Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Flowerchildren, Sep 6, 2011 ***1/2

Review: Flowerchildren - The Mamas and Papas Story *** 1/2
  • Kate Herbert
  • From: Herald Sun
  • September 06, 2011 12:25PM

FLOWERCHILDREN: The Mamas and Papas Story, Theatreworks, St Kilda, until Sept 10, 2011

GREAT songs combined with human tragedy is the perfect recipe for a musical.

Peter Fitzpatrick's Flowerchildren makes the most of the messy personal lives and hit music of The Mamas and Papas, the 1960s Californian flower-power quartet.

They produced a parade of memorable songs, but their lives were marred by substance abuse, shattered relationships and early death. 

Aaron Joyner's production for Magnormos keeps the focus firmly on characters and songs and the versatile cast handles the complex harmonies and difficult musical intervals with alacrity.

Casey Donovan (of Australian Idol fame), using her vocal powerhouse and previously undiscovered acting talent, makes Mama Cass sympathetic and moving and she sings a thrilling Dream A Little Dream Of Me.

Matt Hetherington is commanding and in fine voice as the immensely talented but doomed songwriter, John Phillips, an arrogant, drug-addicted womaniser.

Laura Fitzpatrick is warm, playful and sensitive as Michelle, John's man-magnet wife whose affair with Denny (Dan Humphris) causes rifts but also fuels Johns songwriting with passion and grief.

Humphris is a bright, warm tenor and plays the rambling, alcohol-addled Denny with charm and ease.

Their four-part harmonies are spine-tingling and you'll be singing California Dreamin', Monday Monday and I Saw Her Again Last Night for days.

Star rating: *** 1/2

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