‘Tis the season for Christmas-themed theatre productions and songs of merriment, and the South Australian Light Opera Society (SALOS) is no exception with a talent-packed variety production directed by Pam Tucker, Our Christmas Variety Show.
Tucker presents a series of medleys, comedy acts, solos and more, structured around certain themes and eras, each with a wonderfully crafted and displayed stage design. These include the traditional (and not so common) Christmas carols, operettas, and early century old time ballads and jingles.
The variety of songs is colossal and credit is due for seamlessly amalgamating so many classical and popular carols and melodies into an entertaining delight. The choreography isn’t over zealous; it’s just the right amount of bopping, sliding and spinning, and is a great accompaniment to the talented singers. Costume designer Cyndy Trezise deserves applause for some rather merry and colourful designs that were a visual delight. My favourite was the rainbow of umbrellas colour coordinated with the outfits.
Vocal accolades to Christine Southby for near glass-shattering final notes and mastery of the upper soprano range that is indicative of some impressive and delightful talent. Pam Tucker and David Roberts win the title of my favourite duet of the night with Winter Wonderland. It was everything a Christmas carol should be: uplifting, charming, and filled with smiles. Roberts’ brassy reverberation was a wonderful counter to Tucker’s voice… and a little patriotism goes a long way, thanks to Marion Manuel and Ralph Gourlay with their performance of We Are Australian (not a single audience member didn’t sing along).
Would it be a SALOS production without Matthew Holding adorning a scintillating costume and character? The answer is no; Holding was the best Christmas “fairy” I’ve seen in an age!
Well done, ladies and gents – it was a jovial performance to bring about the beginning of the festive season.
Reviewed by Nathan Giaccio
Venue: Tower Arts Centre, corner Daws and Goodwood Roads, Pasadena
Season: 5 – 8 December 2013
Duration: 2 hours, 40 minutes.
Tickets: $11 – $25