Adelaide Fringe 2018 - Feb 20th - 2nd March
Judge Jackie Reviews
”“Music theatre is alive and well in Adelaide.”
The ever-entrepreneurial David Gauci has done it again,
with yet another Australian premiere of a new musical….
….this time Judge Jackie: Disorder in the Court from rising US cabaret and music theatre stars Kooman and Dimond.
This riotous parody of the fabulous Judge Judy of daytime TV fame is perfect fodder for Gauci and his exceptional cast, with Katie Packer putting the judge’s acid barbs to song.
There are very tuneful contributions by Adam Goodburn as the court clerk Henry and especially Paul Rodda, doing triple duty (and a couple of dozen laps of the theatre) in a number of roles.
The courtroom’s parade of trailer trash, doomsday preppers and other assorted loons are a sideshow in themselves.
Martin Cheney directs a tight three-piece band.
Music theatre is alive and well in Adelaide.Peter BurdonThe Advertiser
”Director/Producer Gauci together with Musical Director Martin Cheney and Choreographer Kerry-Lynne Hauber have realised a brilliant slice of Fringe entertainment.
It would be difficult to find anything to trump this piece performed far from the madding city crowds at the excellent Parks Theatre.
(Car parking is a breeze and local eateries are superb!)
The cast of five were on the same page throughout. The teamwork was seamless in song, dance and knockabout routines. They were equally brilliant and palpably as one with script, movement and music, all of which they worked with consummate skill, clarity of voice, abundant energy and immaculate timing. Both timing and pace were spot on.
To the cast comprising Katie Packer, Adam Goodburn, Paul Rodda, Casmira Hambledon and Joshua Angeles I offer my unreserved congratulations and appreciation for a great night out at a great little theatre. It is impossible to single out any individual performance for extra praise. However I did love “If only you knew”, “My Daddy Hate me” and the reprise “Judge Jackie Justice”. The tango scene was also a favourite, but all of the character transformations and presentations demonstrated the ability of five very skilful actors at the top of their game.
Martin Cheney’s band of three were unobtrusive and provided a perfect underscore. Lighting was well plotted to enhance costume, character and movement. The audience was involved and entertained from start to end. And by “audience” I do mean everybody!
Davine Productions delivers a great night out at a great venue.
Not to be missed!Alan ShepleyTASA
”Book & Lyrics by Christopher Dimond. Music by Michael Kooman. Based on a concept by Van Kaplan. David Gauci & Davine Productions.
A phenomenally talented (and tireless) cast of five performers - backed by a flexible and powerful trio of musicians - go a long way toward making up for a less-than-impressive script, overcoming/transforming so-so material to make Judge Jackie into a largely pleasing musical theatre experience.
This show’s title and advertising images are a tip-off that you’ll be getting a reality-television satire (not the only one available to see at this year’s Adelaide Fringe) – but ‘disorder’ may be the buzzword that sets up expectations which are not fully met by the book/lyrics of Christopher Dimond (augmented by local references – some of them quite amusing - that have clearly been grafted onto this Australian premiere).
The romantic through-line between the two central characters is warm, well-acted, and engaging, but still naggingly conventional, while the string of caricatured couples who end up in the dock and in Jackie’s sights are written with much less wit or edge than one might hope for. ‘Disorder’ is actually something that the script could’ve used use more of; as it stands, the spoofing of targets such as Britney Spears feels curiously dated, and one wants the material to get wilder and wackier instead of sticking to tired tropes about ‘yokels’ and ‘gangstas’.
Fortunately, the expert hand of David Gauci has steered this ship to go full speed ahead (once past its comparatively understated opening), and the undeniable energy level really lifts proceedings to send you home with a solid smile on your face. The music is a major contributor to this, spanning a range of styles from soul and vaudeville to cabaret and waltz, played powerfully by Martin Cheney, Louis Cann, & Mark Ziliotto.
Not only does Katie Packer effectively embody Judge Jackie onstage as a smart, stoic, sympathetic figure who is slowly becoming exhausted and exasperated by her day-to-day existence, but she also makes for a simply sensational poster image!
Adam Goodburn’s dual role demonstrates his abilities – not to mention versatility - in a most amusing and unexpected manner, while Paul Rodda brings his pitch-perfect vocal and comedic skills to a quintessential ‘huckster’.
Casmira Hambledon, playing a colourful collection of characters, once more proves herself as vital and radiant an onstage presence as one could imagine, as well as being technically unassailable and virtuosic in her vocal gifts.
Joshua Angeles is equally impressive in an even dizzier variety of roles. (Louise Watkins deserves special mention for costuming them all so effectively, as does
Kerry-Lynne Hauber for guiding their dance moves.)
