The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - KATE PETERS

Di­rec­tor Mor­gan Gar­rity has an­nounced her cast for Phoenix En­sem­ble’s forth­com­ing pro­duc­tion of Je­sus Christ Su­per­star at the Pavil­ion Theatre, Been­leigh. Tak­ing the role of Je­sus is an­gel-voiced Adam Bartlett, Frog John­son will play Ju­das, Ash­ley Jar­man will be Mary, Michael Skelton is Pi­late and Doug Rum­ble plays Ciaphis. It also stars Carly Quinn, Tyiana Worm­leaton, Kate Davis, Darcy Mor­ris, Katya Taibi, Aliyah Booth, Ni­cola Craw­ford, Peter Keavy and Maranne McQuade. This is a fab­u­lous cast mixed with sea­soned per­form­ers and new­com­ers to the stage. This mix of wis­dom, youth and wide range of talent will give this pro­duc­tion the vi­tal­ity and sombre grandiose it so de­serves. Re­hearsals started last weekend. Now the hard work be­gins as they strive to­wards an­other out­stand­ing pro­duc­tion for Phoenix En­sem­ble. Lo­cal choir The Blenders will be trav­el­ling to Welling­ton, New Zealand to com­pete in the Pan Pa­cific Bar­ber­shop con­ven­tion in a few weeks and have been work­ing ex­tremely hard on their con­test set. They will be show­cas­ing their achieve­ments at the Friends & Fam­ily Con­cert on Au­gust 4. The sup­port and en­cour­age­ment of the Gold Coast means a lot to them and will surely send them off to com­pe­ti­tion with hearty spir­its.

In re­hearsal on the Coast this week are Romeo & Juliet (GCLT), Morn­ing Sac­ri­fice (Javeen­bah), Down­town (Spot­light), Hay­wire (Tu­gun), Lit­tle Shop of Hor­rors (Phoenix, Been­leigh) and Cash on De­liv­ery (Bal­lina). Top Hat Pro­duc­tions’ Let’s Mis­be­have – A 1920s Jazz Age Party! is about to be­gin re­hearsals. It fea­tures a cast of top per­form­ers in­clud­ing Jack Web­ster, Kirri Adams, Sheila Bradley, Brad Rush, Ka­t­rina Lard­ner, Martin Jen­nings and Andrew Ross-Gra­hame, with yours truly mak­ing a cameo ap­pear­ance. Mu­sic theatre en­thu­si­ast Tim Car­roll is cur­rently in New York and Lon­don check­ing out the best of the cur­rent crop of shows. He sends the fol­low­ing re­views in case any­one else is head­ing over: Rocky the

Mu­si­cal! is the brand new mu­si­cal pro­duced by Sylvester Stal­lone and Car­roll says it’s a knockout. He says the set is mind blow­ing, with a witty script and mem­o­rable songs. “It’s worth the ticket price just to wit­ness the last 15-minute fight scene.” An all-star cast, in­clud­ing Michelle Wil­liams and Alan Cum­ming, lead the way for en­thralling pro­duc­tion Cabaret. A mu­si­cal about the jour­neys you take to dis­cover who you are, Car­roll says Vi­o­let is a work of great res­o­nance, beauty and joy. Led by two time Tony Award Win­ner Sut­ton Fos­ter, Vi­o­let fea­tures a score of show-stop­ping an­thems rang­ing from Amer­i­can-roots to folk to gospel. An­other “Ge­nie-us” pro­duc­tion that Car­roll caught was Aladdin, which he says gives off a rush of joy that is sim­ply daz­zling. Filled with ex­trav­a­gant cos­tumes and sets, Car­roll says the beloved score of the movie has been re­vamped to cre­ate a truly en­thralling mu­si­cal ex­pe­ri­ence.

Car­roll says Char­lie and the Choco­late Fac­tory is filled with love, laugh­ter and lots of life. He says this mu­si­cal is “one crazy ride from start to fin­ish that you never want to end”. A mu­si­cal by Claude-Michel,

Miss Saigon is back and Car­roll says it’s bet­ter than ever. “People sit­ting next to me both agreed that the pro­duc­tion was bet­ter back in 1989 how­ever I feel that the slight changes that have been made to the script and score al­low more free­dom for the ac­tors, and more chance to share the heart­break­ing story in­spired by Puc­cini’s Madame But­ter­fly,” he says. The time­less show was a knockout in Car­roll’s eyes – “the au­di­ence rose to their feet for a well-de­served stand­ing ova­tion”. For an en­joy­able night out at the theatre, Car­roll says Dirty

Rot­ten Scoundrels is a win­ner. While the leading man “is noth­ing com­pared to Tony Shel­don”, Car­roll says this pro­duc­tion is a lot slicker and fun­nier than pre­vi­ous ver­sions. “The show is cheeky, clever, and laugh out loud funny,” says Car­roll. Now in it’s 25th year, Car­roll says The Woman in Black is a grip­ping the­atri­cal ex­plo­ration of ter­ror. “This show has ev­ery­thing you need and more” he says. The Woman in

Black com­bines drama, sus­pense and bold stage­craft to cre­ate a bril­liantly ef­fec­tive spinechiller. An­other show that caught Car­roll’s at­ten­tion was Once, which he said “has re­de­fined mu­si­cal theatre for a new age”.

Lo­cal choir The Blenders can be seen at their Friends & Fam­ily Con­cert on Au­gust 4.

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