Monthly Archives: November 2012

Review: Dusty at the Zenith Theatre

By Shelley Frame

I had heard a lot of good reports about previous Chatswood Musical Society productions, and Dusty well and truly lived up to my expectations.

Originally written in Australia by John-Michael Howson, David Mitchell and Melvyn Morrow, it is a relatively new musical having only been performed for the first time in 2006. I had only limited knowledge of the plot and was happy to learn quite a bit. This musical is based on the life of Dusty Springfield, The White Queen of Soul. Her songs have inadvertently become woven through our entire subconscious. She is up there with Elvis and the Beatles, we all know the words of the songs, and each have individual memories attached to them, but I had no idea how many of the songs that I had first come across in movies were actually her creation. And without spoilers, I really had no idea that she lived such an amazing life.

Linda Hale debuts with CMS as Dusty , and right from her first song ‘I Only Want to Be with You’ right through to her last, more than 32 in all, her voice stays strong and never falters. With such strength, it was quite amazing to hear it partnered so beautifully with Gabriella Glenn as Mary. Neither over powered the other and both were quite distinct. Gabriella Glenn as the innocent and young Mary was a perfect casting; her presence on stage was that of a child but never lacking, she wandered through the entire musical, for most of it as the alter ego within Dusty.

The energy of the entire cast was quite exhausting for me in the audience. Miriam Ramsey as Reno, proves this, she first entered and bounced and danced her way down the stairs to end in a very intimate duet with Dusty, more than just myself was envious of the way she could move so gracefully and confidently across a stage, and all in heels!

Katherine Wall as Peg and Raymand Cullen as Rodney are at times a comedy relief for what could easily have been a far too intense script that wouldn’t have matched the pop of the music.

Musical Director Davis Lang and Assistant Musical Director Hayden Barltrop, could not be faulted. The band that was partly hidden behind props and backdrops performed unobtrusively and seamlessly, I still have no idea how many of them were back there. This may not seem terribly complementary, but having seen many musical performances overwhelmed by overzealous musicians, it was a relief to be able to appreciate the music, the vocals and the acting as separate parts and how they layered together so well. My only criticism would have to be that Hayden Barltrop’s cameo of Pet Shop Boys lead singer Neil Tennant was far too short and left me wanting to see him perform more. But that’s for another CMS production!

Dusty is being performed at The Zenith Theatre Chatswood

Friday 2nd November 8:00pm
Saturday 3rd November 2:00pm & 8:00pm
Sunday 4th November 5:00pm
Wednesday 7th November 8:00pm
Thursday 8th November 8:00pm
Friday 9th November 8:00pm
Saturday 10th November 2:00pm & 8:00pm

Book Online or call 02 9777 7547

Ticket Prices
Adult $35

Concessions/Students $30

Child Under 16 $25


Production Team
Fiona Kelly – Director / Co-Choreographer
David Lang – Musical Director
Andrew del Popolo – Co-Choreographer
James Wallis – Assistant Director
Hayden Barltrop – Assistant Musical Director/Repititeur
Laura-Beth Wood – Production Manager

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Theatre Junkies welcomes Entertainment Blue Mountains!

Theatre Junkies is pleased to welcome our newest partner Theatre Company, Entertainment Blue Mountains. All future posts from, or relating to, Entertainment Blue Mountains will be easily located by their new category listing on the left hand menu of this site. You will also find the banner add and link for Entertainment Blue Mountains on our Theatre Companies page.

We look forward to helping Entertainment Blue Mountains promote their future theatrical productions!

Directors wanted

Lane Cove Theatre Company are looking for Directors interested in making a submission for their 2013 season.

We can offer 4 events for the year :

1) Lane Cove Harmony Festival – May/June – an adult play – 3 weekends of performances

2) July/August – A Dinner Theatre or Major Fundraising event – eg: a costume ball – in our local golf or sporting club auditorium

3) Lane Cove Cameraygal Festival – September – a Children’s Musical Play – 3 weekends of performances

4) Lane Cove Voce-N-Ale – October – a one-off event perhaps incorporating a small troupe or solo actors, musicians, artists, possibly in our new art gallery. An evening or afternoon of monologues, caberet showcase etc.

If you’re interested in directing a show with LCTC in 2013 please send a covering letter about yourself, your theatre experience and your particular interest in the chosen play and email it back to us. Or you can post your submission to us at;

Lane Cove Theatre Company

2013 Submission

PO Box 1207

Lane Cove 1595

Submissions close on 30th November so please put your thinking caps on.

