The Q - Queanbeyan Entertainment Centre until November 27th.
Reviewed by Bill Stephens
Utilising a large cast, bright sets and costumes and well-staged production numbers, Phoenix Players and director Kelda McManus have mounted an ambitious production of this bawdy musical which takes place in a brothel in Texas run by the world's nicest madam, Miss Mona (Megan Baran).
HIghlight of the evening is the Aggie dance at the end of Act one, where the men, as lusty footballers, have some boot-stomping fun in one of several energetic dance routines choreographed by Nikole Sklavos. The "whores" also worked well as an ensemble, particularly during "Hard Candy Christmas", with Jacinta Le a standout as the new Chicken Range recruit, Angel.
As Miss Mona, Megan Baran looked lovely and sang with an attractive texas twang, however Jon Garland, as the hot-tempered and coarse Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd provided the emotional fireworks.
Among a strong line-up of principals, Liz De Toth (Jewel), David Smith (Melvin P. Thorpe), Aleisha Stevens (Doatsey Mae) and Pat Gallagher (Governor) all made the most of their big moments.
However on opening night the second act lacked the energy of the first and looked as though it had missed out on a technical rehearsal. The sound and lighting cues were erratic and the abrupt ending appeared to leave the cast stranded and the audience non-plussed and maybe wondering why the spectacle of football jocks cavorting in a brothel seems rather less palatable now than it might have back in 1978.
(An edited version of this review appears in the November 18-24 edition of City News).