Exams and Performances

Congratulations to Alyssa for completing the Certificate of Performance in Musical Theatre and Lily for completing Grade 1 in Musical Theatre through the Australian Music Examination Board earlier this week.

Congratulations to Gabriella for a wonderful performance in Once Upon a Mattress at Koorliny Arts Centre.

Upcoming performances include:

  • Alyssa as Mrs Flemming in Heathers: The Musical
  • Lani as Belle in Beauty and the Beast Jr
  • Ella as Mushi, Kate M as Fa Li, and Lily in the ensemble in Mulan Jr
  • Ella as Flounder in The Little Mermaid
  • Gemma in the ensemble of Mary Poppins

Upcoming Performances

Congratulations to Gabriella, who will be performing in the musical Once Upon a Mattress, at Koorliny Arts Centre in April.

Congratulations to Meg for being offered a place in the Jazz program at WAAPA.

Congratulations to Gemma for winning the award for Best Newcomer at the 2016 Playlovers Plover Awards, and being nominated for The Brian Maddocks Award for Youth in a Play at the 2016 Finley Awards. She will also be performing in the musical Mary Poppins at Chisholm Catholic College later this year.

Congratulations to Lily, who will be in the ensemble, and Kate M, who will be playing Fa Li in the musical Mulan Jr at Stirling Players Theatre in June.

Congratulations to Ella who will be playing Mushu the dragon in Mulan Jr at Stirling Players in June, as well as Flounder in The Little Mermaid at The Regal Theatre in July.

First Ever Mid-Year Recital

Congratulations to everybody who participated in our first ever mid-year recital on Sunday! I am so proud of how hard everybody has been working and the great performances given on the day.

Congratulations also go out to…

  • Alyssa, who played Madame Morrible in MPAC’s amazing production of Wicked.
  • Gemma & Ella, for their great performances in Playlover’s production of The Trolleys.
  • Lizzie, who will be performing at the Crown music night.
  • Kate, Chloe & Zoe E, for their recent SVAPA performances.
  • Ella for making it through to the final round of Sound of Music auditions – we all have our fingers crossed!


Upcoming Shows: The Threepenny Opera, Seussical The Musical, 13 The Musical


Brecht and Weill turned to John Gay’s 18th-century The Beggars’ Opera to fashion this savage, biting commentary on bourgeois capitalism and modern morality. Set in Victorian London, the bitter tale is told of the predatory outlaw known as Mack the Knife. He secretly marries the daughter of Soho’s underworld boss, but is soon betrayed by his sinister in-laws and sent to prison…

What fate awaits MacHeath? Will he escape death on the gallows?

Starring a young vibrant cast of up and coming West Australian performers and musicians this is one production not to be missed.

Showing at Perth Town Hall on January 23, 24 and 25.
Go to the Fringeworld website for more information.



When his parents get divorced and he’s forced to move from New York to a small town in Indiana, Evan Goldman just wants to make friends and survive the school year – easier said than done. The most popular guy in school is threatening to ruin his life and his only friend, Patrice, won’t talk to him. The school freak sees an opportunity for blackmail and someone is spreading the nastiest rumors.

With an unforgettable rock score from Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown, 13 is an hilarious, high-energy musical for all ages, about discovering that cool is where you where you find it, and sometimes where you least expect it.

Showing February 4-14 at Playlovers Theatre. Visit the Fringeworld website for more information.


Seussical is a fantasy musical based on the Dr Seuss books, and many of his stories have been woven into this magical adventure. This family musical is based mainly on Horton Hears a Who!, Horton Hatches the Egg and The One Feather Tail of Gertrude McFuzz. There are numerous references to other stories such as Green Eggs and Ham, The Grinch and of course The Cat in the Hat.

Seussical explores universal themes of love, loyalty, perseverance and the keeping of promises, in a fun way through a range of musical genres. It is a wonderful show that will appeal to people of all ages.

Showing January 16-31 at Stirling Theatre, check out their website for more information.

Review: Standing Ovations for The Phantom of the Opera

by Fiona Cooper Smyth

10689617_10203855142153335_6336377468282215060_n Aldo Di Toro gave the performance of his life as The Phantom and completely embodied this tormented character! His voice went from a blood-curdling boom intended to scare all the cast to a tender, velvety tone which reached into a highly controlled falsetto in his attempt to lure his protégé Christine Daas, played by soprano Stephanie Gooch who epitomised the innocence and emotional dilemma of the role. Like Aldo, Stephanie had a voice to melt the musical melodies she sang and both voices entwined themselves in harmony as did their characters in the sexual tension that ensued.

