MIXING MYTH AND MUSCLE
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.