Posts Tagged ‘slide

24
Oct
13

Our Turn! Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium’s first Musical Theatre Showcase

 

OUR TURN!

Final Year Musical Theatre Showcase 2013

Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium

QPAC Cremorne

22 – 26 October 2013

 

Attended by Xanthe Coward

 

OUR TURN!

Through blood, sweat, tears and a considerable amount of laughter, this talented group of young performers have worked incredibly hard over the past three years to develop their skills as musical theatre performers. OUR TURN! showcases these students through a delicious taste of the world’s most entertaining and often moving repertoire in vignettes of song, dance and scene.

 

The first graduates of the Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium Musical Theatre course are:

 

Rex J Ablett

Jason Bentley

Kristyn Bilson

Ben Chambers

Stephanie Dean

Zachary Denman

Vivien Emsworth

Marybeth Harvey

Kimberley Hodgson

Luke Hodgson

Henry Kafoa

Vanessa Krummenacher

Kathryn McIntyre

Edward J Mead

Belinda Hanne Reid

Becky Rhodes

Marcus Skeggs

Chloe-Rose Taylor

Chris White

Lisa Woodbrook

Natasha York

 

These 21 performers are off to Sydney’s Slide, and Melbourne’s Chapel Off Chapel next so you’ll need to be quick if you want to catch the next wave of Queensland’s musical theatre stars at QPAC’s Cremorne Theatre (until Saturday).

Featuring extracts from works including Antigone, Ferret Envy, The Notebook, The Dreamer Examines His Pillow and The Intricate art of Actually Caring, and songs by Jonathan Reid Gealt, Scott Alan, Frank Wildhorn, Marc Shaiman, Marvin Hamlisch, Pasek & Paul, and Trey Parker, Robert Lopez & Matt Stone, the pianist in Brisbane deserves mention. This is Daniel Grindrod; the production is as much a showcase for him as it is for the graduates!

Guest directors include Wesley Enoch, Michael Futcher, Helen Howard, Lewis Jones, Michelle Miall, Andrea Moor and Kate Wilson…in other words, anyone who is anyone in Brisvegas!

Choreographers, whose work we saw briefly on screen, included Shannon Atkins, John Clarke and Helena Moore. I have to say that I was disappointed most of the dance was pre-filmed – it is far more thrilling to watch it happening live on stage – and Sam was underwhelmed by the filmed aspects generally (Griffith Film School). An extract from The Notebook, directed by Kate Wilson and featuring Stephanie Dean and Jason Bentley was beautifully executed, but suffered from sound issues and a couple of questionable shots, and I had to agree with Sam, despite enjoying the performances as they were captured for the screen, I might have enjoyed that performance more if it were live.

We spoke to Kate after the show about the challenges of putting together a showcase. What a tricky job it is, to put together a true “showcase”, to shine a light on real versatility, and the ability to work equally as impressively as an individual performer and as part of an ensemble.

It will be up to the agents and casting directors to hone in on the talent they know they can employ and (kindly, we hope) put them through the wringer of the audition process in order to confirm their first impressions. CONGRATS & CHOOKAS!

 

See the second year students in HAIR at Brisbane Powerhouse next week!

 

HAIR Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium

 

07
Nov
12

Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele

Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele

 

Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele

Brisbane Cabaret Festival

Stockholm Syndrome 

2nd & 3rd November 2012

  

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

 

The Adele Effect

                                                                                                                    

“I just wanna make music…” Adele

 

Naomi Price Adele

Look, I didn’t disclose it before but Naomi Price is a friend of mine. And I don’t mind telling you, without any bias at all, that she is one of a kind. The girl is gorgeous, creative, clever and funny; she possesses an incredible voice and a versatility that means we’ll see her forever, Meryl Streep or Madonna style, and she is humble and hard working. Also, she’s met Cate Blanchett and frequently wears fabulous shoes that I covet, so it goes without saying really, that I’m a big fan.

 

Naomi’s new show, Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele is exactly that. It’s sixty superb minutes of alternative pop star, Adele, from the inside out, guts and gags and all.

