BWW REVIEW: David Campbell And The Sydney Symphony Orchestra Open The New Sydney Coliseum With A Dose Of Christmas Cheer with CHRISTMAS AT THE COLISEUM
Thursday 12th December 2019, 8pm, Sydney Coliseum
David Cambpell's classic swing jazz stylings joined with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra to welcome Sydney Coliseum's first visitors in style and celebrate the season with CHRISTMAS AT THE COLISEUM. Proving a delight to Campbell fans and theatre goers desperate for a new venue, the concert gave its opening night audience a taste of the capabilities of the new mainstage space.
The newest addition to Rooty Hill's West HQ, an entertainment, fitness, lifestyle and hotel accommodation precinct centered around the Rooty Hill RSL, Sydney Coliseum provides Western suburbs residents, and the wider Sydney population, with a new1008 - 1,983 seat theatre with the flexibility for standing room for 2200 concert goers, cocktail functions of 750 guests and banquets for 550 guests. Designed with a holistic experience for theatre goers, from free parking, food and beverage options in the "Eat St" and Restaurant precinct and a Crystal Bridge entrance to the theatre complex, Sydney Coliseum and West HQ have been designed as a destination event to help make a visit to the theatre more seamless than other venues that can't offer all the components of a night out. The theatre complex itself is presented with a spacious, sweeping, sleek and bright minimalist design accented with natural timber. With foyers across three levels and seven bars, including a ground floor Champagne bar beneath the contemporary crystal chandelier providing a focal point within the sweep of the grand staircase, for once patrons arent at risk of getting squashed as they mingle for a pre-show beverage. Within the auditorium, every seat appears to have a good sight line as the entire seating arrangement is presented on a decent rake although the placement of doors 1 and 2 entering adjacent to row A does create issues when late comers are admitted but hopefully venue management may reconsider their procedures, particularly for theatrical events. The timber theme carries into the auditorium but is backed by a darker tone to naturally channel focus.
As always, David Campbell is engaging and delightful as he candidly shares his joy at being the first to perform on the new stage, beating Tina Arena, Dame Edna, John Butler and Keith Urban, all listed to perform in the opening weeks, to the honor. The television presenter, recording artist and star of musical theatre has a proven track record with old world jazz and the arrangements for the evening draw on this style for an upbeat take on Christmas favorites plus some newer additions. Interspersed with the seasonal works are some non-festive pieces which Campbell infuses with his wonderful understanding of the need to connect to the text and present songs as more than just 'singing a song' as he captures the emotion within and connects to the work. Campbell's 4-piece band, led by musical director Joe Accaria, is joined by the pared back 37-piece Sydney Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Nicholas Buc. Campbell is also supported by backing vocalists Glenn Cunningham, Natasha Stuart and Virna Sanzone.
David Campbell with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's CHRISTMAS AT THE COLISEUM was a wonderful introduction to the new venue and BroadwayWorld looks forward to seeing how the venue handles other types of events. Hopefully the opening night teething problems of seating directions and handling latecomers will be ironed out as the management and staff settle into the venue.