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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Sam Dodemaide in
at QPAC, Brisbane.