actors are skipping and dancing, which is remarkable. I know if I had to do it I would have had to have practiced for several years!

The only slight negative was Elle herself played by Lucy Durack. Throughout the performance I thought her voice was just a little too harsh and the whole part was slightly forced. This was the preview, so as time goes one she might relax more. There was certainly nothing wrong with her singing, all the actors had great voices. Helen Dallimore who played Paulette and Mike Snell who played Kyle the delivery man were fantastic. Particularly the way Mike played Kyle, he had the audience in stitches.
All in all it is a fun musical which makes for a great night of entertainment.

To find out more about when it is on click here

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

A Chorus Line - Review

A Chorus Line may have won 9 Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize but this production was sadly lacking.  Some have said that A Chorus Line is dated, I would have to disagree many of the topics that it covers are just as relevant today and some more so.
A Chorus Line is not an easy musical to put on. No, it is not technically difficult, no, it doesn't have big set changes, location challenges and costumes to organise. Quite the opposite which is the challenge, if the music, singing, acting and dancing are not all 100% you can't fall back on props and scenery to help keep the audience captivated.
The Chorus Line is just that, it is an audition of a Chorus Line for a musical. You hear the stories from the individual dancers, about their lives, their dreams and how they have got where they are. Some of the stories are full of hope, some full of pain, some contain prejudice and others concerned about their appearance; are they too old, too ugly?  The stories which are either sung or narrative are interspersed with dance numbers.
There is no interval in A Chorus Line and for this production that was an issue. The show lacked energy in places and some of the choreography was repetitive and uninspiring.   It was a shame because it started very well and the audience were really pumped.  But once the first cull of dancers was over and we started on the individual stories it started to loose momentum.  Many found it very hard to sit through the two hours fifteen minutes and some people even left just before the end.  There were many comical moments which balanced well with some of the darker stories that were told.
I hope this was just opening night nerves and that during the season it will become a little tighter and have more momentum. It was all the qualities to make a good production and the orchestra were excellent.

A Chorus Line is playing at the Capitol Theatre, Sydney until 11 August

If you have seen it please leave a comment about what you thought.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Interviews with the Kids from Broadway and Jon Williams from Celebrity Theatresports

Kids on Broadway is presented by the Chatswood Musical Society and will play from 7 - 15 July. Hear from the President of the Society plus the choreographer and one for the performers from the show.
Click here to listen for more information on the show visit

We called Jon Williams one of the performers in the Celebrity Theatresports challenge on 21 July at the Enmore Theatre. It is a charity night for CanTeen.
Hear about what could and might not happen on the night, who knows with impro!

Both interviews took place on The Hubbub show on Triple H 100.1fm, with Philippa Bird.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

An Officer and A Gentleman - Review

An Officer and a Gentleman is playing a the Lyric Theatre.  It is based on the movie but has been adapted by the original screenwriter Douglas Day Stewart with Sharleen Cooper Cohen for the stage.  The story revolves around Zack Mayo played by Ben Mingay. Zack has been brought up by his drunken Naval father and two prostitutes in Manila. Not the best start in life but he is inspired from a young age to become an officer in the Navy and fly.
Zack is ambitious and driven, deep down he is a good guy but has trouble shrugging off his up bringing. When he least expects it, he falls in love with Paula Pokrifki (Amanda Harrison). Paula is a factory worker and like the other girls is searching for a way out. Her best friend Lynette Pomeroy (Kate Kendall) leads her to Zack and she too hooks up with Zack's best friend Sid Worley (Alex Rathgeber). She makes him fall in love with her with terrible consequences.  While all the romance is taking place Zack and several others are doing their 12 week Naval training. Who will last until the end? They all arrive as a mix of odd bods but are quickly whipped into shape by Sgt. Emil Foley (Bert Labonte). 
I thought that all the acting, singing and dancing were great. The main characters really stood out as did Bert Labonte particularly his songs. Ben Mingay is quite a heart throb and I am sure there will be plenty of woman who wished they could have been Amanda Harrison!
The music and lyrics by Ken Hirsch and Robin Lerner were good, the song An Officer and Gentleman was catchy, it was a shame is wasn't sung at the end by all the cast as a curtain call.  The Sgt. Emil Foley's song also stood out.  There could have been a little more variety in styles, maybe.
My biggest criticism would have to be the set. For a large musical the wow factor was missing. It was a shame too that I had just seen Miss Saigon the week before, the set for that was far superior. The set was a series of metal stairs and gangways that were constantly moving, or so it seemed. I am surprised that the actors knew where it was going and didn't bump into it more often.  This then made it a good production rather than an excellent one.
Overall though I did enjoy it and I think most people will whether you have or have not seen the film.

