From sublime to silly

After 18 days of social media clues, Harvest Rain Theatre revealed its 2014 season in an all-singing, all-dancing launch at QPAC’s Playhouse. For the company’s 2014 season, its first as a fully professional company, Harvest Rain will be continuing what it does best, presenting a trio of big musicals featuring an impressive list of stars. The season features a golden oldie, a modern Broadway classic and a Broadway hit musical, ranging from the sublime to the silly, but all with promise of maximum entertainment.

Harvest Rain

Harvest Rain is fast developing a reputation for effectively reviving and recreating the classics. The company’s 2013 “Oklahoma” proves that classic musicals can still be popular and the company aims to recapture the magic when it reintroduces the delightful musical “Guys and Dolls” to a modern audience in March.  After their acclaimed performances in “Oklahoma, Ian Stenlake and Angela Harding will reteam in the show and the audience was reminded of their vocal talents, including through Stenlake’s dynamic performance of “Luck be a Lady”. The really big news, however, was that the company has recently signed Gold Logie winner Daryl Somers to play Nicely Nicely Johnson, a role made famous on the Australian stage by the late Ricky May. And Somers was in full schick mode as he hammed it up about his preparation for the weighty role.

Everyone is invited to the Jellicle Ball when the company presents Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats” in an arena spectacular style show at the Brisbane Convention Centre for five performances in May. With over 500 performers taking to the stage, “Cats” promises to be a glorious production of immense scale. Indeed, it will be the largest production of “Cats” ever staged in the southern hemisphere. While the whimsical cats shone both on stage and as they slinked about the post-launch function, the highlight was undoubtedly headliner Marina Prior’s goosebumpy performance of “Memory”, the show’s haunting anthem.

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Audiences are guaranteed a good time when Simon Gallaher and Jon English reunite thirty years after their “Pirates of Penzance” romp for the Tony Award winning Monty Python musical “Spamalot”, based on the cult 1975 film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”. After rousing renditions of “Knights of the Round Table” and “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”, Lady of the Lake Julie Anthony revealed how she was coaxed out of retirement for the show, which will be staged in QPAC’s Concert Hall in October.

Harvest Rain’s motto for 2014 is ‘the stars shine bright in Brisbane’ and if the 2014 launch is any indication, this is, indeed, the case, as the company adds to the list of the acclaimed artists have trodden the boards in a Harvest Rain show over the past three decades.

*A review of this launch also appears on the XS Entertainment website.

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