Presented by South Australian Light Opera Society Inc (aka SALOS)
Reviewed 24 November 2016
South Australian Light Opera Society Inc, (SALOS), have delivered a fine variety show here with Christmas Carnival, which showcases the many fine voices and talented performers from this company. A mix of both Christmas songs and other classics, there was something for everyone to enjoy; this left the audience singing along and feeling good upon leaving the show.
Director Pam Tucker, who also did choreography, has done a brilliant job and knew just the right way to stage this performance with proper use of the stage at all times. It was very simplistic with simple dance steps and very little set used, but just enough to brighten up the stage. Pam also helped with the amazing costumes, along with Cyndy Trezise, Jenny Francis and Jan Page. These costumes really lit up the stage and everyone looked amazing, all matching and complete with Santa hats and tinsel.
The small yet effective musical ensemble were a tad loud in the first Act and it made it difficult to clearly hear some of the softer singers, but this didn’t seem to be an issue in the second Act. Paul Tossell and Tim Holding on lighting effectively made sure the stage was always lit, and the use of spotlight in certain numbers was nicely done.
The ensemble cast was stunning, and beautiful harmonies shone through in the group numbers, with the Christmas medley in particular being one of the highlights. They blend together very well and everyone has a chance to showcase their voice and talent in their own solos throughout the show, as well as all being part of a number of ensemble numbers. As well as the Christmas medley there were also Disney, movie and musical favourites to ensure there was something for everyone.
Out of the 20 plus singers there were some standout performers and numbers. Anthony Little shone in his rendition of Bring Him Home, as well as his duet with David Roberts singing The Hero and the Villain. There was also some lighthearted comedy through the night, and Noel Carthew had the audience chuckling with his performance of The Twelve Days After Christmas. Other notable stand-out performers for the night included Christine Southby, Robert Maher, Carmine Clarke and Charlie Burke. Ellen Fogarty and Caitlyn Rugless from In Step School of Dance Inc also shone as the shows two dancers.
There was no denying the stars of this show however, and the audience also clearly enjoyed these two brilliant performers. Marion Manuel and Ralph Gourlay performed two Folk sets for both Acts, and they were simply breathtaking. Manuel’s dulcent tones are that of Judith Durham, and her lovely voice and stage presence made her the clear stand-out of the night. Gourlay accompanied on guitar, and had elements of Slim Dusty and a low and soothing bass line that was just magical. Gourlay even performed a song he wrote, and with the help of Manuel had the audience singing along with the chorus.
Overall this was a very enjoyable night and a chance to hear some of the outstanding talent SALOS has, with a song that everyone will know that will leave you in a feel good mood long after leaving the venue.
Reviewed by Daniel Knowles
Venue: Tower Arts Centre, Pasadena
Season: 24-27 November
Duration: 2 hours 20 mins including interval
Tickets: $11 – $25
Bookings: Call Pam on 8294 6582