SMASH HIT GOES SO WELL

Any­thing Goes at QPAC is worth the hop up the high­way. The show is wow­ing au­di­ences, but it’s not the only treat for theatre buffs

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

The big open­ing since the last col­umn was Cole Porter’s smash hit, Any­thing Goes, play­ing for a lim­ited sea­son at QPAC. Two of its stars, and the di­rec­tor, won Help­mann Awards the night be­fore the open­ing, but a late night in Syd­ney did noth­ing to dampen the energy this cast put out. The show is a co­pro­duc­tion be­tween Opera Aus­tralia and The Gor­don Frost Or­gan­i­sa­tion, and the qual­ity of tal­ent in the cast showed what a ter­rific fit the part­ner­ship is. Fine mu­sic, great voices, sen­sa­tional danc­ing, won­der­ful cos­tumes, su­perla­tive set and great act­ing from some of Aus­tralian showbiz lu­mi­nar­ies made for an out­stand­ing evening’s en­ter­tain­ment. The show should be re­quired view­ing for ev­ery mu­sic theatre stu­dent and as­pir­ing per­former. This is how it’s done folks! This pro­duc­tion is fresh, funny, full of sur­prises and romps along like a well-oiled ma­chine. Caro­line O’Con­nor is at her best, yukking with the vaude­ville schtick of Wayne Scott Kermond (and show­ing why she’s the toast of Broad­way and the West End as well as one of Aus­tralia’s finest tal­ents), Todd McKen­ney shows yet another side of him­self as the Trump-haired, bumbling Lord Eve­lyn, and the young peo­ple play­ing Hope Har­court and Billy Crocker are world class. Javeen­bah Theatre Com­pany an­nounced its 2016 Play­bill last Satur­day night – get­ting a hefty jump on many of the other groups around the Coast. Artis­tic di­rec­tor Dawn China has an­nounced the fol­low­ing shows for this in­no­va­tive and go-ahead group, based in their own cosy theatre in Nerang. First play off the block in Jan­uary is Writ­ers’ Block writ­ten and di­rected by Kel­lie Ea­tock, fol­lowed in April by Mine­fields and Miniskirts di­rected by Gaye Gay. May brings Com­mu­ni­cat­ing Doors di­rected by An­nie Lo­tocki, and July brings Af­ter Jan­uary di­rected by Amy-Louise An­der­son. The one mu­si­cal of the year is di­rected by Trevor Love – Songs for a New World, with the fi­nal play writ­ten by Peter Maden and di­rected by He­len Maden, The Smell of Money. Au­di­tions and all other in­for­ma­tion are avail­able on Javeen­bah’s new web­site. GCLT’s Legally Blonde opened last Fri­day night to a packed house. Although this is one of those of­ten de­scribed as a “bub­blegum mu­si­cal” (in the style of High School Mu­si­cal and Grease), the show was to­tally ready to open, with an ex­pe­ri­enced cast and loads of energy. Lead­ing lady Heidi Enchel­maier sol­diered on de­spite a mike melt­down at the end of the first half (fixed dur­ing in­ter­val), and lead­ing men Jamie Watt and Josh Lovell were well cast in the Em­mett and Warner roles. Jess Papst as Paulette and Brock Dun­stan played the sec­ond leads con­fi­dently, with a strong ensem­ble back­ing them. It’s a well-di­rected show and rec­om­mended whole­heart­edly. Book on 5539 4255. It’s run­ning at Spotlight’s Main Theatre un­til Au­gust 22. The Gold Coast City Jazz Club will present the Les Wil­son Swing Force Big Band at South­port Bowls Club on Au­gust 17, doors open 6pm. Book on 5531 2626 or get more in­for­ma­tion at gc­c­i­ty­jaz­zclub.com. Now head­ing into its 4th year, the Bris­bane Fringe Fes­ti­val was launched on July 30. This year’s fes­ti­val will fea­ture mu­sic, com­edy, theatre, writ­ing, po­etry, cir­cus, cabaret, vis­ual art, and cre­ative work­shops all over Bris­bane. GCLT is de­lighted with the pos­i­tive re­sponse in open­ing week of Pri­vate Lives. Satur­day night saw un­der­study Sharde Anne take on the role of Sy­bil, in the ab­sence of Jes­sica Stans­field, with much praise for her per­for­mance. Sharde will ap­pear once more on fi­nal night on Au­gust 15. Au­di­tions for He­len Maden’s So­cial Climbers are get­ting closer on Au­gust 30, 10.30am at Molly’s. Teas­ingly re­ferred to as “Cal­en­dar Girls goes bush” there is no con­fir­ma­tion of nu­dity, but def­i­nitely a lot of laughs and tears, are guar­an­teed. Ac­tors want­ing more in­for­ma­tion about the six roles on of­fer should check out the GCLT web­site or con­tact He­len Maden at maden4@dodo.com.au In re­hearsal on the Coast, and hop­ing to at­tract all the peo­ple at Pri­vate Lives! are Top Hat Pro­duc­tions’ Cock­tails with Noel & Ger­tie, open­ing at Spotlight’s Base­ment on Septem­ber 17, Javeen­bah’s For­bid­den Broad­way and Supa North (Bal­lina) Love Off the Shelf (open­ing this Fri­day night) and GCLT’s Dim­boola. Great to see lo­cal lead­ing lady Va­lerie Cooney’s daugh­ter Kel­lie in town this week – fresh from tri­umphs in Las Ve­gas. Kel­lie re­cently worked as a back­ing singer for Bar­bra Streisand, and is in con­stant de­mand in Las Ve­gas mu­si­cals. See you in a crowded foyer real soon.

Pic­ture: MARK CRANITCH

Sam Dode­maide in

Any­thing Goes

at QPAC, Bris­bane.

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