Reviewed by Brodie Smith.
Renowned Broadway producer, Max Bialystock enters into a masterful new scheme to rake in the cash, as proposed by his timid new accountant, Leo Bloom. The pair realise that producing a flop could - if all goes to plan - generate more money than a success. With the help of the worst director they could find - Roger DeBris - and his acid-tongued assistant Carmen Ghia, the producers set about staging ‘Springtime for Hitler’ on Broadway, feeling secure in the knowledge that it will be a disastrous failure.
Max McLaughlin’s Bialystock opens the show with a strong, unfaltering performance that carries on throughout. Featuring in and nailing many crucial songs, his talent as a performer is clear. He is perfectly matched by Rob Merriam’s Bloom, a believable comedy wonder whose character brings a laugh a minute and creates a dynamic duo from the get go. Leading lady Georgie Rogers’ vocals soar, captivating the audience as the sought-after-love-interest-slash-swedish-secretary, Ulla. Taliah Horner plays Roger DeBris with flair, injecting showbiz sparkle into the heart of the play.
There is a lot to be said for the talent within the ensemble too. Under Kirsten Millar’s clever direction and complemented by fun choreography from Kathryn Young, the ensemble really make the musical what it is. Featuring many over-the-top comedic and camp caricatures, tap dancing walking frames and some powerful vocals, the story is skyrocketed to its full potential. The drama that unfolds is further amplified by the accomplished 17-piece pit band, expertly led by musical director Caitlin Morgan.
The set and tech aspects were striking, brilliantly matching the big city atmosphere; especially the silhouetted skyline of New York against the colour changing backdrop, heightening the different moods in every scene. The attention to detail within the production was excellent, with every prop thought out and every change of costume of high-quality.
It is clear that a huge effort has gone in from production team and performers and it has most certainly paid off, creating a magnificent piece of student theatre.