Article Title:Review: Annie Crummer rocks in Queen musical
Category:Performance
Author or Credit:Larry Jenkins
Published on:28th October 2007 - 09:44 pm
Published by:GayNZ.com
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Story ID:5156
Text:'Killer Queen' Annie Crummer We Will Rock You by Queen/Ben Elton, at The Civic, Auckland Annie Crummer Rocks!!! New Zealand's own pop diva is in star mode for her role as Killer Queen in Ben Elton/Queen's smashing, thumping, pulsating hit musical We Will Rock You now playing until December at Auckland's atmospheric Civic Theatre. But Annie isn't the only attraction. Despite her show-stopping numbers, the highlight of which is perhaps Fat Bottomed Girl, she has a strong cast to compete with for honours, and the likes of MiG Ayesha (Galileo) and Stephen Van Niekerk and Carly Graeme as the Bohemian leaders Brit and Oz are towering talents. Other stellar characterisations are Neels Glasen's Khashoggi and Talia Kodesh's Scaramouche. And the chorus, demanding as their many production numbers are, just go on and on and on like the Eveready Rabbit. Using mostly South African and Aussie actors/singers/dancers, this production of the musical features a band that emulates Queen to a "t". Production values are the highest seen in Auckland for some time, and the Musical Director, Bryan Schimmel, on his first ever trip to Asia and the Pacific on this tour, has the decibels cranked up and the rhythms pumping the entire evening. There's no let up in energy and one wonders where all that power comes from in the musicians and actors, because number after number, all the music of maybe the best rock band of them all, comes tearing off that stage like a cyclone. The premise of the show is clever – take all those immortal songs like Radio Ga-Ga, Killer Queen, I Want It All, Another One Bites The Dust and many more, and construct a story that involves good and evil, captivity and freedom, perdition and salvation- a moral tale that warns us all of the dangers of globalisation, falsification, urbanisation, and a lot of other “-ations” and let it loose, really, to blow the audience's mind. Which it does. No doubt about that. If some of the plot has to be contrived to fit the songs, well, who cares? Certainly not the Auckland audience on opening night. We were STOKED, man. It was just CHOICE, and yours truly was hopping up and down bellowing the lyrics with everyone else. It felt so good. It was meant to. By the time the cast performed Bohemian Rhapsody as a finale, the punters were out of their seats, hands clapping above their heads. We might have been at Wembley Stadium forty years ago. Production values of this calibre we don't see here very often, and Mark Fisher's set, Richard Pacholski's lighting, Michael Walters's sound, Tim Goodchild's costumes, Lisa O'Dea's choreography, and Alistair Kilbee's technical direction all join Ross Girven's direction as more than usually excellent. Rock on down to the Civic for the best thing you'll see in 2007. Larry Jenkins - 28th October 2007    
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