Past Productions

Guys and Dolls | NODA Review


For their 110th anniversary production Halifax Light Opera Society presented Guys and Dolls with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser based on the book by Jo Swerland and Abe Burrows, taking us into Runyonland with Damon Runyon's characters involving Salvationists, Gamblers and Showgirls. This musical first premiered in 1950 and has lost none of its popularity and allure for the audience.  The opening scene over the overture was well choreographed showing the commings and goings on in the street involving the different characters.

Their first Sky Masterson had to drop out unfortunately due to illness and Ben Garbett literally stepped out of the the chorus into the lead role late on in rehearsals, giving an extremely polished and assured performance.  Innocent Sarah Brown (Emliy Hurst) gave a fine characterisation and sang with conviction.  The long suffering fiance Miss Adelaide, (Louise Whyte) with her perfect Bronx accent, confidently executed her Lament, always a highlight.  Nathan Detroit (Craig Tucker) showed depth and understanding of the role with good vocal abilities.  Nicely-Nicely Johnson, (Ian Smith) gave a robust performance and his big number "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat" was very well received. Harry the Horse, Benny Southstreet, Rusty Charlie and Lt Branning all gave convincing performances.  There were also experienced character performances from General Cartwright and Avride Abernathy with a praiseworthy rendition of "More I Cannot Wish You". Lovely dance sequence in the Havana scene and a superb Sewer scene with an excellent "Luck Be Your Lady".

A happy lively production that deserves to be a success, my sincere congraulations to all.

Jacqui Hartley - NODA representative District 10

Evita | NODA Review


The society proudly presented the first production of EVITA in this area, this was a superb, well polished production and a joy to watch.  Another rock opera from the brilliant duo Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice, the story based on the life of Eva Peron the second wife of the president of Argentina Juan Peron.

The show was extremely well cast with Alexandra Townend in the title role of Eva, with an incredible vocal talent and assured stage presence, she was impressively supported by Angelo Clarke as Juan Peron.  A confident and convincing performance from Che Guevara, (Ashley Davis) as the Argentinan Marxist.  The demanding role of Augstin Magaldi (Richard Armstrong) the Tango singer, maintained the Latin American feel throughout.  Also we had the sympathetic interpretation of Peron's Mistress (Francesca Preston).  All smaller roles were well sung. I was amazed by the impressive singing and discipline of the ensemble, all due to the hard work of their new M.D. Tony Dylak. A well thought out stage set, and good authentic costumes that were spot on for the era.

This challenging show was an excellent choice for the society and it was wonderful to see the "House Full" sign at the entrance, such a rare sight these days! Yet again, another outstanding production from this talented society.  My sincere congratulations to the production team and all involved in anyway.

Jacqui Hartley - NODA representative District 10

Copacabana | NODA Review


Copacabana is a musical spectacular full of glitz and glamour with fabulous costumes, fantastic lighting and lovely scenery.  The show started with a dream sequence in a 1940's night club with a stage full of show girls all dressed in white. As the story unfolds we find ourselves in a New York apartment in the present day, with Stephen/Tony Forte (Ashley Wade)  as he suddenly snaps into reality as his wife Samantha/Lola La Mar (Amy Straw) reminds him her parents are visiting and wishes he would spend as much time looking at her as he does his keyboard. As the song he has written comes to life Stephen and Samantha become Tony and Lola. This well matched duo took the top honours as they sang and danced together, especially in their duet "This Can't Be Real". Gladys Murphy (Rachel Rogers) who could certainly belt out a song, along with grumpy Sam Silver (Martin Welsh) added to the comedy.  In the rival night club the Tropicana in Hanava, the suave and villainous Rico Castelli (Richard Armstrong) who drugged and abducted Lola, tries to replace his older star Conchita Alvarez, (Francesca Hardman-Saiao) with the young Lola.  Of course Tony comes to her rescue with help from his friends at the Copacabana. As the modern day Stephen re-enters his New York apartment and Samantha also re-enters, he realises she looks exactly like Lola and she is all he wants.

Congratulations to all the principal roles playing with commitment and enthusiasm, the two tap numbers helped the show zip along with a superb finale in exotic costumes that left the audience wanting more. 

Jacqui Hartley - NODA representative District 10

White Christmas | NODA Review

How refreshing to see something new, and what a perfect antidote for a miserable winter's evening.  Halifax Light chose the perfect time of year for this type of production, and everyone left the theatre feeling happily relaxed and ready for the festive season.  There were so many scene changes,all handled swiftly and efficiently by the stage crew.  The four leading characters Bob Wallace (Steve Redfern), Betty Haynes (Catherine Rice), Phil Davis (Chris Scott) and Judy Haynes (Amy Straw) sang and danced their way through Irving Berlin's wonderful music beautifully.   A first class commanding performance came from General Henry Waverly (Roy Greenwood) and a gem of a portrayal from Martha Watson (Katrina Wood).  There were some excellent tap routines throughtout the show, I especially enjoyed the number "I Love a Piano". Susan Waverly the General's Granddaughter (Daisy Crossley), the youngest performer, acted and sang delightfully, showing great promise for the future.  All the smaller roles, too numerous to mention in detail, and a well balanced chorus all added to the overall picture.  The finale was a fantastic spectacle, with beautiful colourful costumes, very realistic snow, (which even fell over the audience) bags of singing and movement from the whole company.This was a production full of engery, flair and vitality. My warmest congratulations to all involved.

Jacqui Hartley - NODA representative District 10