Assorted cremes -entertainment for all ages!

Apr 04, 2022

One of the reasons I loved going to grandma’s house was because she always had a large pack of crème assorted biscuits. There was always some I loved, some my brother loved and the grown-ups had their favourites too. This month my two recommended viewings and live theatre review is a bit like an assorted pack. 

 

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Encanto

Following an impromptu performance of We don’t talk about Bruno complete with actions and dance moves by a couple of grandchildren I thought I had better have a look at the movie that all my grandchildren are talking, and singing, about.  Disney has come a long way since Sunday nights when we tried to guess which “land” the show would be from – for the record I always preferred Fantasyland, my brother Adventureland

Encanto is a beautifully animated, musical fantasy produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and tells of the Madrigal family who lives in a wonderful magical house in the enchanted place Encanto.  The magic of the Encanto has blessed each family member with a different magical gift, healing powers, talking to animals, super strength, all except one Mirabel.  But when the magic surrounding Encanto seems to be in trouble, it’s up to the ordinary Mirabel Madrigal to save her extraordinary family. 

The soundtrack is so very catchy I am sure you will be playing We don’t talk about Bruno or one of the other brilliant songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose other credits include Hamilton and Moana, tunes playing on high rotation in your head for at least a day.

With wonderful themes of family, self-belief and tolerance of difference it’s a beautiful family film with strong female characters.  If you can’t find a child to watch Encanto with watch it on your own but it’s more fun to watch the magic through a child’s eyes.  Be warned though- you will be watching it more than once. Encanto is available for streaming on Disney+. 

 

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Eight Days A Week – Ron Howard’s Beatles Documentary

Full disclosure I am a Beatles fan and own every recording they have released. As a child, I had a set of stamps stuck on my dressing table mirror of John, Paul, George and Ringo and a surfboard-shaped necklace with their names on it.  I have wonderful memories of singing all their songs with my mother, probably around the time of the 1964 Australian Tour.  

Ron Howard, who played Richie Cunningham in Happy Days, but since then, he has directed some amazing films including box office hits Apollo 13 and A Beautiful mind, has produced an amazing documentary tracking down old and long-lost footage and restoring it to cinema quality. 

Eight Days A Week explores the history of The Beatles through the lens of the group’s concert performances, from their early days playing small clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg to their unprecedented world tours in packed stadiums around the globe, from New York to Melbourne to Tokyo. It reminds you that these global superstars were four young men who were talented musicians, good friends and who more than anything else just wanted to play music. John, Paul, George and Ringo were real people, tested in the fire of publicity and who were very young at the start of their career.  

Just when I thought there was nothing new to say about The Beatles I found myself reviewing things through a different lens. Jordan Runtagh reviewing for Rolling Stone in 2016 summed it up best, “’by the end, it became quite complicated, but at the beginning things were really simple,’” says Paul McCartney in voiceover. Simple isn’t always bad.

Before they became technical recording masters, the Beatles were, as McCartney often says with charming understatement, “’a great little rock & roll band.’” Eight Days A Week lets you experience them like never before, and feel the frenzy of those thrilling years that came and went much too fast.”

A must-see for any fan and a fabulous look at a different time in recent history if you are not. I watched Eight Days A Week on Stan.

 

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9-5 The Musical- Live Theatre

Dolly Parton fans will enjoy this slickly choreographed musical.  Just like the movie it is based on, 9-5 is set in the 1980s and tells the story of 3 women and their workplace battles.  The songs have been written by Parton who also features to introduce and narrate parts of the story. I found the storyline a little dated and a bit confusing but the performances of Marina Prior, Erin Clare and Casey Donovan save it. Their fine voices and good comic timing lend authenticity to the friendship storyline. And then there’s Caroline O’Connor, with her amazing voice, her sublime movement and comedic slapstick timing O’Connor takes a role that could be cringe-worthy and actually makes something of it.  To be honest it’s just so good to be back in a theatre and watching live performances 9-5 is a nice, feel-good escape.  Playing at the Capitol Theatre Sydney until May then touring to Melbourne and Brisbane.

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