Monday, July 29, 2013


Firebirds at Brentwood Theatre

Christopher Columbus ! An unknown group, a little known "Broadway Musical" and it's a sell-out success in Brentwood's friendly little theatre.
"Six generations have read this story … this one will sing it !" So ran the original Broadway blurb. Alas, there's not one memorable number in the show – all the music is pleasantly familiar, though, and the underscores help the show maintain its emotional momentum.
Firebirds, which grew out of Cathy Edkins' singing groups, have done an excellent job, with some fine young voices – and one or two more experienced singers – in the major roles.
Rachel Watson is Jo, the feisty aspiring writer. She brings enthusiasm, zest and presence to this demanding role – her "Astonishing" at the end of Act Two is a triumph. Excellent support from the other March girls, especially Tara-Divina Gulrajani's tragic Beth, and from Cathy Edkins' loving Marmee.
A strong cast also includes Liz Gibson's formidable Aunt March [impressively sung], Allen Clark's Mr Lawrence – a catchy duet with Beth – Seb Mayo's slightly strange grandson, and Alec Stevens as the shy Bhaer, with a soft accent and a strong baritone in his big number.
The blood and guts melodramas are brilliantly recreated against an ambitious multiple setting which features a fireplace, a piano and of course the attic where it all began …
Little Women is directed by Liz Gibson and Allen Clark, with Musical Direction by Natalie Thurlow. We look forward to their next foray into Musical Theatre !

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