Stage

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Out & About - David Strat­ton SR DS Chris Boyd

(PG) Meryl Streep gives a bravura per­for­mance as the New York so­cialite who, in 1944, per­formed to a sell­out crowd at Carnegie Hall de­spite the fact her singing voice was, as one critic put it, “the worst in the world”. As her sup­port­ive but faith­less hus­band, Hugh Grant turns on the charm to con­sid­er­able ef­fect, and direc­tor Stephen Frears tells the story with his cus­tom­ary skill. It’s a pity that a fic­tion­alised French ver­sion of the same story, Mar­guerite, was re­leased just a few weeks ago.

Mother’s Day (M) Whether you want to take your mother to see this film is some­thing only you can know, or guess at. It fea­tures what is sup­posed to be com­i­cally con­trived racism and sex­ism but it just isn’t funny and feels un­com­fort­able. Having said that, this third an­niver­sary day in­stal­ment di­rected by vet­eran film­maker Garry Mar­shall (fol­low­ing Valen­tine’s Day in 2010 and New Year’s Eve in 2011) is not with­out hu­mour and in some re­spects it’s one of the strangest Amer­i­can fam­ily come­dies I’ve seen in a while. It has an im­pres­sive en­sem­ble cast led by Jen­nifer Anis­ton, Ju­lia Roberts and Ja­son Sudeikis and toys with the chal­lenges of be­ing a par­ent — and an adult child.

Whiskey Tango Fox­trot (tbc) Tina Fey plays a tele­vi­sion jour­nal­ist as­signed to cover the war in Afghanistan in 2003 and the film — based on a mem­oir by a real-life print jour­nal­ist — vividly de­picts life in Kabul dur­ing this pe­riod, though it was filmed in New Mex­ico. But Whiskey Tango Fox­trot, di­rected by Glenn Fi­carra and John Re­qua, suf­fers from its un­cer­tain tone. The at­tempt to com­bine bru­tal re­al­ism and grim hu­mour never re­ally suc­ceeds, and the cast­ing of white ac­tors as Afghan char­ac­ters is also a prob­lem.

Ge­orgy Girl: The Seek­ers Mu­si­cal Ju­dith Durham’s clar­ion voice isn’t a once-in-a-gen­er­a­tion thing; it’s unique. Her weight­less so­prano, spinto strong, can’t be mim­icked. And this is a chink that is ex­ploited by the cre­ators of Ge­orgy Girl: The Seek­ers Mu­si­cal. If the voice can’t be matched tech­ni­cally, it can be ri­valled in other ways. In a sec­ond-act mon­tage, Pippa Gran­di­son (pic­tured cen­tre) as Durham gives an emo­tional heft to An­other You that the orig­i­nal sim­ply doesn’t have. Though tongue-in-cheek and of­ten ram­pantly daggy, Ge­orgy Girl is a very clever and care­fully blueprinted piece. From song se­lec­tion and ar­range­ments to sound engi­neer­ing, lit­tle is left to chance. Ge­orgy Girl is a re­minder of just how broad the Seek­ers’ ap­peal was. It’s as es­capist and adorable as the band. State Theatre, 49 Mar­ket Street, Syd­ney. To­day, 2pm and 8pm. Tick­ets: $65-$140. Book­ings: 136 100 or on­line. Un­til June 1. Me­ta­mor­phoses This play, from Amer­i­can play­wright Mary Zim­mer­man, brings Ovid’s tales to vis­ual life. Set in a large pool of wa­ter, Me­ta­mor­phoses con­trasts the an­cient with the con­tem­po­rary in both lan­guage and im­age. Di­rected by Andrew Henry with mu­sic from Ju­lia Stone. Old Fitz Theatre, 129 Dowl­ing Street, Wool­loomooloo. Tonight, 7.30pm. Tick­ets: $28-$38. Book­ings: 0409 020 119 or on­line. Un­til June 11.

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