Tag Archives: musical

THEATRE ON FILM REVIEW: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (2018)

Back in 2000, the film gods gave us Billy Elliot, a story about a boy who wanted to break gender stereotypes and be a ballet dancer. In a supporting role, Billy’s friend Michael is revealed to enjoy cross-dressing, with this scene celebrated in one of the best numbers in the stage musical adaptation (which premiered on the West End in 2005), ‘Expressing Yourself’. Elton John’s lyrics include “What the hell’s wrong with wearing a dress, being who you want to be… What the hell is wrong with expressing yourself? For trying to be free”. It’s a beautiful moment but its place in the show is mostly as a comical reprieve from the drama of the main character. Continue reading THEATRE ON FILM REVIEW: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (2018)


Ghost (Melbourne, 2016)

Three years after it was first scheduled to arrive, Ghost the musical comes to Australia. To many its initial cancellation wasn’t a shock – out of all the shows we could get, Ghost?! The show that lasted only four months on Broadway? When we still hadn’t had Matilda, The Book of Mormon, or about twenty other superior musicals? Problems with transporting the intricate set were the official reason the show was cancelled back in 2013, and many probably thought it would never turn up. It did, and was it worth it? Maybe. Continue reading MUSICAL REVIEW: Ghost

FILM REVIEW: London Road

London Road (Rufus Norris, 2015)

Tom Hardy in a musical. I AM SOLD. But hold your horses, musical fans. This is not your typical musical and Tom Hardy is in just the one scene. But it’s worth checking out for its sheer originality. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: London Road


Anything Goes (Opera Australia & John Frost, 2015)

Opera Australia and John Frost team up yet again, and praise be to god it isn’t for another Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical. Though they stay in safe, old-fashioned territory once more, there is no denying that Anything Goes is one of the great classics, and this is coming from someone who will choose contemporary musical theatre over the classics almost every time. When I saw this on Broadway back in 2011 I was blown away by the sheer pizzazz of the extravagant production, and I was intrigued to see whether the Australian effort would match it. Continue reading MUSICAL REVIEW: Anything Goes


The Lion King (2015)

It’s been ten years since I first saw The Lion King, and the second time around was always going to be an improvement because there was no toddler behind me to ruin it. In 2005 some ignoramus had the brilliant idea to spend $100+ on a ticket for their three year old who persisted to ask questions throughout the entire show. This mainly consisted of “Mummy, when is the lion coming?” and “Why is the sky blue?” (I’m not even kidding). The Lion King is great for families, but for the love of Simba WHY WOULD YOU SPEND $100+ FOR YOUR TODDLER TO SEE A SHOW AND RUIN IT FOR EVERYONE ELSE? The lack of consideration for others is astounding. You’d be better off burning your money. But times have changed, and that kid will have grown up into a shitty teenager by now. Then again some things never change – like a Disney stage show. Continue reading MUSICAL REVIEW: The Lion King

MUSICAL REVIEW: Strictly Ballroom

Strictly Ballroom (Baz Luhrmann, 2014)

I really wanted to like this. Baz Luhrmann is one of my favourite film directors, with Moulin Rouge my absolute favourite movie of all time. Baz usually has such extraordinary vision and from memory (it’s been a while since I watched it) the film version of Strictly Ballroom was pretty delightful. It seemed likely that the stage musical would rival the brilliantly showy and hilarious Priscilla Queen of the Desert, but alas, it just lacked that WOW factor. Continue reading MUSICAL REVIEW: Strictly Ballroom


Annie (Will Gluck, 2014)

Music teachers the world over probably met the news of the latest Annie film release with trepidation. WILL WE NEVER STOP HEARING THAT SONG ABOUT TOMORROW? And musical theatre lovers like me feared for the worst because Will Smith was producing and threatening to make it ‘contemporary’, which seems to be code for ‘we are going to shit all over this classic in an effort to appeal to Gen Z-ers who don’t know better’. It threatened to be heinously unbearable, but luckily it wasn’t all bad. But it certainly had its flaws. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Annie

MUSICAL REVIEW: Happy People in Concert

Happy People in Concert (2014)

HI-5: THE DARK SIDE. Whenever I think of children’s television/music shows I think of the sketch from Comedy Inc where a faux Hi-5 member sings “Repetition, repetition, let’s sing it again”. The world of children’s entertainment is ripe for comedy gold, and Matthew Lee Robinson has found that gold, and polished it to the nth degree. Continue reading MUSICAL REVIEW: Happy People in Concert

FILM REVIEW: Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys (Clint Eastwood, 2014)
clairestbearestreviews_filmreview_jerseyboys_posterJersey Boys is one of Broadway’s greatest success stories. The jukebox musical opened on the Great White Way in 2005 and won four Tony Awards, including best musical and best actor in a musical (John Lloyd Young). Nine years later, it continues to play eight performances a week to packed audiences, making it currently the thirteenth longest running musical on Broadway. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Jersey Boys

FILM REVIEW: Sunshine on Leith

Sunshine on Leith (Dexter Fletcher, 2013)

George MacKay, Kevin Guthrie, Antonia Thomas & Freya Mavor
George MacKay, Kevin Guthrie, Antonia Thomas & Freya Mavor

There aren’t many movie musicals these days that aren’t a) well-known Broadway smashes (Les Misérables, Mamma Mia), b) animated films (Frozen, Tangled), c) crap remakes of 80s dance films (Footloose, Fame), or d) amazingly bad telemovies (Lovestruck: The Musical). Sunshine on Leith is thus somewhat of a refreshing change.

Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Sunshine on Leith