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Festival Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, Sat 5 Sep.
From Rodgers and Hammerstein to Mozart, Bernstein to Bizet and all the greats in between, this production soared from the very beginning. Featuring the sublime vocals of bass baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Adelaide soprano Greta Bradman and ever popular screen/theatre performer Lisa McCune, From Broadway To La Scala has something special for everyone. Sadly, much loved tenor David Hobson was unable to feature due to sudden illness however his rather large shoes were beautifully filled by James Eggleston (seen here recently in the title role of Faust) with Stage Director Tyran Parke also making a few appearances throughout the show.
In bringing together this group of hugely talented and skilled operatic and musical theatre artists, Producers Andrew McKinnon and Phil Bathols ensured that audiences were sincerely ‘wowed’ for a solid two hours. Highlights were many, the carefully chosen set list allowing the performers to shine whilst sharing the songs for which they have become so well known. McCune sang beautifully with Rhodes in a dance medley that included Shall We Dance? (The King and I) and My Fair Lady’s I Could Have Danced All Night. McCune also had fun with Irving Berlin’s You’re Just In Love from Call Me Madam in a whimsical number shared with an energetic Parke.
Rhodes was brilliant in his renditions of such iconic classics as Toreador (Carmen) and the much revered Some Enchanted Evening from his South Pacific days. With Bradman, Rhodes also showed his silly side in the delightful Papageno/Papagena duet from Mozart’s The Magic Flute.
Bradman’s voice soared through a variety of numbers, including a fabulous interpretation of Music Of The Night, originally meant for Hobson. Of course the greatest response was saved for her dazzling aria, Casta Diva from Bellini’s Norma.
The most fun occurred onstage when all the performers shared the space, a Sound Of Music medley particularly memorable, as was The Drinking Song – Brindisi Libiamo from Verdi’s La Traviata which saw the audience out to the break. In Act Two, Anything You Can Do from Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun was a moment of pure pleasure as we watched Parke and Rhodes in particular, ‘square up’ and try to ‘outdo’ each other on stage.
A hauntingly beautiful You’ll Never Walk Alone led to a well-deserved standing ovation for the performers and for Musical Director Vanessa Scammell who not only led the sensational Adelaide Symphony Orchestra with energy and restraint as needed, but also possesses the most sculpted ‘set of guns’ ever seen onstage. For their encore, Parke returned with the rest for a fabulous arrangement of Hallelujah with Scammell on piano.
From Broadway To La Scala was a spectacular showcase of some of theatre’s most memorable musical moments, performed by a host of seriously talented artists. Bravo!
Rosie van Heerde