Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director & produced playwright (20 plays). Scripts published by Currency Press. She worked as an actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate is currently Convenor of Professional Writing & Editing, Swinburne University. Read her reviews here or at: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Thursday, 5 November 2015
City of Angels, Nov 5, 2015 ****
Music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by
David Zippel, book by Larry Gelbart By Life Like Company Playhouse,
Arts Centre Melbourne, until Nov 8, 2015 Reviewer: Kate Herbert Stars:**** Full review also published online in Herald Sun Arts, Mon Nov 6, 2015 & in print on Sun Nov 8. KH
Chelsea Plumley, Amanda Harrison CREDIT BEN FON
a 1940s, hardboiled detective story in the style of film noir then toss in cheeky
jazz tunes and you have a delicious recipe for the musical, City of Angels.
Cy Coleman wrote the music, Larry Gelbart the book and David Zippel the lyrics,
it’s no wonder this show won multiple Tony, Drama Desk and Olivier Awards after
it premiered on Broadway in 1989.
Martin Croft’s production for Life Like Company boasts a dream cast of
Australian musical theatre talent and, despite having only 2½ weeks to stage
it, the show is deftly directed, beautifully acted and sung.
the technicolour, real world, novelist turned screenwriter, Stine (Anton
Berezin), is adapting his popular, detective story into a movie script for the
interfering but very successful Hollywood producer, Buddy Fidler (Troy
a parallel, black and white, fictional world, Stine’s character, Stone (Kane
Alexander), a hapless private eye who speaks in glib witticisms and abrasive
voiceovers, is employed by manipulative, seductive Alaura Kingsley (Anne Wood)
to find her runaway stepdaughter, Mallory (Hannah Fredericksen).
search all goes wrong for Stone when he crosses his client, her family and the
cops but also for his creator, Stine, as he struggles to please his wife, Gabby
(Chelsea Plumley), the bullying Fidler and also to meet the demands of his
fictional alter ego, Stone.
has a touch of the Orson Welles in his assured performance as the jaded,
lovelorn gumshoe, Stone, and Berezin’s powerful voice brings passion to Stine,
the philandering, deceitful but talented writer.
and Berezin’s voices blend perfectly in their impassioned duet, You’re Nothing
Without Me, and its clever reprise, I’m Nothing Without You, that they sing
is a riot as Fidler, the perfect parody of the greedy, self-interested movie
producer that would sell his mother for a three-movie deal.
highlight is the magnetic Amanda Harrison, with her rich, remarkable voice,
singing You Can Always Count on Me in the duel roles of Oolie, the detective’s
devoted secretary, and Stine’s saucy, real world lover, Donna. Magic!
Bobbi the club singer, Plumley sings a sultry rendition of With Every Breath I
Take, and her duet with Harrison, What You Don’t Know About Women, is sassy and
of Angels stays witty and entertaining while taking a satisfying swipe at
Hollywood artifice and avarice.