Reviewed by David Smith
Marie Clark Musical Theatre took up the challenge of one of the best known and loved musicals and really pulled it off. Director Mel George, MD Ben Stefanoff and choreographer Victoria Beal brought a tight, coherent and exciting production to the large, open Arts Theatre stage.
This story of a Broadway musical audition, in which fewer than half make the final cast, provides a few big songs and plenty of monologues profiling the lives of those who are trying out. Although some of those revelations are inherently uninteresting, this show’s simple structure gives many of the cast the chance to showcase their dancing, singing and acting.
In the main, they rose to the occasion, both as individuals and with strong ensemble work. The choreography was uniformly impressive – no mean feat considering the large cast who, necessarily, had to be good dancers. And they were.
Several moments stood out. At The Ballet by Kerry Staight, Kimberley Hein and Sophia Bubner as Sheila, Bebe and Maggie, had beautiful tone and harmonies. Staight’s character was excellently controlled and powerful throughout the production. Of the monologues, Anton Schrama’s sensitive portrayal of Paul’s pathos was genuinely affecting.
Tanya Harris as Cassie impressed with both acting and dancing, David Salter brought out the best of Greg, and Jessica Knights (Diana) did well with What I Did for Love, particularly in the gentler moments. The full cast reprise of One, was an uplifting finale.
This was a well cast, high quality and thoroughly entertaining production.