By Ken Cotterill
Brilliant! What a night of entertainment. This would have to be the best musical produced by the Malanda Theatre Company in a long time. It’s that good it wouldn’t look out of place in an off-Broadway production. The young cast gave it everything, including powerful singing and fast-paced choreography. Full credit must go to directors Gill Harrington, Erin Barrett and choreographer Felicity Stoetzel for their vision, hard work and ability to get the best out of a highly talented cast.
The strength of the production was in the ensemble. Dressed in colourful costumes against a big city skyline, the cast performed the numerous rock and folk songs between the telling of parables with wit, skill and precision. The singing by Megan Howell, Gabriella Normington, Jasmin Chapman and Yasmin Lancini were powerful and full of emotion.
Brett Doull as Jesus was outstanding, as was Paul Inderbitzen as Judas. Both had strong stage personalities that were equally matched by Megan Howell as Gemma, Jasmin Chapman as Paige, Yasmin Lancini as Sonia, Gabriella Normington as Robyn and Dirran Chapman as John the Baptist. Janessa Vick as Peggy, Shantelle Kerwin as Leigh and Amy Robertson as Sarah were also eye-catching in their comedy roles.
Credit must also go to the on-stage band, which played faultlessly throughout. The set décor by Dale Roger-Jones and her team provided the perfect backdrop for this 70s rock musical that had the old Majestic Theatre rocking!