REVIEW: School of Rock: The Musical (The Civic)

September 9, 2019
[Essential Education] As we take our seats at the Civic we are immediately transported to the smoky bars of a bygone era synonymous with rock bands. The simplistic drum kit with brick wall backdrop is a clever device that instantaneously evokes that trip down memory lane. Instead of the customary ‘turn your cell phones’ announcement as the lights dim, we […]

REVIEW: The Phantom of the Opera (The Civic)

February 12, 2016
[Far too many notes for my taste] I should declare my Phandom up-front: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece – yes, masterpiece – is a long-standing favourite. The moment Rob Guest’s mask was ripped from his face to reveal the Phantom’s awful disfigurement is a childhood memory burned into my mind. Amici’s pro-amateur production is the third version of the show I’ve […]

REVIEW: Cats (The Civic)

September 17, 2015
Ninth Life [by Matt Baker] As with most performers born in the 80s with an interest in musical theatre, Cats was a major contributor to the soundtrack of my childhood. Seeing it for the first time, however, I was suddenly aware of how bat-shit insane the show is. The title is the subject matter, which is in turn the cast, which […]

REVIEW: Jesus Christ Superstar (Auckland Theatre Company)

November 4, 2014
Jesus Lives! [by Matt Baker] Jesus Christ Superstar is a deceptively difficult musical. What seems at first a song-list with the appropriate momentum to a presumptuously well-known plot can also be exposed as an inadequate foothold for character journeys and development. Thankfully, director Oliver Driver has handled this difficulty with excellent casting decisions. Conceptually, the most important thing interpreting the Superstar […]

REVIEW: Rainer Hersch’s Victor Borge (Comedy Festival)

May 3, 2013
Victor Victorious [by Sharu Delilkan] It was sad to see the sparse turnout for what proved to be a truly professional show – something that Rainer Hersch picked up on and immediately incorporated wittily into his slick intro. His candour with the audience from the get-go about his inspiration to create a show around Victor Borge – more out of […]

REVIEW: Tell me on a Sunday (The Real Theatre Company)

November 15, 2012
Left in a bind [by Matt Baker] With the right vehicle a musician can stake their claim in the world of acting. From Madonna in 1996’s Evita to Melanie Brown in the 2004 revival of Rent, the musical stage and screen is becoming readily accepted as a platform on which such musical artists may step. I was excited at the […]