Tag: Hollie James

REVIEW: Ghost Light and Moving Light Productions’ CARRIE: THE MUSICAL

Things will get bloody…

By Margaret Wieringa

Initially, the tale known by most as a horror film from the seventies seems like an odd choice for a musical. But, at the heart of Stephen King’s novel Carrie is the story of a girl who is oppressed by her mother and tormented by her peers until she breaks. The twist, as most people know, is that she has telekinetic powers, and wreaks a brutal revenge of those who have hurt her. Carrie: The Musical deals a story so epic it could have been an opera.

Carrie The Musical

The show begins with a musical number that shows off the talents of the strong supporting cast. The busy and eye-catching choreography by Lisa Minett draws the audience into the world of the musical as well as the angst of high school. When Emily Milledge enters, she brings all of the awkward misfit elements of Carrie and even when the beautiful swan emerges, she retains a hint of the fearful girl within. The duets between Carrie and her mother, played by Chelsea Gibb, are intense and passionate. It really is a cast of strong female performers, with Chernae Howlett also capturing the deep nastiness of Chris Hargensen as she manipulates those around her, and sets out to ruin Carrie’s life.

The stand-out performance, however, came from Hollie James as Sue Snell. Easily able to hold the stage on her own, she showed all the poignant sweetness and kindness the character required. Her duet with Jack O’Riley playing Billy Ross at the start of the second act was delightful.

Clearly, it was going to be a challenge to have objects flying around and the utter destruction of a whole town shown on stage – especially the small stage at Chapel Off Chapel. However, director Terence O’Connell and his excellent production crew really make a little go a long way. While the explosive scene at the prom is quite short, the combination of the sound and lighting with clever choreography gave it the intensity to be extremely effective. The solid musical accompaniment of the band helmed by David Piper allowed the cast to shine throughout, especially during this dramatic finale.

Carrie: The Musical is the debut production for Ghost Light, a company that aims to present premieres of musicals locally, as well as creating new musical and physical theatre. They have certainly started with a bang, and will be worth keeping an eye on.

Venue: Chapel Off Chapel,
Season: 25 September – 12 October, Wednesday – Saturday 8pm, Saturday matinee 4th and 11th October 2pm, Wednesday matinee 8th October 1pm, Sunday 6pm
Tickets: $49.50 Full, $39.50 Concession and groups of 10+
Bookings: http://chapeloffchapel.com.au/

REVIEW: Les Femmes at THE BUTTERFLY CLUB

Formidable!

By Christine Moffat

Les Femmes features five musically talented women (Les Femmes of the title) plus all original songs by Chris Wallace.  The show begins slow and small, with just Wallace onstage with pianist (and musical director) Robyn Womersley and Kat Ades on double bass.

Wallace sings a simple little ditty about his admiration for women, and gives a brief introduction to the show.  What follows is an hour of original songs belted out by the amazing vocal talents of Sarah-Louise Younger, Georgina Ward and Hollie James.  Boy, can these three ladies sing!

Les Femmes

The show follows a an old-fashioned revue format, with song following song in quick succession.  Each singer takes on a persona that matches the mood of the song. Younger is almost a show-stopping talent, performing songs ranging from comedy to sultry to soul with gusto.  Her voice is almost too big for the venue: when she belts, she belts! 

Ward is particularly cute in a country number about an unlucky-in-love faded beauty.  James is ready for the stage at the Princess Theatre, in one number singing and tap dancing with style, in another bringing herself and some of the audience to tears.  Wallace casts himself in the role of comic relief, performing a couple of cute songs and keeping the ball rolling.

There is not much to fault with this show: it is an hour’s real entertainment.  A couple of the lyrics were lost in the faster numbers (for example, ‘The Chocolate Song’) – perhaps this is due to The Butterfly Club not requiring microphones.  Bringing the action to the front of the stage for group songs could solve this.  If any change were to be made, this reviewer suggests finishing with  ‘The Chocolate Song’ (maybe even as a sing-along) as it has great energy and was simply good fun – the epitome of the show overall.

Oct 16 – 20

8pm (9pm Thu-Sat)

The Butterfly Club

Carson Place (just off Little Collins Street in the Melbourne CBD)

www.thebutterflyclub.com