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Hello Again

“Disappointingly tame staging of michael john lachiusa's musical”

Sex is rarely nailed well on stage. There’s the full gamut of fully-clothed bums awkwardly reared in the air and mimed trouser-refastening to drive that point home in Paul Callen’s production of Michael John LaChiusa’s Hello Again.

The show, a modern interpretation of Arthur Schnitzler’s seminal La Ronde, consists of 10 vignettes. It zips back and forth through the 20th century to pull back the covers on pre and post-coital couples of varying class, sexuality and age.

There are some interesting narrative strands – particularly that of the smitten college boy who suffers from performance anxiety – but the bulk of the material feels stuffily overfamiliar and packed with characters that the audience will have met countless times before. The spread of unsatisfied couples nudges it into Sondheim territory, but there are no cutting one-liners or camp fun to be had here.

A three-piece band lend a jazzy edge to the catchy musical numbers and the cast members are all highly competent singers, especially Alice Ellen Wright, with her operatic voice.

It’s a shame, then, that we don’t see much of them. It may be a show about the intimacy between couples, but it repeatedly wastes opportunities to put more people on the stage. After all, how often do you have a cast of 10 in a theatre this small?

Obviously not every musical has to be subversive, but with its intensely lustful subject matter, it’s a pity this production is so limp.

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Production Details
Production nameHello Again
VenueUnion Theatre
StartsAugust 28, 2019
EndsSeptember 21, 2019
Running time1hr 40mins
ComposerMichael John Lachiusa
Book writerMichael John Lachiusa
LyricistMichael John Lachiusa
DirectorPaul Callen
Musical directorHenry Brennan
ChoreographerGenevieve Leeney
Costume designerReuben Speed
Lighting designerBen Bull
CastAlice Ellen Wright, Amy Parker, David Pendlebury, Ellen O’Grady, George Whitty, Grace Roberts, Jack Rowell, Keith Merrill, Philip Murch, Regan Burke
ProducerUnion Theatre
VerdictDisappointingly tame staging of Michael John LaChiusa’s raunchy musical
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