Tag: Tyson Legg

Flourish Presents LET IT BE: THE SONGS OF LENNON & McCARTNEY

New shows added by popular demand

By Narelle Wood

In this ‘one night only’ performance Flourish Productions showcases a range of songs from the legendary songwriting combination of Lennon and McCartney.

Let It Be.jpg

The eight-singer ensemble treated us to a vast array of classics from the more clean-cut era with the likes of “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” to the more experimental “Strawberry Fields”. There were a combination of ensemble performances, duets and solos, supported by the extremely talented creative director Drew Downing on the piano and an exceptionally tight and talented band (Max Koenig, Bryan Bowen, Dave Banen and Paul Congdon). The band by themselves would have made for a spectacular performance, especially with some killer solos on the saxophone and guitar provided by Koenig and Banen respectively.

That is not to say the vocals weren’t spectacular themselves. There were many highlights including the ensemble performances of “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”, “Ob-la-di Ob-la-da” and a stunning interpretation of “With A Little Help From My Friends”, which started with eight-part a cappella harmony, highlighting just how talented this group are. There were also some standouts solos, including Tyson Legg‘s haunting rendition of  “So This Is Christmas”, Vidya Makan‘s funky version of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and Jess Fairlie‘s ‘dirty’ performance of “Let’s Get Together”. One of my favourite performances of the night was Makan and Ana Mitsikas‘s duet of “Ticket to Ride”, providing a funky jazz piano accompaniment as well as the smooth vocals. Overall though, for me, it was Fairlie who stole the show with a powerful and enigmatic performance of “Hey Jude”.

There were a couple of things I wasn’t a fan of: there seemed to be a lot of erroneous  microphone-swapping and some of the backup movements and choreography was a little cheesy. There were a few interpretations of the songs that I weren’t keen on; they didn’t quite match my expectations. Jack Lyall‘s teenage angst take on Yesterday didn’t work for me, yet his performances in the more gritty rock style numbers were fantastic. It was clear the ensemble have a range of experience and there were some that are still finding their performance feet.

Nitpicking aside, the night was fantastic, the show was sold out and the audience were singing and dancing along in their chairs. The diversity of ages in the audience were a testament to the timelessness of Lennon and McCartney’s work, and the applause at the end a testament to the quality of the show. While Let it Be was supposed to a one night only performance, there are now two more shows scheduled. If you want to treat yourself to tickets, and I suggest you do, do so quickly as I expect there will be many people keen to attend these encores.

Venue: Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel, Prahran

Season: 29th April 3pm & 8pm

Price: $35 full $30 Concession $25 Child

Tickets: chapeloffchapel.com.au phone 03 8290 7000

REVIEW: Stageart Presents DREAMGIRLS

Star-struck and star-studded

By Amy Planner

This month, a Tony, Grammy and Oscar-winning classic is being presented to much awaiting Australian audiences for the first time by Stageart. Dreamgirls is the timeless story of an all-girl singing group with dreams to make it big – to sing their way to the top and be important. When car salesmen and all-round business enthusiast Curtis Taylor Jr (Winston Hillyer) meets The Dreamettes, things begin to change and fame starts to become a difficult reality.

Zenya Carmellotti, Anna Francesca Armenia and Sharon Wills in Dream Girls

Directed by Terence O’Connell, musically directed by Tyson Legg and choreographed by Darren Stack, this production plays host to a myriad of Australian talent and style. The opening night audience, filled with Melbourne’s theatre-scene elite and a celebrity or two, waited anxiously for the toe-tapping extravaganza and the cast didn’t leave anything behind.

The simplicity of the set designed by Jacob Battista was refreshing; it allowed the performers to be the focus of your attention at every moment. The simple levelled scaffolding construction gave the actors room to move and creative freedom for the little things, like exits and entrances.

Expectations on costumes for a glamorous production like Dreamgirls were high and the sparkling vision was definitely evident. The execution however was a little off with a few ill-fitting garments that stole your eye away. On the other hand, the costume team led by designed Daniel Harvey does deserve major kudos for the quantity alone, with a new outfit appearing after almost every stage exit and for the quick change moments that thrilled and dazzled.

The cast was superb. Effie White is a notoriously difficult character to handle with her bossy demeanour, diva-like presence and huge vocal range; Thando Sikwila blew the audience away and received a standing ovation to prove it.

Other notable peformances were Anna Francesca Armenia as Deena Jones, Zenya Carmelloti as Lorrell Robinson and Hillyer as Curtis Taylor Jr. But perhaps the crowd favourite, and rightly so, was Gareth Jacobs as the soulful Jimmy ‘Thunder’ Early. Jacobs was energetic, hilarious and insanely talented in more ways than one. He gave Jimmy all the sass and flair he deserves and so much more; Jimmy got soul!

Dreamgirls is dazzling, witty, exciting and full of miraculously remarkable Australian talent – and you, and you, and you, and you’re gonna love them.

Venue: Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel St, Prahran
Season: Until 14 June, Tues-Sun 8pm, Sat & Sun matinee 2pm
Tickets: A Reserve $59, $55 Concession (+ transaction fee)
B Reserve $49, $45 Concession (+ transaction fee)
Bookings: www.chapeloffchapel.com.au or 8290 7000

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