Likewise, the actors commit to the fact within the absurdity, their focused performances giving a sense of the compelling that would usually come from identifiable characters and traditional storytelling. Ryan sings with an attractive all-natural timbre that is a solid fit for Bowie’s sound. Ryan’s handsome everyman look enables the audience to latch on to the musical’s odd content and also become involved with the activity.
Quite possibly an aberration at Newton’s delirious head, the function of Girl is given additional weight due to Milledge’s steely focus. The mixture of this band overhead upstage, the displays and another scenic components, made by Anna Cordingley, creates a polished point picture that looks every bit a complete generation instead of the "concert" vibe long utilized by The Production Company. Lazarus is not likely to appeal to fans of traditional musical theater, but for those people seeking theatre with a border the production more than lives up to its tantalising promise.
Inspired by the Walter Tevis novel The Man Who Fell To Earth, Lazarus gifts Thomas James Newton as a mysteriously reclusive New Yorker, a rich man who is on an infinite supply of gin and twinkies. A fringe show juxtaposed into a mainstream season, Lazarus trades the safe for the surreal, presenting David Bowie’s cherished songs in a decidedly amazing experience. From the thankless job of Michael, past friend of Newton, Mike McLeish gives strong support, singing together with well-judged rock expression and tone.
Alternately fearing that he cannot die or that he cannot return to his planet, Newton is tended by new private assistant Elly and haunted by dreams of past love Marylou. Choreographer du jour Stephanie Lake contributes a contemporary dance language, ideal for the style of the musical and expertly performed by the talented ensemble cast members. The staging benefits from an impressive wall of 14 vertical displays, which can individually display sharp projections but may also be translucent or frosted. Director Michael Kantor embraces the surreal nature of Lazarus, crafting an immersive trip that is high on visual and aural stimulation.
Chris Ryan reveals a noble leading man, imbuing Newton with neatly underplayed mysticism and exhausted defeat. At a fantastic breakout operation, youthful musical theater performer Josh Gates steps from the chorus and right into a featured role with fantastic flair. Panaretos delivers killer vocals, and goes with captivating style. Making his debut with The Production Company, charismatic performer iOTA is well cast as creepy clown Valentine, possibly the most musical’s most enigmatic personality.
Beginning their 21 st year, The Production Company produces a bold departure from traditional fare, encouraging the somewhat radical selection of musical having an almost entirely new creative group. Top marks to technical director David Miller for making this tech look simple. Walsh’s dialogue contains snippets of story, however, the second one grasps upon some type of cohesion, the scenario turns , leaving linear storytelling behind. The deftly integrated production indicates a very high level of collaboration between members of the creative team to fulfil Kantor’s vision. Enjoyment of Lazarus will largely depend upon an audience member’s relationship to the music of Bowie.
The ingenious, captivating projections that run across the musical are credited to film director Natasha Pincus. Musical director Jethro Woodward joins just seven fellow musicians at The Production Company Orchestra to create a rich, complete sound, beautifully enlivened by saxophone and trombone. " While it is apparent that Bowie had input into the scenario, which centers upon a theory that was near his heart, the publication for the musical is by Irish playwright Enda Walsh. Lazarus plays Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne until 9 June 2019. Making a welcome return to The Production Company, youthful Melbourne celebrity Emily Milledge gives an interesting performance as the mysterious figure called Girl. IOTA brings his signature steely gaze and sensuous presence, and rocks the pink and purple Valentine costume (an iconic Bowie appearance, lovingly recreated by Cordingley) at "Valentine’s Day. " The only selection for an audience will be to surrender to the experience and revel in the talent and creativity on display. An intriguing singing actress who’s increasingly amassing an impressive body of work, Phoebe Panaretos brings a distinctly female presence to frazzled PA Elly, a young woman increasingly torn between the relative stability of her marriage and the exotic charm of this reclusive Newton. With equally strong vocals from the throw of 11, fans of Bowie’s songs will thrill to the pristine musical operation. The ensemble cast members depict a dazzling series of looks, encouraged by the ingenious costume designs by Cordingley and magnificent wigs by Trent Whitmore.
The gamble pays off in respect to the striking quality of the staging, a standard matched with the outstanding cast.