Hello DollyPhoto – Jessica James Moody

The concept of ‘a moment’ is a popular one with lyricists. Mr Sondheim loves them as we know, and on Friday night it was lovely to rediscover Jerry Herman and Michael Stewarts reminder that “It only takes a moment to be loved your whole life long”.

And if Squabbalogic keep presenting such rewarding nights in the theatre as their staged reading of Hello Dolly, they may just prove those words true.

For love was definitely in the air, and the vast York Theatre buzzed with an energy and intimacy it rarely manages to achieve as Jay James-Moody celebrated the company’s achievements, and presented their vision for the coming year.

The evening was a quirky fundraiser for their up and coming 2016 season – a Mystery Musical where the audience is unaware of the show until the first notes are played. It was well supported with an audience studded with theatre luminaries and an eclectic mix of supporters of a company always up for trying something new. For they do – even when its old! Breathing life into shelved classics, and now about to direct its resources into developing new works.

If the Squabbalogic team handles original material as deftly as they reinvent the classics, then Sydney theatre is in for a treat.

For there was not only a lot of love in the room – but so much talent – so very very much talent. They had 3 days to pull together a show and it looked like they had been at it for weeks. That speaks volumes about the skill level of company and production team alike. It was a staged reading and I’m not supposed to review performances, but it’s hard to resist when they were all just so great. Beth Daley was a delight as Dolly, charming and honest and funny. Tim Page a wonderfully volatile Horace, Edward Grey a sincere and beautifully sung Cornelius. And Dean Vince as Barnaby? – A delicious piece of intentional miscasting that was pure joy alongside Laura Murphy’s Minnie – sharp and funny and focused.  The young protégés from AIM making up the company deserve special praise delivering assured, impressive cameos and vocals. 

Knowing who to cast – even at spectacularly short notice – is an often underrated skill, and drawing together this group of consummate actor/singer/comedians showed serious smarts.

And Squabbalogic are making smart choices on so many levels it would appear.

It is hard to realize they have actually been around for a decade, growing steadily and choosing to stage on works on their own terms even when others found their choices curious. Great nights are the theatre are all about risk, and this team are pulling them off. Special moments of theatre like their recent Man of La Mancha (you can buy their recording now!!) and Triassic Park. Their goal is to become a fully professional company and take on the world. They have the credentials – so spread the word! Its time they had the corporate or philanthropic support they deserve.

The foyer was alive with smiles and joy and people buying CD’s as I left.

But like so many moments, this one was all too fleeting – a one night only affair. And while I desperately want to encourage you all not to miss this amazing evening in the theatre – sadly you have. But there will be more. I can’t wait for Grey Gardens in November to see the talented Ms Daly again.

I strongly advise you not to miss another Squabbalogic moment.  


Visit: www.squabbalogic.com.au


Most read features

The Umbilical Brothers

You don’t need to flex your visual imagination muscle in the latest show from The Umbilical Brothers. Because two green screens, a lot of cameras, special effects, computer power and an onstage tech wizard named “Doug” do it for you.

Most read reviews

Lighten Up | Tom Gleeson

Master of the deadpan, harsh host of Hard Quiz, and heartless interrogator on Hard Chat, making audiences squirm as much as his victims – Tom Gleeson uses blunt-force trauma as his comedy schtick.

Scandal! A Reflection on Essendon’s Doping Saga: The Musical? | Kit Richards

It doesn’t matter how much you know or care about the legality of the Essendon Football Club supplements program in 2013 – it won’t stop you enjoying this original and entertaining saga, because Kit Richards has a talent for making otherwise dull stories fun and interesting. And for writing damn good songs.

Easter at The Piano Mill 2021

Piano Mill’s success has been due to it offering an alternative means of experiencing fresh, original music in the spirit of a sonic adventure staged outdoors.

Because the Night | Malthouse Theatre

If you’re looking for a show that’s completely different and unlike anything you’ve seen in Australia, head to Because the Night.

The Distraction | The Umbilical Brothers

Many comedians have been delving into personal struggles on stage, revealing truth and darkness which in turn, evokes both tears and laughs from the audience. This is not one of those shows.

Most read news

Vale Taryn Fiebig

Multi award-winning Australian music theatre and opera star Taryn Fiebig, who made Prince Charles cry with her artistry, passed away in Sydney last night from ovarian cancer, aged 49.

MTC to premiere Digital Theatre

Audiences around Australia will have the opportunity to see Melbourne Theatre Company productions direct from stage to screen with the premiere of MTC Digital Theatre – Friday 16 April 2021.

2020 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards

Andrew Myer AM, Chairman, Sidney Myer Fund has announced the winners of the 2020 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards.