1984! The Musical! | New Theatre

George Orwell’s dystopian political satire has had a resurgence of popularity since the 2016 US Presidential Election, the revelation of Facebook’s interest in spreading misinformation, and the generalised fascist-y turn global politics has taken recently. This new adaptation looks specifically to the funny side of surveillance and turns the 1949 novel into a comedy and a musical.

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Carrie: the Musical | Louis Ellis Productions

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Image by Rebeccalynne Photography

If recreating the classic Stephen King horror novel as a Broadway musical sounds like a bad idea to you, you’re not alone. Carrie, with music by Michael Gore, lyrics by Dean Pitchford, and book by Lawrence D Cohen, was one of the biggest flops in Broadway history. Closing after 16 previews and 5 performances, it’s a show nobody wanted to touch for nearly 25 years. This version of events focuses a lot less on the supernatural and gruesome elements and instead turns the story into a high school drama about the consequences of bullying. With the prominence of school shootings and religious extremism still in our news cycles, this production seems timely with a touch of something darker.

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PARADE | Sydney University Musical Theatre Ensemble (MUSE)

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Image by Keshav Unhelkar

PARADE is a show that fits at the intersection of a few pertinent global discussions: racial and religious persecution, misogyny and violence against women, and a lighter resurgence of American historical musicals. Perhaps the consistent feeling that the political climate of the United States is sliding further and further into the past is calling people to turn to staged political events with clearer moral codes and reliable heros’ journeys. Whatever the reason, director Hayden Tonazzi’s desire to add purpose and meaning to the society’s choice of major production is a commendable one.

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