While the writer behind Judge Jackie may have left his work open to charges of laziness, a positive verdict can certainly be handed down with regard to the exceptional ensemble put together and polished to perfection by Davine Productions. They collectively make this show into a fun frolic, with the added bonus of a beating emotional heart at its core.Anthony VawserStage Whispers
”I am not a fan of reality TV so the idea of poking fun at this show with ‘real justice’ appealed to me. It’s good to laugh at something silly that takes itself so seriously – and laugh we did.Fran EdwardsGlam Adelaide
David Gauci has assembled a terrific cast for this festival of silliness and they all shone. In the title role of Judge Jackie, Katie Packer strutted, adjudicated and sang her way through some very comic trials. Her trusty bailiff Henry is played superbly by Adam Goodburn (he also gets a chance to dance it up as Jorge de Amore TV star). In the irritating role of Shane the TV executive Paul Rodda gives a brash performance, doing well in this role and as Allister DiCastro, (Jackie’s ex). He also voices The Great Xantos with the aid of the sound desk.
Casmira Hamledon and Joshua Angeles played all the other roles with much enthusiasm. From a couple of couch potatoes and hillbilly doomsday couple to a pair of wannabe gangsters they bring the laughs. Hambledon is good as a young Jackie and a lady in love with a monument, but really shines as teen pop star Britley Spanks! Angeles gives the humour as Britley’s father, a young Allister and a young Jorge but his tour de force is Mama, Henry’s elderly mother complete with song.
The music is the capable hands of Martin Cheney and his band, Louis Cann on Bass and Mark Zilotto on drums. Kerry-Lynn Hauber does wonders with the choreography, even with Rodda and Angeles as back-up dancers, joined from time to time by audience members. Yes, be warned there is audience participation but all in good fun and those included got into the spirit of things.
So go to the Parks Theatre, its only a short drive from town, and enjoy a couple of hours of great entertainment.
”Well, well, well. A modern musical with proper old-fashioned catchy tunes. How utterly refreshing.
The American team of Kooman & Dimond created this chirpy comedic confection to both satirise and celebrate the fine era of reality TV in which we live. Judge Judy in her iron-fisted court has become a television institution, now the highest paid host in TV history. She’s worth $147 million. Her success is based on the way she takes down the trailer trash-types of the US.
In this zany musical having its Australian premiere at The Parks, Judy's counterpart, Judge Jackie, finds herself in trouble with the studio executives who want to up her ratings by adding a love element to her case load. Or maybe celebrity couples.
They send in a brash and overpowering executive who could be straight out of The Producers. Meanwhile her loyal bailiff tries to keep the show on the road while Jackie juggles not only threats to her stardom and her usual succession of stereotypically hapless American lowlifes, but also the ghosts of her past marriages. Add to this plotline a string of catchy songs, a bit of dancing, and some audience participation, and there it is; a very modern and very unpretentious musical comedy about and for the proletariat.
David Gauci’s Davine Productions, which used to be Davine Intervention Productions, has prided itself on a bit of class in its productions and it pulls out all the stops here. It has top performers performing shamelessly to a very high standard.
Katie Packer displays a sensational array of growling grimaces and scowls, sneers, glowers, and frowns as grumpy old Judge Jackie. She also displays accomplishment as a soprano and is a good mover; just like Judge Judy, not. Her wonderful foil is Bailiff Henry who also is the compere of the show. He is played by the distinguished Adam Goodburn, so his characterisation is thoroughly rounded, his connection with the audience excellent, and his singing absolutely gorgeous. Oh, and he’s pretty light on his feet, too. As is Paul Rodda, former competitive dancer and now a stalwart of the musical theatre. He can be depended upon for a good American accent and he was clearly having a lot of fun being the brassy, vulgar TV executive. His Reality TV song was among the high spots of the show.
But the show needs a cast of other characters to keep the court room busy. They are embodied by all-singing and all-dancing Casmira Hambledon and Joshua Angeles paired up as plantiffs and defendants, some goofy, some ghastly, some obtuse, stupid, and even totally crackpot. They bring the house down repeatedly, these two versatile and fearless players, the high comedy of the production. Their doomsday-prepper couple really takes the cake as a slice of unique Americana.
Martin Cheney and his fine three-man band are onstage, the bare bones of the back of the piano somewhat detracting from Gauci’s slick court room set. Louise Watkins’s costumes are a hoot, the lighting’s good but, on opening night, the sound system is deafeningly over-amped and detracts from a lot of the singing, putting some audience members into defensive mode.
