RUTHLESS THE MUSICAL
Ruthless The Musical, Reginald Season 2014, Seymour Centre & The Theatre Division, 19th June - 12th July - SEASON EXTENDED
Photography: BlueprintStudios, Main: Meredith O'Reilly, Margi De Ferranti, Caitlin Berry, Geraldine Turner, Katrina Retallick and Madison Russo. Right: Katrina Retallick
Ruthless The Musical is the debut offering from the newly formed The Theatre Division by producers Lisa Freshwater and Alistair Thomson. This is a bold, fresh and uncompromising production of an off-broadway cult-hit. It's a musical in the true sense of the word and theatrical style. There are no whizz-bang Andrew Lloyd-Webberesque spectacles here. It's just a show based on wit, timing and talent - performed well, sung well with just a little twist in the tale!
Meet Judy Denmark (Katrina Retallick) a house wife who is happy being a house wife and of course with being Tina's (Madison Russo/ Jade Gillis) mother. Tina is a protege. A perfect little prima donna, who knows how to manipulate the adults around her into thinking that butter wouldn't melt in her mouth. But when Miss Block (Margi De Ferranti) doesn't cast Tina in the lead role of the school musical, chaos, revenge and a hilarious machiavellian plot unfolds. It's all a bit "Toddlers in Tiaras" in a good way.
Lisa Freshwater's direction is clear and simple which allows each performer to put their own individual stamp on their characters. Rarely do you see such a wonderful vehicle for six strong female roles and it is obvious that each actor relishes the opportunity. Geraldine Turner's return to the stage is well worth the wait. She is fantastic as the scathing theatre critic Lita Encore. Meredith O'Reilly is equally fabulous as the bitter "has been/once was" Sylvia St Croix who takes little Tina under her wing. Katrina Retallick as Judy is the perfect depiction of a kooky house wife - all smiles and dusted surfaces. The hostess with the mostess - a little like Samantha Stephens in "Bewitched".
Mason Browne's set design is very clever indeed - particularly given the size of the Seymour Centre's Reginald Theatre. Browne's costumes reference the bright 50's style that is a hallmark of the production without forcing it to be set firmly in a certain period of time.
Musical director Brad Miller effortlessly guides his musicians through the score - which is a delight and has echoes of traditional "Broadway". The songs are delightfully fun, lyrically sophisticated and have you tapping your toes in your seat.
Ruthless The Musical is wonderfully ruthless, hysterically funny and makes revenge good old fashioned fun!