Presented by Northern Light Theatre Company
Reviewed Friday 12 October 2012
Fairytales merge in Stephen Sondheim's and James Lapine's enchanting adult musical that intertwines the stories of Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel with the fresh new adventure of a childless baker and his wife trying to undo a family curse. The lengthy first act takes the classic characters through their well-known tales, each influencing the paths of the others. Act two brings the consequences of their actions; the giant's wife wants revenge for the murder of her husband; Rapunzel is traumatised from years of being locked in a tower, and so on.
Lapine's book is clever writing; Sondheim's music and lyrics are memorable, fun and poignant; and Karen Sheldon's direction is spot on. Not even poor sound and lighting cues on opening night could mar the humour and emotion brought out by Sheldon's keen eye and talented ensemble.
Peter John's musical direction; Kerry-Lynne Hauber's choreography and Damon Hill's masterful set design keep this show soaring along, with the colourful costumes by Ann Humphries and Fran Edwards adding that extra splash of magic.
While most of the cast are notable in their respective roles, particular kudos goes to Leah Potter as Little Red, Megan Humphries as the witch, Alisia Jedrzejczak as Cinderella, Gareth Wilkes as Jack and, in particular, Jeri Kristen Williams as the Baker's Wife.
Sondheim musicals are never easy to produce, but our northern-based musical theatre company shows once again why it's time to take the journey.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis, Performing Arts Critic, Glam Adelaide.
Venue: Shedley Theatre, Playford Civic Centre, Elizabeth
Season: 12-27 October 2012
Duration: 3 hours
Tickets: $20.00 – $30.00