Thursday, August 19, 2010

Canberra Philo - Boy From Oz

Well, this was fun!  Jarrad West did a lovely job as Peter Allen.  Apparently one critic said he wasn't camp enough, but I'd say that's sort of like saying Max Gambale (in the pit this time, on guitar) wasn't beardy enough.  Janie Lawson did a remarkable job mimicking Judy Garland.  Anne-Maree McLeod has had mixed reviews as Liza Minelli, but I really liked her.  It's true her voice goes missing a bit here and there, but when it's there, it's just lovely, and she's a wonderful actress.  Christine Pawlicki's costumes are fab-O, especially in the finale.  I gather Craig Johnson as MD was on a strict budget, and the band sounded fine, but it was a shame not to have any actual brass or woodwind in the pit.  Andrea Clifford gave us some lovely solo piano, and I liked Ian Croker's simple but effective set design.  Also Michelle Heine's choreography was probably the best I've seen from a community production this year. Allen's music wasn't always what I'd choose to listen to, and I suspect most of the best lines were ad libs (or at least not in the original script), so I wouldn't put this show in one of my best-ever lists, but it's definitely a fun night out.

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