Review: Strictly Ballroom the Musical in Sydney

So. Many. Sequins.

The moment I walked into The Lyric Theatre at The Star, Sydney I was wowed. There were sequins EVERYWHERE. I know that it is common in musicals, but this was another level with our seats having been bedazzled as well as retro inspired (fake) ads plastering the walls with a loving dash of sequins as well.

It was a warm welcome to get us in the mood for Strictly Ballroom the Musical as well as proving I am easily distracted and impressed by shiny things.

I must admit, I haven't seen the film from 1984… shock horror! But know enough of it’s legacy on pop culture and of course the iconic song, Love Is In the Air. For those that need a refresher, it is the story of a "championship ballroom dancer who defies all the rules to follow his heart" as well as essentially being a love story. Awww.

The film was co-written and directed by Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rogue!, Romeo + Juliet, The Great Gatsby). While the musical adaptation also has the golden touch of being directed by Baz Luhrmann AND having his wife Catherine Martin being the set and costume designer.

The absolute highlight of the show is the costumes, with every slight movement resulting in a ton of shimmer courtesy of the sequins - it was almost blinding! My personal favourite happened to be the little pineapple number from Miss Tina Sparkles which of course I can't seem to find an image of.

Another highlight was how the musical really focused on audience interaction right from the start with those sequinned seats playing a part in when to 'woo' (go see it yourself to find out what I mean). There were varying levels of involvement and 'volunteering.' If attention is a fear of yours, I would recommend steering clear of the first row, aisles, and row F. On the other hand, if you want a chance to strut your stuff you know where to go!

While I really enjoyed the musical, it wouldn’t be up there with my favourites. I felt like some of the musical numbers weren't particularly memorable while the highlights had to be the classics, Love is in the Air and Time After Time.

For those who have seen a bunch of musicals recently, to set a benchmark it was better than Grease but hasn’t managed to match the #ohmygodyouguys fabulousness of Legally Blonde. But of course this opinion is completely subjective.

So only question is... when is Moulin Rogue going to finally hit the stage?

Strictly Ballroom will be playing in Sydney until September 2014 (subject to be extended). And here's a hint, it's cheaper on Tuesday to Thursday AND you're more likely to get a better seat.

Strictly Ballroom will move to Melbourne in January 2015.

Look for tickets & find out more information here.

I attended Strictly Ballroom the Musical as a media guest.
Images are courtesy of Strictly Ballroom.

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