Presented by the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of SA Inc.
Reviewed Friday 22 October 2010
Venue: Her Majesty’s Theatre, 58 Grote Street, Adelaide
Season: 22-23, 26-30 October & 3-6 November at 8pm; Matinees: 23, 30 October & 6 November at 2pm
Duration: 2 hours plus interval
Tickets: Adults $43.00; Gold/Premium $65.00; PSU $38.00; Children 4-12 years $23.00; Groups of 10+ $35.00
Bookings: BASS 131 241 or http://www.bass.net.au
This contemporary rebirth of Jesus Christ is a gluttonous visual treat, providing a refreshing interpretation to a well worn musical.
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s rock opera began life as a concept album and has become one of the duo’s most loved plays since migrating to Broadway in 1971. It tells of the last week in the life of Jesus Christ, told entirely through song.
Director and designer David Lampard provides a sumptuous metaphorical ghetto setting, complemented by impressive costuming that focuses primarily on reds and black. While some of the more outlandish costuming distract initially, Lampard’s dark imagination soon draws you into his macabre world.
The three leads are professional performers and their ample talent adds muscle to the action. There’s none better than Danny Lopresto from local band Clearway playing Judas. With a powerful voice and a commanding stage presence, he provides both grunt and grief as the troubled apostle.
Luke Kennedy from The Ten Tenors has played the role of Jesus several times interstate and his comfort in the role soon becomes evident. His awesome vocal range is the surprise hit of the show.
Singer Sarah Lloyde is a fine Mary despite her bleached blonde hair looking much too modern compared to the rest of the cast.
In supporting roles, Joel Valenti is excellent as Pilate, Kent Green is an amusing King Herod, and Fahad Farooque and Beau-Daniel Loumeau do themselves proud as apostles Simon and Peter respectively.
The large chorus sounds great, but diction is an issue at times. In particular, they handle Sharon Angove’s fun choreography well on the steeply raked stage.
Musical Director Ross Curtis has pieced together a fine rock band although some technical issues with microphones caused the cast to be drowned out a lot in the first act of opening night.
It’s a difficult task breathing new life into a show that has made regular appearances for almost 40 years but Lampard’s visionary interpretation has done just that.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis, Performing Arts Critic, Glam Adelaide.