February 25, 2019

Side by Side by Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim is the greatest composer you've never heard of or so this show will have you believe. He does have some recognisable music but you won't see much of it in this production; some is squashed into a medley at the end but huge chunks are missing.

Sweeny Todd and Into the Woods are so well known because they've been made into movies but they weren't even mentioned. There was only one song from West Side Story another well known show, though not as recently on the big screen.

There were several songs performed that were cut from shows and one from a show that was only ever seen once. It's like they were trying to bore the audience with the unfamiliar.

It began a little forced and was sadly marred by continued issues with microphones. Despite this, the performers were excellent, lovely voices, great dancing....but the show lacked a storyline, something for the audience to engage with, and as the songs were by and large unfamiliar there was nothing to hold on to. An exception is the broadly comedic songs which were well received.

As previously mentioned there were snatches of several familiar songs in the ending medley which unfortunately was stretched out into three separate songs, when the one medley would have been sufficient - a bit like the many endings of Lord of The Rings.

What could be a great show is hampered by poor song choices and sound issues.

: 23 Feb – 22 March (times vary)
Tickets: $52