A Cabaret of Golden Age Musicals

‘A Cabaret of Golden Age Musicals’ (ou ‘un cabaret de comedies musicales de l’âgé d’or’) was created by the young, yet highly talented Chloe Palliser for the organisers, Roleystone Theatre Company and presented as part of the Armadale Arts Festival in the Armadale District Hall. The District Hall is on the corner of Jull Street and Church Avenue in the Armadale town centre. Congratulations to Armadale Council on making this a not-for-profit venue, this gives the locals a chance to present live entertainment with tickets at a price that anyone can afford.

I am ashamed to admit that when I heard this show was to be in the Armadale Hall, I expected a pokey, run-down 100-year-old building, when in fact it is a stylish, art deco building with a quality stage, proscenium arch and velour curtains. There is a good sound system and a fine array of LED spotlights and floods. Most of the performance was on the beautiful dance floor with the cabaret style seating at table-clothed tables.

The audience are welcome to take their own food and drinks, although a good selection is available. Committee liaison Nicola Beard with Front of House by Roleystone Theatre members

The 2-hour cabaret performances are at 7.00 pm from Thursday 5th May to Saturday 7th May. There is also a 2.00 pm matinée on the Saturday.

www.roleystonetheatre.com.au or directly on try booking – https://www.trybooking.com/BYKPJ

The lighting designer Stephen Carr has produced a most impressive visual display with the available lighting. Keeping it in the family, the lighting operator was Peregrine Carr whose light changes were in perfect sync with the musical beat.

Sound designer and operator Jonathan Hoey was excellent

Extremely competent Stage Manager Sarah Connolly and her deputy Simon Oxley were aided by assistant stage managers Saipriya Clements and Evie Grummet, the latter was also responsible for the props. The dancers’ entrances which were from doors at each side of the stage, led straight onto the auditorium floor level; they were timed with split second precision. The tables and seating were well arranged; banquet seating rarely works, however, this cabaret seating offered everyone a very good view of the performance.

The show reflected the work of a selection of cinema people, from performers to choreographers, cameramen and directors, all of whose shows influenced the ‘Golden Age’ era of musical theatre.

Masters of Ceremonies Peter ‘Pear’ Carr and Brad Towton joked their ways through the intros, whilst giving the audience quite a few fascinating background facts. Their beautiful assistant was Kate O’Sullivan who ran a couple of fun games, with some light-hearted episodes involving audience participation – no, don’t worry there was no pressure and no embarrassing situations. Kate has proven her immense talent in serious monologues and dramatic productions. In this show, along with the two MCs, she performed in the wonderful dance arrangements.

Charlie Baker gave us a touching rendition of ‘Where is Love?’ from ‘Oliver’. Christian Dichiera brought a smile, when complete with hairy chest and tattoos, he skipped lightly onto the floor in a linen dress to join the small group of dancers. He returned later in the show to demonstrate his powerful and rich baritone voice as he gave us the Gene Kelly routine from ‘Singin’ in the rain’.

Oakley Ferreira and Asha Perry sang a duet as they high kicked through a strenuous routine.

The dancers varied in size from delicate Kenzie Seinemeier to well-built Peter Carr, and yet they all gave every dance number incredible energy and broad smiles. The tap-dancing routine was superb.

Dominique Duvall, Tynille Strother, Jocelyn Dale, Brooklyn Thomas and Keely Johnston joined the jets and Sharks in the fabulous West Side Story piece, with Choe Palliser as the cop hiding inn the shadows waiting for a gang member to cause trouble.

Director Chloe Palliser has produced a great script, with a delightful selection of songs and musical episodes from stage shows and films which had the audience swaying in their seats.

Choreographer Chloe Palliser, Musical Director Madison Laine Thomas and assistant musical director Keely Johnston have worked seamlessly together. They decided on their aims, thought long and wisely before coming up with this top-rate production.

Costume Designer Danika Bentley has given the show colour, a little bit of costume history with short Charleston skirts complete with tassels. A couple of the men’s costumes brought a smile.

With so much dark and depressing news, this show was a delightful burst of pizzazz, fun and quality singing, and dancing. A most professional show, deserving of a major stage.