Catherine Martin reviews the DMMF Taranaki Committee’s Showcase Concert at the Theatre Royal, TSB Showplace on Saturday 22 September 2018.
Recipients of support from the Dame Malvina Major Foundation sang, danced, played and acted their hearts out at this fabulous variety concert.
Still in their twenties, Bryony Williams and Brad Carter were the star performers, having studied and worked overseas. Bryony opened the programme, soaring effortlessly through Italian and French arias, and a hilarious contemporary song, The Girl in 14G. This artist has an enviable voice, and the versatility to perform in any number of arenas.
Sydney based Brad Carter is building an impressive resumé and has just completed a contract performing in Priscilla on a Norwegian cruise ship. Stepping out in drag, he raised temperatures with his risqué Material Girl, and soothed the burning brow with a comforting favourite, Singing in the Rain. Here’s hoping Brad performs here again soon.
Other highlights included Donna Luo’s portrayal of a tap-dance teacher: a clearly articulated and witty performance. The dancers from Chere McGregor’s Emmanuel Ballet Academy floated like feathers, while the tap troupe from Kate Lahood School of Dance commanded the stage with rhythm. Classical music was well represented too, including assured performances by Chamber trios Virtuoso and Seminara.
The Taranaki Youth Orchestra played throughout the second half of the showcase – a veritable tour de force for the ensemble and their conductor, Jocelyn Beath. The union with choir Sacred Heart Trebles and the Woodleigh Percussion Players, was joyful. With the stage crammed full of children things could have gone horribly wrong, but everyone knew their part, understood the protocols and followed their tutors like hawks.
Bryony Williams joined the orchestra for the final item, Tarakihi, a uniquely New Zealand soundscape and the perfect conclusion to a wonderful afternoon.