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Review Roundup: DOCTOR ZHIVAGO at the Lyric Theatre

The New South Wales Minister for Tourism hosts the World Premiere of a new musical, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO starring Anthony Warlow. One of the most breathtaking love stories ever told, this exciting new production is directed by Broadway's Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys, Tommy), with music composed by Lucy Simon (The Secret Garden), lyrics by Michael Korie and Amy Powers and book by Michael Weller. Produced by John Frost and Anita Waxman, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO plays an exclusive eight week engagement at the Lyric Theatre, Star City before an Australian tour.

CharLes Waterstreet, The Sydney Morning Herald: "When I did look at the stage, the actors were so close to us I thought I should join Equity. It was a triumph in every way. The 26 actors moved around the stage like Olympic skaters and sang the 27 songs in perfect harmony and pitch; scenes changed from palaces to poverty, from ballrooms to trains, from battlefields to bedrooms without missing a beat, without a blemish."

Alex Lalak, The Daily Telegraph: "There are some shaky elements, including pacing in the first act, simplification of politics and the rapid-fire ending. However, considering it has been in previews for a mere week, it shows serious promise on all the points that matter.

It looks fantastic, with early scenes of aristocratic splendour contrasted with later visions of war-time griminess, set off by black and white images digitally projected on to the backdrop to assist scene changes.

Simon's score is a delight, with powerful ballads rubbing shoulders with jaunty chorus numbers and a stirring quartet."

Deborah Jones, The Australian: "Too often, though, there's a sketchy quality to the storytelling as events that should seem fated have the feeling of contrivance, and occasions when director Des McAnuff's staging has the air of being still at rough draft stage. In just one example, the revolutionaries who have taken over most of the Zhivago house should chill to the bone; here they are offensive caricatures, scooting around like wind-up dolls. If the wish was to add some sinister but illuminating laughs, as with the inn-keeper Thenardier in Les Miserables, it's back to the drawing board."

Photo Credit: Kurt Sneddon


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