Then again, with the constant threat of audience participation, everyone is always on edge. It seems a particularly superfluous element of this show but it is written into the script and there are always one or two audience members who seem to respond to the threat of humiliation. Indeed, on opening night, the added chorus dancer quite upstaged the cast; not the usual outcome and very funny.
It’s a bit of a hoof to The Parks but the theatre is beautiful and the show is schmick enough to make the trip eminently rewarding.Samela HarrisThe Barefoot Review
”The verdict is in. Davine Productions have done it again!
Hats off to company founder David Gauci, who has brought this outrageously funny small theatre musical to South Australian audiences in an Australian Premiere. While the show begins with an announcement asking audience members to ‘go with the flow’ (for a small reward) one may not expect to be so highly involved (commanded out of their seats, hauled up on stage). But it doesn’t take long to realise that this is where some of the most entertaining moments are found. And in a clever ploy for free advertising, celebrity snaps with Judge Jackie herself are just the beginning.
We soon learn that TV ratings for Judge Jackie Justice are falling, so in steps Shane, the TV executive; a cleverly crafted, over-the-top showman who threatens cancellation of the show unless Jackie agrees to build up the antics, celebrity cases and find a kinder stance on love. As Jackie is pressured to reinvent her show the lines begin to crack. There’s a popstar, an eighties ‘life be in it’ family, wannabe gangsters, furry animals and redneck survivalists. To further explain the absurd stories of the plaintiffs and defendants, audience members are called upon to help re-enact memories and fantasies. Catchy tunes, clever lyrics that move the story along, and characters of versatility are around every corner. And throughout there is a strong theme that explores the often insane characteristics of love and relationships.
In true ensemble spirit, five actors play multiple characters. While working together beautifully, each cast member has their moment to shine. Adam Goodburn is strong as the loyal, but insecure and love- sick bailiff, Henry. On opening night, his initial scene suffered from some muffled dialogue but this was quickly corrected. Paul Rodda’s energy as the amazing reality TV executive, Shane, is incredible. He holds the audience in the palm of his hand each time he enters and demonstrates some fabulous vaudeville moves. Judge Jackie (Katie Packer) rules her court room with not quite the stern iron fist of her reality TV namesake, but has some great moments singing up a storm. But highest accolades must go to Casmira Hambledon and Joshua Angeles as they constantly transform into an array of different plaintiffs and defendants. Accents and complete persona changes are smooth and well-maintained. Their chemistry is splendid. Hambledon shines as Luanne and Angeles has some great moments as Mama, Henry’s mother.
Well-staged in the intimate Parks theatre, the courtroom set is the perfect playground for the bizarre and trivial lawsuits. From the slick dancing security guards, to the hip thrusting Jorge de Amor tango, the 90s music video to the final breakdance, Kerry-Lynn Hauber’s choreography is precise and as versatile as the musical numbers. The score features power ballads, rap, vaudeville, 90s teen pop and country inspired love anthems, all fine-tuned under the direction of Martin Cheney. But audiences will leave humming the theme song to Judge Jackie Justice.
Court adjourns on March 2nd so get your tickets and support quality local theatre.Kylie PedlerAdelaide Theatre Guide
Meet The Cast
Adam plays Henry the court bailiff who harbours an unrequited love for Judge Jackie and Jorge De Amore, a Latin lover soap opera star.
Adam graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree for vocal performance at The Elder Conservatorium, Adelaide University in 2003. Adam’s performing highlights have been Nanki Poo (The Mikado) for Opera Australia; Goro (Madame Butterfly), Pang (Turandot), Don Basilio (The Marriage of Figaro), the comic roles Nathanael/ Cochenille/Pittichinaccio/Franz (The Tales of Hoffmann), Orpheus (Orpheus in the Underworld) for State Opera of South Australia and Giorgio (Ode to Nonsense) for Slingsby.
In 2007 Adam performed the role of Mahatma Gandhi in Philip Glass’s opera Satyagraha (State Opera/Adelaide Vocal Project and Leigh Warren & Dancers).
The role earned him a Helpmann Award nomination for best male performer in an opera.
Adam has recently appeared as The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera (G&S) and Raoul St Brioche in The Merry Widow (The State Opera of South Australia).
Adam is the co-founder of SINGular Productions and produced I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change; Elegies: A Song Cycle; Different Fields and “It’s a dad thing: The Musical” and is currently developing two new Australian operas with State Opera of South Australia titled, Innocence and a new chamber opera.
