Theatre

Hearts explode as musical theatre returns to the stage

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Rewired: Musicals Re-imagined
★★★
Seymour Centre, January 22

The show must go on, they cried, but when border closures and restrictions on public gatherings arrived, just in time for Christmas, Sydney Festival 2021 very nearly didn’t. Several shows were delayed or cancelled, and the audience numbers, limited by public health directives, won’t break any records. This year’s festival will, however, be remembered for its bloody-minded resilience and celebration of something missing from our lives in 2020: live performance.

Ryan Gonzales performs in Rewired: Musicals Reimagined.Credit:Yaya Stempler

Rewired: Musicals re-imagined by Hayes captures this very 2021 festival zeitgeist with pragmatic exuberance and open-hearted playfulness. The concept is simple: take a song from a musical and transform it, with no limits on musical range and an open wardrobe. Queer Oklahoma? Sure. In My Own Little Corner with a Satie backing track? Why not?

Music directors Michael Tyack, Isaac Hayward and Jeremy Brennan take on the dare with glee, as do the six performers – all Hayes favourites – brought together by director Richard Carroll. Add in a red hot band and this show races by too fast, putting smiles on mask-covered faces.

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