Sunday, December 13, 2015
Devised, written and directed by Louise Rostron
Musical Direction by Matt Webster
Choreography by Jacquelyn Richards
Teatro Vivaldi until 19th December
Reviewed by Bill Stephens
Teatro Vivaldi has hit the jackpot with its current Christmas party presentation. Eschewing the inevitable Christmas carols in favour of an amiable nostalgic revue, “Baby Boomers” revisits the songs and events close to the hearts of many Teatro Vivaldi patrons.
The brainchild of Louise Rostron, who not only wrote and directed the show and even manages an appearance in the finale, “Baby Boomers” is an obvious labour of love which contains several attractive original songs written by Rostron, together with Lucy Birmingham. These provide the connecting glue.
Commencing with the famous archival vision of a reveller dancing down a Sydney street at the end of World War 11, “Baby Boomers” employs spoken narrations, archival film and songs to track through the significant events, trends, songs and personalities of the following fifty years.
The large cast of varying experience includes Jill Elderton, Linda Gledhill, Leonie Leonard, Steve Osborne and Keith Young flying the flag for baby boomers, with Joanna Richards, Nathan Rutups and Fraser Findlay energetically representing the bemused next generation. Each gets an opportunity to shine, and sometimes move outside their comfort zone, as they perform a succession of song medleys and solos tracing different periods and trends.
Despite the fact that much of the material is over-familiar, that some pseudo-serious moments jar, and that more care with the costume choices, and more polish applied to Jacquelyn Richards’ excellent period-appropriate movement, would benefit the show, the enthusiastic performances and droll, tongue-in-cheek delivery style achieved by the cast, together with the excellent musical arrangements played with aplomb by Matt Webster, combine to make “Baby Boomers” a refreshing mixture of laughs and nostalgia, perfect for sharing with friends during the festive season.
An edited version of this review first published in the digital edition of CITY NEWS on 12th December 2015