Director Mitchell Smith and The Adelaide Theatre Academy have come up with a sophisticated and thoroughly enjoyable production of this movie-based musical.
What struck me most was the cast’s obvious understanding of the worlds of both Ancient Greece and contemporary California, and how they interplayed with each other. From the studied sustained pose of the muses in the initial tableau, through the unfolding classical story, to the triumphant finale, the youthful cast maintained acute focus and character. The result – a well-honed, smooth-flowing performance.
Set changes, mostly achieved by rearranging four handy trapezoidal trucks, were effective and unobtrusive, and competently managed by a well-rehearsed cast.
Leading a group of fine young performers was Sienna Bertram who was exceptional as Kira. She sang beautifully and showed fine range of acting skills and a subtle understanding of her role and the way she related to the other cast members. To cap it off, her comic timing was spot-on.
Opposite her Oliver John was an empathetic Sonny Malone. Particularly in the early parts of the performance he was a pseudo narrator, a role he managed very well. Maddie Nunn was very strong as the menacing muse, Melpomene, and as her comic side-kick Calliope, Pru Cassar was hilarious. Aside from the final production number “Xanadu”, Melpomene’s heartfelt “Evil Woman” was a musical highlight. Jeremy Thomas was impressive as the mature property developer, Danny.
The Muses were evenly impressive and the well-choreographed ensemble was very supportive of both the mood and story line.
This company is adding strength to the already impressive Adelaide youth theatre scene.