Shirley Hastings, golden-boy Scott’s adoring mother, and Ballroom Association President Barry Fife, are both larger than any known life-form.
Group ballroom numbers are well-staged and have a tidy finish.
Costumes are, of course, a huge part of ballroom dancing, and the after-five section of Spotlight seems to have been appropriated in order to clothe the cast.
Amassing a cast of 26, including himself, Matt Byrne has produced, directed and designed this show. His design is multi-purpose and economic, considering the limited space of the Arts Theatre.
However, if his design had been a little less literal and more referential, scene changes could have been less sluggish.
Likewise, the unflappable Patrick Maher’s on-stage guitar sequence in the Paso Doble. Sound balance in the auditorium is still a bit of an issue, but I expect it to be resolved early in the run.
As a joyous fable of the triumph of individual artistry over the dead weight of traditional values, this show is, as ever, an inspiration. We get it – there’s no need for her character to do so much to contrast with her quiet, subservient husband Doug.President Fife is the possessor of a whining angle-grinder voice; it’s tough on his vocal folds and our ears.She dances well, and sings with sensitivity, blending well in duets, especially in , her duet with her Abuela (Niki Martin).Both Harrison and Benton produce credible, sincere characters with believable dilemmas. My guess is that the size and shape of these roles were directorial in origin.Lauren Weber, as Liz Holt, the spurned dance partner, has fun spitting extravagant vitriol.Joel Amos, who clearly swigs teeth whitener regularly, creates such an archetypal ballroom character in his portrayal of Ken Railings, that his character beams across the footlights. Baz Luhrmann’s charming rebellious-ugly-duckling allegory started life on stage as a play, then became a film.Its transformation into a successful music theatre piece was aided by a patchwork of music, augmented and stitched together by Eddie Perfect. Baz Luhrmann’s charming rebellious-ugly-duckling allegory started life on stage as a play, then became a film.Its transformation into a successful music theatre piece was aided by a patchwork of music, augmented and stitched together by Eddie Perfect. We see Australians, using our language, speaking in our accents, and behaving within our cultural values. Not all music theatre is performed with an American accent.It’s good to see Strictly Ballroom being done for all these reasons.