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Articles by Jason Whittaker

REVIEW: Rupert | Playhouse, Melbourne

The life of the most influential Australian comes to the stage in a tame but entertaining enough bio-cabaret. David Williamson’s Rupert is much less grand than the man himself.

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Musical theatre is dead. Long live musical theatre.

Has there been a good musical theatre score written in the last five years? Or even 10? Here’s the list — as a solid case for why music theatre isn’t dead. Long live music theatre.

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REVIEW: A Chorus Line | Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne

“A classic Broadway musical for a new generation,” goes the pitch. The Kids are certainly familiar with the tunes; Glee has bred familiarity (and perhaps contempt) of this show, like other dusty Broadway staples, with its covers of Sing! and show-stopping ballad What I Did For Love illegally downloaded to iPods everywhere. But they probably [...]

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REVIEW: La Traviata | State Theatre, Melbourne

It all looked strangely familiar. And it was. I’d seen this Trav before; on the Lyric Theatre stage in Brisbane in 2009, an Opera Australia import by Opera Queensland. The same sumptuous costumes. The same grand sets. The same sublime Russian soprano. Opera-goers live in a perpetual state of déjà vu. It is environmentally friendly [...]

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REVIEW: The Importance Of Being Earnest | Sumner Theatre, Melbourne

Exploring the darker recesses of YouTube one day I uncovered what is no doubt Geoffrey Rush’s least-seen performance. In a webisode of gay soapy Queer as Fxxk, he plays lecherous Lance, a bumbling doctor who finds a patient’s mum is an old flame. The six-minute internet-only turn has a tick over 800 views — around [...]

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REVIEW: Albert Herring | Playhouse, Melbourne

In 2011, just this past weekend in fact, gay couples flocked to progressive churches and welcoming town halls in New York to marry. At at least one point in the 1950s, history records, Benjamin Britten — one of the greatest composers of the 20th century — was interviewed by Scotland Yard over his then scandalous [...]

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REVIEW: Turns | Playhouse, Melbourne

“A pantomime with a twist,” the show boasts. But it’s the familiarity of the performers rather than the originality of the material that will entice audiences to Turns. Nancye Hayes and Reg Livermore are old stagers in every sense of the world. Their treads have seen more boards than most Australian performers. And as a vaudeville act [...]

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REVIEW: Circus Oz: Steampowered | Melbourne

“You won’t see that at Cirque du Soleil,” jokes one rubbery Circus Oz performer after a particularly silly piece of slapstick from industrious new show Steampowered. Well, indeed. Cirque du Soleil, the Canadian magicians of franchised gymnastic entertainment, packed up its tent in May. They jump higher. Swing further. Balance longer. Take breath away from [...]

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REVIEW: The Joy Of Text | Fairfax Studio, Melbourne

The Melbourne Theatre Company boasts, quite rightly, it now has three home-grown Melbourne writers on its stages: Joanna Murray-Smith’s The Gift at the Sumner Theatre, Ian Wilding’s premiere new work The Water Carriers at its black-box Lawler space (opening Friday) and at the Arts Centre’s Fairfax Studio this wise-arse new play from Robert Reid, The [...]

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REVIEW: Faust | Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne

Charles Gounod needed a good editor. The third act of Faust — of five, clocking in at around three hours — really drags, especially. He’s been granted his dream girl, exchanged with the devil for his soul, and successfully wooed her — so quit goofing around and seal the deal. The foreplay is laborious. It [...]

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Womens Agenda

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Smart Company

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Property Observer

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