Christine is torn between feeling sorry for her musical mentor, The Phantom, his love for her, and the love of her child-hood sweet-heart, Raoul, The Viscount, dramatically played by musical theatre heart-throb Nick Maclaine, who was always present at the right moment and provided an upright contrast to the passionate Phantom. Emma Pettemerides sparkled as the diva Carlotta with a beautiful coloratura voice that matched her big Italianate personality and provided a foil for experienced tenor Jay Weston as the aptly cast Pavarotti-like Piangi.

Supported by consummate cameo performances by the aptly austere and rather foreboding character of Madam Giry played by Alinta Carroll and actors Ian Toyne as Andre and Igor Sas as Firmin who are trying desperately run the theatre themselves and not be influenced by the demands of The Phantom.

Director Mark Barford cleverly made the transition between on-stage cast performing and the cast acting as if in rehearsal as smoothly as possible and the audience felt part of the scene. It even included conductor and producer Ian Westrip taking on the role of Maestro Reyer, who had to interact with the cast as if in rehearsal whilst conducting the orchestra who were in fine form and provided a strong musical springboard for the singing and dancing on stage.

The chorus were sounded superb as it can be said that the chorus role in Phantom is demanding and singers need to have a wide range of notes in their voices. This was accomplished extremely well and often provided huge body of sound on which the ballet dancers, choreographed by Ben Franzen could metaphorically bounce off. It could be said that there may have been some overcrowding on stage at times with such a huge chorus and dance troupe due to the set design with curtains cutting off half the stage, but this was handled as well as could be on The Regal Stage and one must realise that this is a home-grown production of professional standards, funded by one visionary (impresario Ian Westrip OAM) yet without the million dollar budget of an Andrew Lloyd Webber West End production.

In fact much commendation should go to the production team who, on a limited budget, produced a cleverly motorised gondolier for Christine and Phantom to sail around the labyrinth under the opera house; a magical mirror that Christine was able to walk through to join The Phantom; and even the huge chandelier that expertly yet safely descended at one of the many dramatic moments in the show! You could feel the remorseful torment and dejection of the Phantom at the end of the show and I am sure there was not a dry eye amongst the audience – most of whom gave a well-deserved standing ovation to this Perth production.

Review: The Producers

The Producers

By Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan. Playlovers. Directed by Peter Clark. Hackett Hall, Floreat, WA. June 28-July 20, 2013

The Producers at Playlovers is one of the most outstanding community theatre productions of the year to date.

Peter Clark’s direction is tight and slick. David Hardie’s Musical Direction is perhaps his best to date. Jessica Russell has created clever choreography that is nicely executed.

The set, designed by Wayne Herring, is stunning. Designed over two levels, it is bright and effective with some clever surprises and direction has used the set to its best advantage. Set changes are so slick that you could be fooled into believing that they are using travellers.

This is a show that uses costume designer Terry McAuley’s talents to the full. Featuring more ostrich feathers than the African continent, the costumes, especially for the showgirls and the ‘show within the show’ production numbers, are fun, beautifully created and exciting.

Alex McLennan and David Gregory expertly play central characters Max and Leo. Working brilliantly together, Alex’s Max was brash, loud and funny, while David Gregory’s Aspergerish Leo, provided an excellent foil. Musically they sounded wonderful.

Seventeen-year-old Samantha Gaunt, in her first leading role, was an ideal choice as Ulla. Leggy, blonde, sexy yet naïve, she lit up the stage.

Another newcomer, Cameron Butler, impressed in the flamboyant role of Carmen, offsider to campy director Roger, well played by John Taylor.

Rounding out the principal cast was Ted Simpson as eccentric Nazi sympathizer Franz. An obvious audience favourite, he delivered a delightful, beautifully measured performance, especially when interacting with his beautifully constructed pigeons.

The gentlemen of the ensemble were particularly strong, with every member shining in cameo appearances. The women, while not as strong vocally as the men, moved beautifully and created lovely characters. Particularly memorable were Clare Thomson and Elise Giaimo’s usherettes who were vocally striking and personable.

A sixteen-piece music ensemble played well and sound was nicely balanced in this notoriously tricky venue.

John Woolrych’s lighting was innovative, appropriate and expertly managed.

Very much a highlight of the theatre year, while not perfect, my money is on this show to do very well at the 2013 Robert Finley Awards.

Kimberley Shaw
From Stage Whispers – 
Photography by Hannah Weddell