Tag: Christian Cavallo

REVIEW: Four Letter Word Theatre Presents THE WILD PARTY

Let the fun begin

By Bradley Storer

Upon entering the Main Stage area at Revolt, the audience is immediately immersed in the dingy but seductive Prohibition-era charms of the ‘speak easy’, with tables set up close to the stage and lit eerily by candles. The dark cavernous space of Revolt seems an oddly fitting place for this 1920’s tale of a party thrown by a pair of vaudeville performers on their last legs – a potent cocktail of sin, depravity and eventual tragedy.

Rosa McCarty is a knockout as Queenie the party’s hostess, a blonde bombshell past her prime, throwing herself into the fading performer’s depths of hedonism and disillusionment with abandon and a fierce belt.

The Wild Party

James Cutler is continually compelling as the brutish Burrs, her abusive and bullying husband, bringing ferocious energy and sinister glee to the role that makes him exciting to watch. Their volatile and destructive relationship, although disturbing, is vividly invoked by the two performers.

The musical unfortunately has trouble finding its feet in the first act. Despite a cavalcade of strange and curious characters that pour onstage at the beginning of the show, including a charming polysexual predator (Ed Deganos), a lesbian stripper and her borderline comatose lover (Samantha Hammersley and Renee Pope-Munro) and a creepily close pair of male twins (Samuel Dariol and James Worsnop), there is a lack of energy onstage which makes the ‘party’ atmosphere hard to maintain. Maree Barnett as the cunning diva looking for a comeback emits smouldering ambition, while wielding a pair of surprisingly flexible legs like a weapon. The arrival of Kate, a vaudevillian star and Queenie’s best friend/enemy (played with commanding confidence by Alana Kiely), and her lover Black (Christian Cavallo) raises the spirits of the ensemble considerably, culminating in an Act Two ode to gin that explodes with an dynamic vitality that has been missing so far.

A daring move is the inclusion of a secondary ensemble, a collection of malevolent Satanic spirits who seemingly manipulate and corrupt the characters unseen by anyone whilst wandering offstage and through the audience – a very original idea, which has mixed results throughout the evening. While feeling like an unnecessary addition in the first act, director Robbie Carmellotti finds some electrifying tableaus in the second act that utilize them to a better degree.

An evening of daring and boundary-pushing theatre that, while sometimes not entirely succeeding, is nevertheless admirable for the depth of its invention and ambition.

VENUE: Revolt Melbourne, 12 Elizabeth St, Kensington

DATES: 31st July – 3rd August

TIME: Tue to Sat 7:30pm, Sun 3pm

TICKETS: A Reserve $60/Concession $40, B Reserve $45/ Concession $30, C Reserve $25, Table of 8 $900

BOOKINGS: www.fourletterwordtheatre.com, www.revoltproductions.com,  boxoffice@revoltproductions.com , at the door.

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REVIEW: Original New Musical ONCE WE WERE…

Young, fresh and brimming with potential

By Deborah Langley

It is a rare to sit in the audience of a first. First dates are exciting because you just don’t know where it’s going to lead you. With similar anticipation, the audience shuffled into The Lithuanian Club in North Melbourne to be introduced to another kind of first: the emergence of some really fresh, raw musical theatre talent that has been hiding somewhere in Melbourne.

Once We Were…. opens with a Broadway-style ensemble number where we are introduced to some very familiar characters. This contemporary musical is set in the States (which is slightly disappointing for an Australian musical – but that is a side note) with catchy, pop-inspired music, fun accessible characters and witty dialogue which would feel just as at home on any Gen Y hit TV show.

At its heart this musical explores relationships as our writers understand them. We meet the straight couple who get together during college, the gay guys who are feeling their way through coming out to parents and dealing with an eight-year age difference, and the awkward lesbian couple who prove that opposites do attract.

The creators, Rowland Braché (composer/lyricist) and Lauren Seymour (writer/co-director) have been able to combine honest tales of love with great music and perfect timing in a musical which is reminiscent of a pop-inspired Spring Awakenings.  Kim Edwards (director) has brought it to the stage with simplicity and sincerity which allows these characters to really come to life.

The ensemble cast including Jacqui Levitas, Tyson Legg, Kathleen Amarant, Callum Botica, Christian Cavallo, David Miles, Kellie-Anne Kimber, Maverick de Leon, Cassie Lee Elliget and Jack Van Staveren work brilliantly together, but easily the stand-out in both performance and story line is the lesbian couple, Cindy (Jaclyn DeVincentis) and Olivia (Candice Sweetman) whose awkward banter and unpretentious reflections were both silly and poignant, and simply a joy to watch.

Like all first runs of successful shows, Once We Were…. is brimming with potential and spotted with imperfections that need an audience to highlight. I can’t wait for the second season and feel privileged to say that I was there to witness the first….  and you should be too.

Once We Were… is playing until 2nd July at The Lithuanian Club, 45 -50 Errol Street North Melbourne. Go to www.trybooking.com/OLJ for more information or contact 0487 487667

New Contemporary Musical Opens in Melbourne: ONCE WE WERE

Supporting local theatre is always a real love affair…

How often do you find yourself wishing, after seeing that hundredth production of Rent or that latest revival of Les Miserables that  there were more innovative, original modern musicals out there?

Prepare to fall in love: Once We Were has its world premiere in Melbourne this month.

[Check out the Official Promotional Trailer]

With an exciting cast of next-gen music theatre stars, a wonderfully melodious score, and the unexpected intertwinings of a trio of modern love stories, this production is set both to scintillate and seduce you.

Once We Were boasts an original contemporary score by Melbourne composer Rowland Braché, with book and additional lyrics by writer/director Lauren Seymour.  

The story follows the romantic relationships of three couples that cross paths across time and gender to face all the funny, sexy and real challenges and heartaches of trying to make love work.

Support new theatre and make history as Once We Were opens this June: take the time to look at what love and theatre was – and what it will be.

 

Once We Were

A New Musical by Rowland Braché and Lauren Seymour

Directed by: Kim Edwards & Lauren Seymour
Music Direction by: Rowland Braché

 

Cast:

Emily: Jacqui Levitas
Martin: Christian Cavallo
Jonah: Callum Botica
Kevin: Tyson Legg
Cindy: Jaclyn DeVincentis
Olivia: Candice Sweetman
Rachel: Kathleen Amarant
Scott: David Miles
Ensemble: Maverick De Leon, Cassie Lee Elliget, Jack Van Staveren, Kellie Ann Kimber

 

Show Dates and Venue:

The Lithuanian Club, 45 -50 Errol Street North Melbourne

Friday June 24 8pm
Saturday June 25 8pm
Sunday June 26 7pm
Friday July 1 8pm
Saturday July 2 2pm & 8pm

All tickets $25
www.trybooking.com/OLJ or 0487 487667

On Facebook: Once We Were