Find out more and book click here

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Miss Saigon Review

A truly fantastic production! Miss Saigon is currently playing at The Concourse in Chatswood by the Chatswood Musical Society. This was the first time I have seen Miss Saigon so I can safely say this is the best production of Miss Saigon I have ever seen and it will take some beating.

Miss Saigon is set in Vietnam just before the American forces withdrew.  Veronica Alonzo who plays Kim is the picture of innocence and she arrives in Saigon for work at the tender age of 19. Jeremy Curtin who plays Chris is a young officer, disillusioned with the war and wants something real; they fall in love.  Kim hangs onto her dream of living with Chris in America, as she is sadly left behind.  Chris however has moved on and when Kim finds out it is too much, it could almost be a Shakespearean tragedy!

The staging in this production was unbelievable particularly in the second half, I was completely blown away a couple of times. I am not going to tell you more about that as I don't want to spoil it for you. I could go on and on about the staging and lighting. The attention to detail even down to the red lanterns, it was probably the best I have seen in a very long time, certainly the best amateur production. The three main characters Kim, Chris and Engineer (Mike Curtin) were well cast, strong singers and carried the production very well. Mike in particular seemed very at home in his role. Daley Chaston who plays John also had a superb voice and his performance stood out. The orchestra did an amazing job particularly as it wasn't that large. There were only a few string players and this shortfall, at times, was noticeable. The sound quality was good, however I did think there could have been more contrast between the songs. I felt they were all belted out at full volume rather than a few quieter more tender numbers.  The only other slight negative comment I have was some of the set dance routines, I felt sorry for one girl, she looked so uncomfortable, it didn't last long which was good. I personally found it very entertaining but probably not in the way it was intended! But really these negative points were only minor and certainly didn't detract from the superb performance overall and certainly shouldn't deter you from going.

This should be playing to a full house every night, Anne Veitch the Director and all those that had a hand in the stage design and lighting should be extremely proud. Lastly, I shouldn't forget the costumes which also stood out. Well done Chatwood Musical Society!

Click here to get your tickets now, the last show is Saturday 12 May.

(Picture by Alan Roy. Kim and Engineer)

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The Sound of Music Interview

The Hornsby Musical Society present The Sound of Music at the Hornsby RSL opening on 13 April. Triple H interviewed three cast members all from the Clift family.

Listen to what they had to say about the production and their roles in it.

(please note the link will become inactive in about 3 months time, call 02 99403649 if you would like to listen)

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Every Single Saturday

Every Single Saturday has been playing at the Glen Street Theatre. It is a musical comedy written and composed by Joanna Weinberg.

It is a great idea, four parents on the sidelines during a football season. The parents are from different backgrounds with different issues. It starts at the beginning of the session with three of the four looking forward to what will happen. As the season progresses you learn more about each parent. Maria de Marco plays a fitness freak with a problem with food and is half starving her daughter who plays in goal. Christopher Horsley is the coach, a former footballer himself he lives through his son, trouble is his son hates football and just wants to dance. Scott Irwin enters the stage a little later, he has just moved back to Australia to look after his son. He knows nothing about him, having had nothing to do with him up until now. He is a conductor and has a few issues to overcome in adapting to become a father. His son, of course, is an excellent player and helps turn the Magpies round. Katrina Retallick plays a single Mum trying to do the right thing by everyone but has a hard time being excepted and who's son spending every game running the wrong way up the field! The underlining moral to the musical being that parents have to let their children be what they want to be, rather than making them live the dream that they wanted. The music on the whole is fairly good with some catchy songs. The set was effective, though I did think it was a shame that you couldn't really see the musicians behind the netting.
My general view of this production however, was that I felt I was watching a production for children. The talking Magpie was amusing but childish. Katrina Retallick looked for much of the time as if she was on playschool with over exaggerated facial expressions, it just seemed very false (sorry)! The other issue I had was the opening was very weak, the song, only sung by three actors just didn't pack the punch that the opening of a musical should. There was no chorus and I think that would have helped lift some of the songs.
I did enjoy the way the musical progressed as the characters enfolded and it did keep you entertained.
It will be playing at Parramatta and the Laycock Theatre during March.