Michael Cassel Group
Adelaide Festival Theatre
Until 15 Sep 2018

Review by Fran Edwards

Without doubt this is the quintessential Australian tale that has toured the world and triumphantly returned to bedazzle us again. How lucky are we to have Tony Sheldon back as Bernadette, after playing the role to great acclaim in London, Toronto and Broadway, not to mention the long run in Australia. With David Harris (as Tick) and Euan Doidge (Felicia) we have the perfect trio to bring this story to life. Aided by the wonderful Robert Grubb as Bob the story that has given light to diversity and tolerance entertains and enlightens again.

Apart from the lead players, who are the core, the entire ensemble is just terrific. I could name each of them for their wonderful energy in the choreography and the infectious choruses that got the entire audience involved but that would be too difficult (and long). A few that stood out for me were Lens Cruz (Cynthia), the Divas (Angelique Cassimatis, Samm Hagen, Cle Morgan) and Emma Powell (Shirley). A special mention for William Fleming who played Benji, Tick’s son, a great show to debut in!

The other star is the bus! The set is bright colourful and brightly lit moving from scene to scene and costume to costume without interruption. I could write a complete review on the costumes, which are fantastic! The Divas suspended in several scenes wearing outrageous outfits, the Les Girls scene all pink and feathers, the McArthur’s Park scene with the dancing cakes, the paintbrushes and more. That doesn’t even mention the iconic frocks and wigs that we see in the publicity. As if that’s not enough the finale tops it all, beyond imagination!

The other thing to mention is the music. An eight-piece band, hidden off stage, played so many well-known tunes and had the audience in their pocket from the start. From It’s Raining Men to Go West and the final medley the crowd were engaged, clapping along and tapping their feet. If you have not seen this show you are missing out, the best feel-good production I have seen.