Sweeney Menaces Melbourne

Her Majesty’s Theatre Melbourne 23rd July

Anthony Warlow starred in this short-run production of Stephen Sondheim’s Gothic classic Sweeney Todd – and he was in stellar form. He brought menace and gravitas to the role, as well as his renowned voice. It was a world class performance.

Playing opposite Warlow’s Sweeney Todd, Gina Riley also turned in a top class performance. A comedienne with a more than passable singing voice, she brought humour and heart to her role as the maniacal pie-maker Mrs Lovett.

Together Warlow and Riley evoked all the drama and comedy that Depp and Bonham-Carter couldn’t seem to find in the dreary 2007 movie version.

A fine supporting cast combined to deliver what was easily the best Sweeney Todd production I’ve seen – it gave me a new appreciation of this dark and murderous classic.

Look out for Warlow in Jekyll and Hyde – one show only in each of Melbourne and Sydney later in the year.

This Story is still cutting edge – 10/10

Bernstein and Sondheim’s Westside Story is now playing at the Arts Centre Melbourne. This was the first time I’ve seen this show on stage and it felt as new and exciting as it must have been when it opened on Broadway in 1957. It has since garnered a reputation as the best musical of all time and it would be hard to argue against that claim.

This production uses Jerome Robbins original Tony winning choreography, and the Australian cast do it proud. The show delivers one killer dance routine after another, and is an integral part of the story telling.

Bernstein’s music combine with Sondheim’s lyrics and Robbins choreography to redefine the genre. It really is that good.

If you’ve never seen West Side Story on stage you should get to the Arts Centre before this show closes.