Should you have any questions about the submissions or selection process, please contact us for further information.

http://www.lanecovetheatrecompany.com

(02) 9427 2624

Opening Tonight! Tell me on a sunday

Tell Me On A Sunday
By Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Lyrics by Don Black
Phoenix Theatre, Bridge St. Coniston

Phoenix Theatre Director: ( Musical Director:Peter Copeland )
2nd to 17th November (Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun ) at 8:00 pm, (Extra 3:00pm on Sat 17th.) Sun 3:00pm only.

Bookings www.phoenixtheatre.net.au Enquiries 0407 067 343
Ticket Prices: $20 and $25. Wednesday nights all tickets $20

A two-act song cycle, tells the “sex in the city” style story of a woman (known only as the woman) who after a relationship breakup decides to fly to New York for a change of life. Shortly after she arrives in New York City she embarks on a search for love and a better life as a vibrant career woman in the big apple.

The production is a one Woman show and focuses on the character of “the Woman” who shares the stage with the orchestra and uses them as stand ins for friends and lovers.

The woman is played by the amazing Charmaine Gibbs who recently played to sell out audiences as “Maria” in the Arcadians production of “The Sound of music”.

Cast: Charmaine Gibbs

Review: ‘Prime:Orderly’

By Erica Brennan

Prime: Orderly – Riverside Theatre’s, Parramatta

Prime: Orderly is a new dance work in two halves. It is the culmination and distillation of chorographer Dean Walsh two year fellowship researches into sub-scapes and human-animal movement studies. A subtle and rich new chorographic language that draws on Walshes 23 years experience as a dancer and transcends this virtuosity by applying a humours touch to its subject matter. Prime: Orderly is an experience to be immersed in, not a story to be followed or observe and draw conclusions from. It flicks between moments of pedestrian conversations to deep, raw, primal gestures, and effortlessly back again. Creating a movement score I have never seen in a dance work before. A brave and inspiring piece of performance.

I was hooked from the first moment I walked in. Perhaps empathising a little too much with the poor alien like creature that greeted us centre stage as we entered. It was a puppet, part human, part hammer head shark, strung up by large fish hooks, ready for an experiment or a tourist photograph. Adding to the uncomfortableness and feeling of being trapped is a hooded sweat-suited figure watching you as you try and sneak past to take your seat. These opening Moments of Prime: Orderly thrust you headfirst into a charged exciting space. You certainly don’t skink dreamily into a world. No. You are dropped in and rendered somewhat speechless by its cruel beauty and detail. ‘Am I an intruder?’ I asked myself. ‘Oh no that hooded thug is going to do something aweful to the puppet and terrify me!’ I think and I cross my arms in front of myself protectively. Yet I can’t take my eyes of the scene before me and my curiosity is rewarded.

All aspects of this production from lights and sound , to performers and the design, work seamlessly together to keep you inside the piece at all time. You are never quite sure of where you are inside it but it certainly never lets you miss a beat or step outside and wonder about your shopping list for tomorrow. The opening moments are bizarre, sci-fi bizarre! With fish hooks being cut off the our shark specimen and our hooded figure stripping off to reveal a faceless, featureless blue uni-tarded man underneath. This blue man (Dean Walsh) stops his suspicious wanderings occasionally and treats us to a clownish lecture on his first shark sighing while surfing. The images given to us are thrust against each other odlly and the images themselves are foreign. However as a whole Prime: Ordley is completely recognisable and contemporary in its invocation of fear and suspicion. The first half finishes with a guest speaker who is somehow associated with the subject matter of marine life. Tonight it is Dr Anthony Granville Marnie biologist and shark specialist who speaks about his relationship to these magnificent creatures.

The second half pushes further into the pedestrian and everydayness of movement and our relationship to the ocean and yet goes deeper. A piece structured over the unfolding of a 1 hour scuba dive as an audience member you get lost in the incredible effort and importance of breathing. Balloons are blown up and lead the performers around the space. They leap and roll and judder into animal movements before walking and talking in conversationally about their latest dive. The performers breathe and breathe and breathe, taking it far too seriously before surprising us all and booming into microphone the infamous ‘Luke. I am your father.’ The audience laugh in relief and we enjoy watching them pull apart the coral shaped set, scrunch it up and throw it into a net with little skill (they kept missing – which was great). Then we stopped laughing when suddenly struck by the fact that this could be our oceans, our coral our marine life we are destroying so carelessly.

A powerful, visceral experience by a truly skilled and informed practitioner. I’m still thinking about it, still excited by it. Keep an eye on Dean Walsh and get to his work. You won’t be sorry.

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