 

Respectfully donning a fat suit rather than a couple of pairs of Spanx, with trademark red hair on fire – this time it’s flaming, cascading locks by Dextress Hair Face Body – Naomi Price steps out of herself to become Adele before our very eyes…and ears. The voice is pure – no gravelly after-effect of smoker’s vocal damage here – and at the same time, it’s near enough to have us captivated and completely convinced. At times we hear a little vocal fry and the recognisable catches, cries, snags and sobs, as well as THAT LAUGH… but this is not just Adele. This is Naomi Price channelling Adele and it’s much more interesting.

 

Rumour Has It is the upbeat opening number, immediately engaging the full house (everyone is still sober so everyone can get the claps in!), and introducing us to the prowess of musicians, Michael Manikus and Jason McGregor, and the charms and extraordinary vocal versatility of Luke Kennedy, who sings backup, having received charts for the songs only a week before the gig. These guys make a tight outfit and they work seamlessly together to take Adele through her many hits. The next is Rolling in the Deep and it is during this number that we realise we weren’t mistaken; we’ve seen the mannerisms of Adele, her every gesture. And then we hear the speaking voice; it’s the Tottenham accent that baffled America when Adele spoke at the Grammys. The mimicry continues through razor sharp patter, which is co-written by Adam Brunes; it draws from the crowd delighted hoots, whoops and more laughter than I’ve heard from a single audience in a long time. With the additional brilliance of Brunes, known particularly for his marketing savvy at La Boite Theatre Company, the references to Adele’s upbringing, boyfriends and brand new baby boy are backed up by loads of research and the gags are genuinely funny. This is a show that would barely need recontextualising in order to achieve global success.

 

Naomi Price Adele

Outside of the patter, the songs are not so smile inducing. Well, c’mon, the woman’s written a heap of lyrics about “rubbish relationships” (actually, she says everybody assumes she’s miserable so she’s going to stop singing about failed relationships), and Naomi perfectly captures the heartbreak. Not during Someone Like You, as one might expect, as this is ingeniously re-appropriated late in the show into a tongue in cheek medley, comprised of My Heart Will Go On, Love on Top and Rehab (these are performed over three vamps and patter segments, showcasing Naomi’s potential to tour next, among other personalities, a Celine Dion cabaret cum tribute show), but during Turning Tables and Don’t You Remember. Now that’s a whole lotta’ heartbreak and heavy heartache right there. PURE PAIN. And Naomi nails it; we feel every pinch and scratch and below the belt punch in the guts. Again, the body language and gesture help us to take the journey; with head thrown back and hands out as if to steady herself, we are mesmerised by her Adele. Instead of destroying us completely by continuing down the same sad path, however, Naomi just as suddenly gives us her best Spice Girls impersonation in a Chasing Pavements mash-up. You have to see this number to believe it!

 

During interval the intimate space upstairs at Stockholm Syndrome becomes a hive of activity, as friends and industry types mingle and collectively rave; a sure sign that the Brisbane arts scene is alive and well, and that its community is flourishing and enjoying supporting one another more than ever. Also, that this show is a sure thing. It’s pleasing to note that nobody is faking the rave.

 

We come back from interval to more champagne and more surprises. Luke Kennedy gives us his rendition of Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to Know. Honestly, Kennedy is the whitest black chick since Christina Aguilera and I’d like to see him do his own show next!

 

Following the aforementioned medley, featuring the hilarious Celine Dion impersonation, the perfectly poignant finish is Make You Feel My Love. Naomi induces smiles through tears and leaves everybody wanting more. I’m sure Naomi Price has what other performers wish they could get in a bottle, and what discerning audience members wish was more prevalent on our television screens. She’s a polished performer, bringing a whole lotta’ sass and her own style to the scene.

 

And it’s a tough scene. Cabaret is hard to pull off, y’all! To get the right blend of fun, self-deprecating humour, pathos and pure talent together to convincingly portray (and poke a little fun at) a woman like Adele is testament to The Little Red Company’s ability to break into the country’s cabaret scene with relative ease.

 

Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele is set to propel Naomi Price on the meteoric rise to fame we’ve all been expecting, if only she can get it seen outside of Australia. With the contacts she and Brunes have between them, I daresay that day (or lively night) is not far away. Meanwhile, for those of you in Sydney and Melbourne, your chance to spend sixty minutes inside Adele is next!

 

Rumour Has It Slide