Gilbert and Sullivant Society of SA. Arts Theatre. 28 Sep 2018
One is tempted to leave it at that, one giant, breathless exclamation as a response to this show.
G&S, under the direction of David Sinclair, has turned on a mega musical production of extraordinary excellence. The Phantom of the Opera is simply sensational.
The Arts Theatre is almost bursting at the seams with the scale of the thing. It is big. The sets are huge and tucked in behind them on the stage is nothing less than an excellent 22-piece orchestra. The resulting sound is mighty. Then there is the ensemble cast of thousands with endless costume changes, big numbers, dance routines and crowd scenes. And they’re all good.
As for the principals and support performers, they’re downright classy; good voices and good characterisations.
Adam Goodburn's Phantom is up there with the big names. He is simply magnetic. It’s a tour-de-force performance with the range of that rich tenor voice complemented by Goodburn’s accomplished acting skills. He’s everything the Phantom is meant to be and then some. And he’s working with Serena Martino-Williams who is pitch-perfect as Christine, a divine soprano who also brings the deeper expressions of acting ability to a performance. Everyone falls in love with her. Jared Frost as Raoul is perfectly cast also, and seems born for the role. He has a lovely stage presence.
Then there are the character players bringing the strange old love story to life. David Visentin is an entertaining delight as Monsieur Gilles Andre, with Rod Schultz strong as Monsieur Firmin. Jessica Muenchow is a heavenly Meg with Kaylene Graham an impressive Madam Giry and Jamie Jewell, also the show’s choreographer, delightful as Don Atillo. Monique Hapgood, James Nicholson, Nicholas Munday, Lance Jones, Brad Martin - applause, applause.
Then there’s the speed and discipline of the production crew which clearly goes like the hammers behind the scenes to make all the scene and costume changes, the smoke and spectacular special effects in this renowned old Lloyd Webber musical.
G&S has a long record of fine productions, always gleaning impressive musical talent, but here it has outdone itself and the resulting thunderous standing ovation from the packed house is absolutely its due.
When: 27 Sep to 6 Oct
Where: Arts Theatre
Bookings: gandssa.com.au or 8447 7239