REVIEW: Muse's Curtains
Curtains, the latest production by The Sydney University Musical Theatre Society (MUSE) was a delight to watch. The classic whodunit tale was parodied by the lightness of romance and humour, and a touch of Broadway pizzazz.
The locked-room macabre mystery gave the audience the thrill of a case to solve – you’ll be channeling your inner Olivia Benson from Law and Order: SVU in no time! The actors were so charming that we were almost distracted from the play’s gloomier undertones.
This is not a play with the power to convert musical theatre’s more stubborn skeptics. The accents are sing-song, the smiles are big, and the musical numbers are more spontaneous than Idris Elba DJing in Sydney this weekend. But if you thrive on the genre and all things show biz, you are going to be very impressed. With jazz-hands aplenty and a fourth-wall shattering plot, the theatre aficionados in the room will be delighted by what a small University cast has managed to pull off. Not to mention there’s a play within a play - hello Shakespeare.
The cast were genuinely brilliant. As the first MUSE production the two of us have ever seen, we were taken aback by the professionalism and the commitment to character expressed by the whole ensemble. Bravohs and Huzzahs all round for Dave Collins, whose vocal talent and emotional performance brought a tear to these bitter critic eyes. Seemingly plucked from Broadway and plonked in the Reginald Theatre, Collins was a standout amongst a very strong selection. The sass queen herself Lisa-Marie Long had some of the sharpest, most audacious lines in the show, delivered with a breezy nonchalance that lifted the show to a whole other level. An honourable mention goes out to Amy Humphreys and Jack Dawson for their captivating dances of equal parts finesse and flamboyance. Plus their on-stage romance hits a level of cuteness that surpasses any baby/kitten/puppy video.
Reginald Theatre offered a sense of intimacy between the audience and the actors, yet the show would have benefitted from a larger space. Some of the larger ensemble numbers seemed a little too squishy as a result. Regardless, every cast member managed to perform punchy choreography across a medley of genres. And who doesn’t love a good jazz square? It’s a crowd favourite – we can’t review a musical without at least one reference to High School Musical.
Solve the murder mystery and unveil your secret passion for catchy showtunes at the Seymour Centre tonight. If you miss out on this opportunity, it will be curtains for you.
The final show for Curtains is on tonight 7:30pm at The Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre
Tickets are available here.