See article in its original context here.
Tennessee Williams is best known for a string of classic plays, such as Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, A Streetcar Named Desire and The Glass Menagerie that form part of a golden thread of twentieth century American drama.
Yet it is a lesser known work of Williams’, Vieux Carré, begun in the 1930s and not completed for more than 40 years, that will feature on the Melbourne stage from next week.
Opening on January 17, ITCH productions presents the Australian premiere of Vieux Carré – an exploration of interlinking themes, as always with Williams, of sex, art, creativity, anguish and social constraints that limit that very exploration.
Forming part of Midsumma 2013, the performance opens the year for fortyfivedownstairs with a humorous and very personal work, a ‘memory play’ that follows the period of artistic, social and sexual discovery of the young American.
See the article in its original context here.
ITCH Productions presents the Australian premiere of Vieux Carré by Tennessee Williams as a Midsumma 2013 premier event at fortyfivedownstairs. It is a rich and haunting drama set in Williams’ favourite backdrop – the French Quarter of New Orleans.
This is one of Williams’ lesser known plays which he began writing in 1938 but did not complete until nearly 40 years later. It is largely autobiographical and may be described as the beginning of Williams’ exploration of self as well as his development of mood, melodrama and ‘memory play’ technique which were to become his trademark in later, more recognizable works.
Aleksia Barron reviews In Vogue: Songs By Madonna for ArtsHub. See the review in its original context here.
The subterranean haven of fortyfivedownstairs is the perfect place to settle down with a champagne and suspend one’s disbelief at a man, sans costume and makeup, announcing that he is, in fact, Madonna. So does Michael Griffiths, who doesn’t bat an eyelid when declaring that he is, in fact, Madge herself, before merrily launching into a night of musical and comedic repartee.
Cameron Woodhead reviews In Vogue: Songs By Madonna for the Age. See the review in its original context here.
Dean Bryant’s pop-inspired cabaret continues to delight audiences: Christie Whelan returns in Britney over at Chapel off Chapel, and at fortyfivedownstairs, Michael Griffiths is camping out as Madonna.
In Vogue doesn’t reach for humane impersonation in the way the Britney show does, but it shares one quality that makes it unusually engaging as entertainment. By salvaging Madonna’s tunes from the tinny iterations of 80s pop, and twisting them into intricate arrangements for the baby grand, the show gives a lively sense of how good the songs really are.
Kate Herbert reviews In Vogue: Songs By Madonna for the Herald Sun. See the review in its original context here.
WHO CAN EXPLAIN why pop divas such as Madonna, Bette Midler and Kylie are gay icons – they just are.
Singer-pianist, Michael Griffiths, directed by Dean Bryant, performs Madonna’s hit songs, speaking in first person as Madonna but without any drag-queen costuming, accent or attempted impersonation of that feisty, Italo-American pop idol.
by Paul Andrew
Paul Andrews interviews Dean Bryant – see the article in its original context here.
Prolific writer/director and musical theatre prodigy, Dean Bryant, returns to the 2012 Midsumma festival with a new work celebrating the life and art of a pop culture icon – In Vogue: Songs By Madonna. He speaks to Australian Stage’s Paul Andrew.
It seems you have been rather busy Dean?
The last twelve months have been crazy, actually, and the busiest of my life – and it’s not letting up any time soon – the year started with a revival of Prodigal, the first musical I wrote – with Britney MD Matty Frank) and Liza (on an E) – both of which were huge hits for Midsumma Festival. I went to NYC to put up the Broadway premiere of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – which is still pulling in crowds and is a popular hit. Then my directing debut at Melbourne Theatre Company with Next to Normal, my opera directing debut with Hansel and Gretel for OzOpera and my Production Company directing debut with Anything Goes, co-directed with Andy Hallsworth.
I wrote two new shows for the Adelaide Cabaret Festival – Josie in the Bathhouse – which is playing the Spiegeltent at the Arts Centre in March and In Vogue: Songs by Madonna. Then I flew round the world casting Priscilla in Brazil, Milan and recasting NYC and finally moved to Milan for two months to direct the production in Italian – quite the experience, brilliant cast, very rocky tech period, but another big success. Now, it’s quite a relief to be staging two single actor shows for Midsumma.
Michael Griffiths IS Madonna. No accent, costume or wig. Just 'Madge' accompanying herself at the piano leading you on a journey through her tough life and tender songs. Strike a pose, get into the groove and express yourself as Madonna…
Can a cabaret show have too much attitude? Too much pizzaz? Or a young star have too much showbiz in his veins? Not when the star is Tom Sharah, winner of the 2009 Sydney Cabaret Showcase. Too much is just…
We hosted a vibrant and busy opening for the three Midsumma exhibitions in the galleries last night. In the small gallery we have a solo exhibition, Photo Prodigious, by Anthony L’Huillier. The large gallery combines paintings of female film stars…