SWEENEY TODD A WIN­NER

Spot­light The­atre’s last show of the year, which runs un­til next Satur­day, is an in­ti­mate, slick and darkly scary mu­si­cal with a great cast

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - DRESSING ROOMERS PLAY -

reat to be back from Broad­way and see­ing the en­thu­si­asm of Gold Coast au­di­ences for the shows com­ing up in 2015. It’s also good to hear Phoenix En­sem­ble has had a hit sea­son with Je­sus Christ Su­per­star which has three week­ends left – clos­ing night is Satur­day, Novem­ber 22. I was un­able to at­tend the open­ing night of Spot­light The­atre’s last show of the year, Sweeney Todd, so I sent a sub. They said that un­der the di­rec­tion of Tess Bourke, the the­atre has mounted an in­tense, well-sung and wellper­formed pro­duc­tion of the mu­si­cal. It’s in­ti­mate, slick and darkly scary. Set de­signer Michael Sut­ton hit the mark, as usual. The cast it­self gives this show true great­ness and leads Anne McMa­hon and Lionel The­unis­sen have a spe­cial stage chem­istry. Adam Sealy play­ing An­thony Hope, Jo­hanna’s love in­ter­est, was the stand­out per­for­mance. Adam’s beau­ti­ful voice and won­der­ful act­ing added depth to this show. I spent the last week in New York catch­ing up on the cur­rent sea­son’s shows – with Mon­day night be­ing black for all but about six shows, we man­aged to get in a beau­ti­fully crafted who­dunit called Per­fect Crime (which has been run­ning for 27 years) at a gor­geously re­stored smaller the­atre in the Snap­ple The­atre Cen­tre, just off-Broad­way. A four-han­der, it’s fast and well-con­structed and the the­atre it­self if in­ti­mate and beau­ti­ful. I also caught the Cyndi Lau­per/Har­vey Fier­stein cre­ation Kinky Boots – last year’s Tony Win­ner. It’s a fab­u­lous ex­am­ple of how an un­likely plot can be­come a hit show. The next night saw us at this year’s Tony Award Win­ner for Best Mu­si­cal – A Gen­tle­man’s Guide to Love & Mur­der. This turn-of-the­cen­tury story is filled with the slick­est move­ment and song I’ve seen for a long time, telling the story of an un­likely heir who dis­poses of the com­pe­ti­tion in a very funny way. In­ci­den­tally, all the the­atres over there are full, all the restau­rants are do­ing a roar­ing trade and even though Americans are all talk­ing about “hard times”, there seem to be a lot of peo­ple out en­joy­ing a bumper Broad­way sea­son. Other shows on of­fer in­clude Chicago, Cabaret, Pip­pin, Cin­derella (with the Nanny Fran Drescher play­ing the Ugly Step­mother), Les Mis­er­ables, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia, Matilda and Mow­town the Mu­si­cal. Stu­art Lums­den’s The Pa­jama Game opens on Satur­day night. The first per­for­mance will be a char­ity evening tonight for the Leukaemia Foun­da­tion. Pa­trons will also get the chance to learn more about the foun­da­tion when they at­tend this show. GCLT is help­ing to pro­mote this very worth­while or­gan­i­sa­tion in the Green Room through­out the sea­son run, which is from Novem­ber 8-De­cem­ber 6. Au­di­tions for the sec­ond show for GCLT in 2015, Dawn China’s pro­duc­tion of Abi­gail’s Party, will be held on Novem­ber 15. Phone Dawn on 0413 666 815 or email dawn.china@big­pond.com for au­di­tion scripts. Other pro­duc­tions on the hori­zon in­clude Farn­dale Av­enue … Christ­mas Carol, open­ing at Tam­borine Moun­tain’s Za­mia The­atre to­mor­row, the Ray Cooney farce It Runs in the Fam­ily which opens at Tu­gun The­atre Company next week­end along­side Bal­lina Play­ers’ High So­ci­ety and Javeen­bah’s Five Women Wear­ing the Same Dress opens Novem­ber 21. Book­ings for all shows are open now. Check in­di­vid­ual com­pa­nies’ web­sites for info. Joan Stalker-Brown, di­rec­tor of the lat­est Farn­dale play A Christ­mas Carol, has faced sev­eral chal­lenges in the leadup to the open­ing. One ac­tor pulled out of the lead­ing role early in the piece, another ac­tor with­drew for ill health and there were two deaths within the five cast mem­bers fam­i­lies. This is the sec­ond show in a row for Joan where she has had to deal with ma­jor cast changes but she is fol­low­ing the mantra “‘the show must go on”. And on it will go to­mor­row night, with a seven-per­for­mance sea­son end­ing on Novem­ber 22.

Sweeney Todd con­tin­ues its suc­cess­ful run at Spot­light The­atre.

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