crossxroads musical theatre review by meredith fuller
Meredith Fuller1

Meredith_Fuller 

Crossxroads review by Meredith Fuller

In this Australian Musical ‘CrossxRoads’ we follow the life journeys of several friends after they graduate, travel, find and lose love, careers, relationships, and learn their true natures.

An engrossing musical from the creative masters Peter Fitzpatrick, Anthony Costanzo, Tyran Parke, David Wisken and Michael Ralph; a seamless crew; and impressive cast take us on an Antipodean journey that cleverly plaits relationships, work, love, loss, and consciousness over a decade.

Fitzpatrick’s adroit writing is satisfying and timeless; he has captured idiosyncratic Australian archetypes and key developmental stages – from the ‘loveable larrikin’ hero to the ‘best friend’ accompanier who uses propinquity to steer her life.

The writing nailed our quirky Aussie humour, as well as a smart integration of technology and social media. ‘Selfies’, projecting emails and crew shots, and a mesmerizing monitored Wisken gave the audience a visual treat. Refreshing homage was paid both locally and internationally – to Julian Slade (Salad Days), and many iconic films, shows and songs. CrossxRoads is accessible and entertaining to a broad age range with either limited or extensive appreciation of musicals, generation gaps, and geo-political, psychosocial culture.

The minute the cast twirled on stage I felt the audience surrender to joy as the eight were strongly talented and ideally suited to their roles

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Alinta Chidzey was spine chilling as she took us to a phenomenal place with ‘Amy’s Moving On’. On a lighter note, whenever Earnest Amy smiled, she lit up the entire theatre.

Stephen Mahy maintained a deft touch – his laconic restraint gave verisimilitude to his role.  His ‘Yellow Brick Road’ and ‘Eyeful of the Eiffel’ were great.

Fem Belling, as ‘Hannah’ the bestie, was mesmerizing. This performer should have a long and busy career; an exceptional character actor, dancer and singer.  Keen to see a lot more of her musical theatre and acting prowess.

The Art Gallery scene was exemplary and Bianca Baykara’s B&D Narcissist was a tour de force

Loved two other cameos; Bronte Florian shaking her tail feather in the hotel scene, and Ryan Gonzalez channeling a menacing French criminal. Baykara and Gonzalez’s sensual solar plexus dance routines were also noteworthy.

At every crossroad, we witness red, green or black & white. The characters are invited to respond to the metaphorical pattern of traffic lights; to stay safe, to move impulsively, or to remain poised in the liminal space between. Or perhaps we are reminded that decisions come from soul (the billowing white set), the colours red for emotion and green for the physical instincts.

The choreography and costume design also reminded me of the Australian landscape – central Uluru’s mauves, purples, ochres and burgundies were depicted in the draping jackets worn by best friend ‘Hannah’.

I suspect the production could do with a shave of around 15 to 20 minutes. I just felt it was a tad too long. In all, much to enjoy and to ponder afterwards.