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HOT – Dr Zhivago (An Epic Musical) – The Lyrical Theatre QPAC, Southbank.

Reviewing live theatre whether it be stand up comedy, buy musicals, ballet and so on is always hard as one’s inclination towards it is such a personal thing.  Something that is totally rocking in my opinion could be as entertaining as sticking a pen in your eye to someone else…hence, I was nervous to accept Brisbane Marketing’s invitation to attend opening night of Dr Zhivago at QPAC; one, because there was a chance I would see more of the inside of my eyelids than the show itself, and two, I would then have to find the words to describe this potentially sleepy experience.

With minimal knowledge of the storyline and the state of origin decider falling on the same night, MM was reluctant to fulfil his husbandly duties; a few stern words later however commonsense prevailed (yes, he earned some serious brownie points) and to his and my pleasant surprise, we had a really enjoyable evening .

Without giving too much away, it’s well worth mentioning the sadness and gloom of the opening scenes in which a young Yuri Zhivago mourns the death of his father, which sets the scene for a few low decibel, timid and reserved opening numbers.  Fast forward several years and the now mature, educated gentleman who has since become a doctor and renowned poet enters the stage with such a chilling, provocative sound that the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.  MM turned to me and casually said “wow….that dude can hold a tune” to which I responded “no sh*t!…..that’s Anthony Warlow!”

From there the story of Dr Zhivago twists and turns from the latter days of Czarist Russia, through the tumultuous Russian revolution, revealing a bizarre love triangle intermingled with stories of love, war, lust and betrayal.

The first performance of the season wasn’t exactly flawless (queue armchair critic status) with the occasion tremble and quiver of nervous voices.  And my mind did a small amount of wandering in some of the longer musical numbers, but all in all it was quite a spectacular performance.  The cast provided a well balanced mix of singing, acting and dancing with some entertaining and humorous scenes to pleasantly lift the mood from its baseline intensity.

Anthony Warlow provides an exhilarating experience for the audience and towards the close of the show he demonstrates why he is one of Australia’s most renowned performers, his pitch-perfect voice projecting well and truly above the orchestra and his fellow cast members, to finish off with some more spine tingling moments.

For regular theatre-goers I don’t think there’d be any reason you wouldn’t find Dr Zhivago an amazing experience.  For those who are like me and are perhaps more inclined to seek musical entertainment in a karaoke restaurant, or a grungy bar in the Valley, it is a provocative story, but be prepared for some chin nods as some of the numbers drag on a little.  Even so, the storyline contains enough intrigue and suspense to keep your mind coming back to where it was before you started thinking about whatever it was you were thinking about.

  • The Dr Zhivago season runs every day at QPAC until August 11th, check out visitbrisbane.com.au for more information.
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Discussion

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  1. we watched it last sunday and we enjoyed every moment of it, anthony’s voice was powerful and clear, you don’t have to try very hard to catch every single word that comes out from his mouth unlike some musicals i watched in the past.
    lotsofcravings´s last blog post ..Grill’d @ Rosalie, Brisbane

    Posted by lotsofcravings
    Twitter: lotsofcravings
    | July 20, 2011, 1:28 pm

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