Before reviewing the actual production, it is necessary to make comment on the venue. Covid dictated the change of venue from the Arts Theatre to the Thebarton Theatre and was only finalised on Monday with the first performance on Friday. The cooperation between the Thebarton Theatre and Pelican Productions was outstanding . The seating arrangements were made a mirror image of the Arts Theatre thereby saving any hassles with changing booking arrangements.
The opening number of ‘All That Jazz’ was blasted out from the very enthusiastic chorus led by the highly talented Alana Iannace who played the part of Velma Kelly to perfection. This set the scene for the whole of the production where the solos and chorus numbers could not be faulted.
Rebecca Simpson as Roxie Hart was able to show her considerable acting, singing and dancing talents . Monica Horta as Matron ‘Mama’ Morton brought her depth of experience to the fore and it was a joy to listen to her solo.
This play is created for the girls as is highlighted by the twenty strong ensemble and dance troupe all of whom helped create the scene of ‘CHICAGO’ that we have come to expect. The boys however were well represented with strong performances from Alek Kudra as Billy Flynn the fast talking lawyer and Jaxon Joy as Amos Hart whose solo ‘Cellophane’ was a show stopper.
The choreography by Maddison Lochert was true to the time and brought out the best in all that were expected to perform. Timing and coordination was spot on and the sequence with Velma and Roxie was a hit.
The multi level set was excellent and enabled the performers another level of movement on stage. This was enhanced by the lighting designed by Jen Frith programmed by Cambell Lawrence and operated by Gary Adams. The music from the Musical Director, Ben Francis, supported the singers without overpowering them. The costume design by Mim Sarre and Jen Frith were outstanding, correct for the time line and innovative in the murder numbers. All the backstage crew went about their tasks that helped bring this production to life.
The Director Mim Sarre has brought together a remarkable and memorable cast and has been able to get the utmost best out of each of them. There are two casts for this production and I only had the privilege of witnessing the Friday night cast. There is no doubt this production is up to the very high standards that we have come to expect from Pelican Productions and I highly recommend this outstanding show at the Thebby Theatre.