Category Archives: Theatre_

Swan song

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My digs for the next year seem kind of shored up,  for now. Thanks in large to the kind folk of MSWA City Beach, I seem destined to be the sole occupant Apt #1, 245 Butler Boulevard, Butler, next year with indivdual liviing combined with community space – a community dining  space, a community lounge, even a community cinema complex where you can take guests and view DVDs in ‘komfee chairs’. It’s impressive – if distant. I’ll advise in full as its confirmed!

Meantime, there is to be a fundraising concert, 3:30pm Friday 28 December,20117 Organised long-distance by me, I deeply suspect it is my swan song to the theatre, that long-standing companion of mine. Continue reading

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The Singer takes a break …

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You really ought to listen to The Disney Album to hear the expressive range, or hear her disc It’s Better with a Band for the thrilling exuberance of the sounds of a soprano whose voice wants to make you dance or the OBC (Original Broadway Cast album) of Candide (the original of course, 1956) to set you giggling as a coloratura hits a glorious high C (in the aria Glitter and be gay – this, long before the modern-day whacky diva Kristin Chenoweth sank her not-in-considerable musical chops into the piece, but the original by Cook honours composer Bernstein’s intention more truly by relishing the operatic and lyrical parody set down before her). There is so much more to write about the Barbara Cook “songbook”, and yet she is gone … as we all must do sometime, but to lose such a unique artist. Irreplaceable. Continue reading

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Adventures of a Poet

Once, there was a poet, and he dreamed of adventure, of lost lands and love, of pleasure and treasures and experiences limitless. And in his dreaming, he became much more than he was in his everydayness, and he took new forms and unfamiliar voices, he heard voices – both kind and insistent – and he journeyed ….

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One more day … One day more

Tomorrow I set out on an adventure, taking with me an audience of 150, accompanied by a small band of supporters and a vocal ensemble of infinite care. How will we fare?

This is a tale of no consequence; it is all music and verse.

It starts in the mists of time, at the edge of the cliffs to eternity. A chorale, the voices of the ages, looks over a poet as he dreams. They call him to adventure, and he becomes, in turn, a mariner, a murderer, a man of means, a goblin merchant-man, and, lastly, the bringer of the Evening Star.

But it is of no consequence; it is merely music and verse

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In review: “Into the Woods” (film)

The Disney movie of Into the Woods is a cautionary tale in so many ways, morally and artistically . Based on the James Lapine/Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical, it shows the effects on a community when individuals pursue relentlessly their personal goals and wishes to the exclusion of those around them. Hardly new ground, but these expert storytellers lay before us a rich tapestry of individuals and good-as-gold desires such that when their worlds collide in a single woodlands, the choices become dazzling and the task of choosing a simple, correct path to follow is as energetic as any Olympic event: in short, we witness a marathon of morality. I’ll explore this later, but let me touch on why the film is a cautionary tale for the artist. It is, after all, an adaptation and we need to think something of the act of transmutation from stage to celluloid. Continue reading

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On Sondheim: on ambivalence

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FAN-A-TICAL

Like most of us, having found in life a preferred writer, I followed them addictively, fanatically. I attached myself to ‘the great Spirit’, and I have been a disciple ever since. Let’s get one thing clear, however; this wasn’t the same teenage crush I had on Olivia Newton-John and Abba, or the early adulthood veneration of Barbara Streisand or the later delight in Broadway legends Mandy Patinkin, Barbara Cook and. Chita Rivera. This was serious, considered, deep, literary. This was a man’s crush, and in its maturity it was breathtaking. It wasn’t only the style, the wit, the breadth of writing that held me in this writer’s orbit once engaged, it was the life lessons held before the attentive listener/reader: the writer is Stephen Sondheim (1930-), and the theme under discussion here is ambivalence. Continue reading

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Sound of Music

The Sound of Music (1959) was the last musical by Rodger’s and Hammerstein – hopefully it won’t be mine! I have a teensy part in the ICW Productions production at the Regal Theatre in July. I am, consequently, sufficiently removed from the production to observe the piece itself.

As with most folk, I grew up on a slender diet of movie musicals, the most notable of which was the Christopher Plummer/Julie Andrews film version, one of the rare instances where the film was an improvement on the original stage (I’ve seen 3 stage productions and cared little for them). Continue reading

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