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BWW Review: THE PRODUCERS at Regal Theatre

Alexandra Theatre company begins with a bang

BWW Review: THE PRODUCERS at Regal Theatre

Alexandra Theatre are new to the Perth theatre scene, and in the current climate, would have been forgiven for erring on the side of caution in their first production. Instead, they chose to begin with a bang, putting on Broadway classic The Producers- with a large cast and grand sets- for an audience happy to be back at the theatre.

Peter Carr may be best known for his backstage skills (he is current Head of Stage at The State Theatre Centre of Western Australia), yet he slid into the starring role of Max Bialystock effortlessly, blending the absurdity of the character with an air of believability that almost made him relatable. His experience is complemented by the youth of Matthew Arnold as Leo Bloom, who brings the audience along with him on his journey from nervous accountant to Broadway producer. The two title characters have a clear on-stage rapport, and both deliver the ridiculous parts of the show with the same energy as they do the serious. Similarly, Gabriella Munro is everything the character Ulla Swanson needs to be, clueless at times but sharp at others in a performance full of personality and humour. David Nelson and Brad Lowton (as Roger De Bris and Franz Leibkind respectively) bring the right amount of over-the-top to their characters, never faltering on their caricatured portrayals.

One impressive aspect of the show is the ensemble of over 30 energetic and talented cast members who all enjoy a fair portion of stage time. There were no missed marks, low notes, or clunky transitions that one may almost expect from such a large ensemble, and as such credit must go to choreographer Ashleigh Winter. At one stage I attempted to count the number of people on stage and lost count at 24, yet no one was kicking too low or missing a step. With similar energy and enthusiasm was music director Megan McDonald, giving as much as those on stage to conducting the large orchestra.

Alexandra Theatre drew on both experience and youth for this performance, and everyone played their part well, with the recent graduates doing every bit as good as their seasoned counterparts. The Producers isn't often seen in Australia partially due to how hard it can be to get right, yet this new theatre company did it justice. Alexandra Theatre know what they have behind them and have well and truly jumped out of the box with The Producers, and I look forward to whatever they come up with next.

Image credit: Alexandra Theatre/Facebook

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From This Author David Bravos