Live on Stage

Where Melbourne - - Contents - BY JENNY BURNS

Dis­ney’s “Aladdin the Mu­si­cal”, now playing at Her Majesty’s The­atre, sparkles in ev­ery way. There’s the sparkle cre­ated by the many se­quined and gem en­crusted op­u­lent cos­tumes and ex­trav­a­gant sets. Then there are the per­for­mances by the cast. Add to these py­rotech­nics, very colour­ful, bril­liantly chore­ographed dance rou­tines and even a fly­ing car­pet and you can un­der­stand why “Aladdin” is de­scribed as one of the most lav­ish shows ever to tour Australia. The mu­si­cal is based on the Dis­ney 1992 film of the same name and tells of pover­tys­tricken Aladdin (Ains­ley Mel­ham) who meets Princess Jas­mine (Hiba Elchikhe) in the mar­ket­place and falls in love. Of course, there are many bar­ri­ers in the way of their love but with the help of Ge­nie (Michael James Scott) and Aladdin’s friends Babkak (Troy Suss­man), Omar (Robert Tripolino) and Kas­sim (Adam-jon Fiorentino) true love pre­vails. On­go­ing, Her Majesty’s The­atre, 219 Exhibition Street, Mel­bourne. 132 849. tick­

The Mel­bourne The­atre Com­pany is stag­ing two plays dur­ing Novem­ber.

Open­ing on 2 Novem­ber is Flo­rian Zeller’s “The Father”. Directed by Damien Ryan and star­ing iconic Aus­tralian ac­tor John Bell, this MTC and Syd­ney The­atre Com­pany co-pro­duc­tion is a pow­er­ful and poignant mys­tery that trans­ports au­di­ences into the puz­zling labyrinth of an old man’s once fa­mil­iar world.

There’s def­i­nitely some­thing fishy go­ing on. You can’t fool An­dré, and while he may be 80-years-old and apt, on oc­ca­sion, to for­get things, they are only ever small things such as where he’s put his watch. It doesn’t ex­plain why peo­ple are mess­ing around with things in his flat and why his daugh­ter keeps con­tra­dict­ing her­self. And it doesn’t ex­plain why she al­lows strangers to come in and threaten him. No, some­thing’s go­ing on and he’ll get to the bot­tom of it. Open­ing on 18 Novem­ber is “Vivid White”, Ed­die Per­fect’s satir­i­cal mu­si­cal com­edy on the Aus­tralian prop­erty mar­ket. Liz and Ben have been mates with Cyn­thia and Evan for years, and would never let any­thing get in the way of their friend­ship. It’s dif­fer­ent though when both cou­ples set their sights on buy­ing the same house. For­get friend­ship, for­get re­spect, for­get hu­man de­cency—this is the Aus­tralian prop­erty mar­ket. And noth­ing, not even the im­mi­nent col­lapse of civil­i­sa­tion it­self, can stop the zom­bielike sin­gle-mind­ed­ness of buy­ing the per­fect house! Stars of the pro­duc­tion in­clude Gil­lian Cos­griff, Vir­ginia Gay, Brent Hill, Ver­ity Hunt-bal­lard, Kee­gan Joyce, Ben Min­gay and Christina O’neill. “The Father”, from 2 Novem­ber, Arts Cen­tre Mel­bourne, Fair­fax Stu­dio, 100 St Kilda Road, Mel­bourne. “Vivid White”, from 18 Novem­ber, South­bank The­atre, The Sum­ner, 140 South­bank Boule­vard, South­bank. 8688 0800.

Ains­ley Mel­ham stars as Aladdin. Photo: Michele Aboud.

“Vivid White”.

John Bell stars in “The Father”.

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