So after my jaunt to NYC and Broadway I arrived home to attend an MTC production of David Mamet’s “Boston Marriage”, although jetlagged I was thoroughly entertained due to the excellent cast having a very fun time, a good production all round. Made me realize that theatre, whether a hit on Broadway or a hit at home, if it is good it can take you to places of pleasure and surprise.
Margaret Mills & Pamela Rabe in MTC’s “Boston Marriage”
Then came another MTC production – a stage adaptation of Pedro Almodovar’s film “All About My Mother”. First produced at The Old Vic theatre in London. It was sadly very disappointing. Saw it a few days after opening night so I guess the cast hadn’t worked itself in, still no excuse. Wendy Hughes was good as always, and Paul Capsis tried ever so hard to make his character work. Direction was very average and the setting of sliding screens very annoying as were weird projections. A dud in my opinion. And with the musical version of Almodovar’s “Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown” ending its flop run in NYC three weeks earlier than expected, it seems Almodovar should not be adapted – too cinematic!
Wendy Hughes – “All About My Mother”.
Next came the Magnormas Theatre company’s triptych tribute to celebrate Stephen Sondheim’s 80th birthday.
“Saturday Night”, “Merrily We Roll Along” & “Anyone Can Whistle”. The ‘flops’ and the never produced! Each having merits and flaws. Wonderful to see performed. Confirmed in my mind that my favorite Sondheim musical/score is “Merrily We Roll Along”, I love this show. Jeannie Pratt should produce it at her Production Company, especially now she has made a few bucks with “The Boy From Oz”. Whatever happened to the policy of underproduced gems being on the agenda of The Production Co. ?
Laura Fitzpatrick & Stephen Wheat in “Merrily We Roll Along”.
Finally a couple of walk outs and a bizarre tap extravaganza.
I had a few free tickets at the end of the year. Sadly cos it was free I didn’t last past interval. Why? Because i was bored and uninspired, not exceptable in theatre.
“Becky Shaw”, an independent production presented at an MTC house. A finalist for the Pulitzer prize about a blind date gone wrong – well I didn’t see second half so I can’t comment beyond a description. Dreadful acting and a leading man with a hair problem – I had to leave.
The MTC production of acclaimed Australian playwright (famed overseas) Daniel Keene’s “Life Without Me”. Good cast of actors doing the usual – nothing special. I was tired from work, and nothing new to lift me out of the lethargy. I predicted the themes and possible ending. I should not reallly comment as I never saw the second half.
MTC’s “Life Without Me”
Finally went to see a tap dance extravaganza at the National Theatre in St Kilda. The “Glam Kitten” Tap Dance Studio end of year revue. I can only describe it as very camp and bizarre. Way too long, but lots of fun, in an odd kind of way.
So that was my very theatrical year.
Now for the top 5.
1. KATIE FINNERAN in “PROMISES, PROMISES” and stealing the show.
2. RED the play by John Logan. A play about Rothko performed by an excellent cast of 2 and a clever design.
3. MAGNORMOS SONDHEIM TRIPTYCH – Sondheim performed live is always a highlight.
4. THE DROWSY CHAPERONE (MTC) – Geoffrey Rush perfectly cast.
5. NT LIVE – the chance to see acclaimed London theatre, what a treat!