In Adelaide, Katie has played Little Buttercup in HMS Pinafore, Lady Thiang in The King & I, Antonia in Man of La Mancha and Footnote in Pratchett Pieces for the Adelaide Fringe Festival. After moving to Melbourne in 2005 she played The Narrator in Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Lt. Janice Fury in ‘M*A*S*H’, Pamela Lukowski in The Full Monty and received Lyrebird Award nominations for playing Sister Amnesia in Nunsense & Nunsense 2. She also played one of her dream roles, The Witch in Into The Woods as well as the wonderful Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn in The Music Man.
Since moving back to Adelaide in 2015, Katie has portrayed Margaret Johnson in The Light In The Piazza for the 2016 Adelaide Fringe Festival, Jen in John & Jen and most recently,
worked with composer John Bucchino on his show It’s Only Life for the 2018 Adelaide Fringe Festival and ‘Godspell’.. Katie has musically directed for shows including The Outsiders, All The New Stuff, Monty Python’s Spamalot, Godspell, Little Shop Of Horrors, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, The Wedding Singer, Seussical The Musical and, most recently, The Wizard Of Oz.
Paul has a media arts degree in Drama from Uni SA and has trained as a singer and competitive dancer. He has starred in and won awards in many dramatic and musical roles with most of SA’s theatre companies. Musicals include Sideshow, Bye Bye Birdie, The Story of My Life (2015) The Goodbye Girl (2015) Grease (2013), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (2009), Cats (2009) and
Little Me (2008). His dramatic roles include, Tom Ripley (The Talented Mr Ripley), Mal in Don’s Party, Private Walker in Dad’s Army, Joseph Surface in The School for Scandal, Thomas in Breaker Morant, Mercurio in Romeo and Juliet (The University of Adelaide Theatre Guild) and Torch Song Trilogy.
Offstage Paul is the founder, editor and creative director of The Barefoot Review and a member of the Adelaide Critic’s Circle.
Casmira Hambledon has been involved in Adelaide theatre for the past eleven years both as a performer and director. She began as an ensemble member G&S society, including Les Miserable and Jesus Christ Superstar and Into the Woods. Casmira then spent several years dedicated to teaching and performing for the very young as well as directing and performing in Alice in Wonderland, and Snow White for the Something on Saturday program at Adelaide Festival Centre. She also directed and choreographed the ensemble for Peter Combe’s Fringe shows in 2013, 2014 and 2015. In 2015 she performed in the song cycle Sing on Through Tomorrow, which was nominated for a Curtain Call Award for best professional musical. Most recently Casmira played Gabrielle York in St Jude’s Players When the Rain Stops Falling, which won the Critics Circle Award for Best Ensemble. Recently she played the role of Violet in Davine Productions’ Violet, and Fantine in the G&S Society's production of Les Misérables. Recently she has performed in Edges with Irregular Productions, Shelby in Steel Magnolias with IpSkip, The Lady of the Lake in Spamalot with Marie Clarke, and the Sour Kangaroo in Seussical with Northern Light.
Joshua is a performer with a passion for musical theatre and other forms of creative arts such as songwriting, dancing, acting but most of all singing. He has been singing as long as he can remember and started out as a singer in his local church before debuting on stage in Grease by Pelican Productions as Doody in 2013. Some of his most recent ventures include playing Marius in Les Misérables 2017 (G&S Society), Judas/John the Baptist in Godspell 2018 (Lydian Productions) and as Billy/Man 2 in It’s Only Life 2018 (Davine Productions). He has also performed with the likes of Mahalia Barr-Mashei, Guy Sebastian and Chris Sebastian as a back-up vocalist and performs as a singer/musician in other events. Outside of the arts, Josh is an honours student completing his degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering at The University of Adelaide. He sings with his choir Fructus Augustini.
Multi-award-winning Davine Productions will present the hilarious new musical comedy, Judge Jackie: Disorder in the Court, in the 2019 Adelaide Fringe at Theatre One: Parks Theatre, Angle Park.
Adelaide music theatre actor Katie Packer will return to the Davine stable in the lead role of the reality TV judge with the iron fist. She will be joined by a wonderful array of Adelaide talent including Adam Goodburn (State Opera SA), Paul Rodda (The Story Of My Life), Joshua Angeles (It’s Only Life) and Davine newcomer Sarah Brideson. to read…Adelaide music theatre actor Katie Packer will return to the Davine stable in the lead role of the reality TV judge with the iron fist. She will be joined by a wonderful array of Adelaide talent including Adam Goodburn (State Opera SA), Paul Rodda (The Story Of My Life), Joshua Angeles (It’s Only Life) and Casmira Hambledon (Violet,Les Miserables, Seussical).
Judge Jackie: Disorder in the Court will be another Australian premiere for Davine director David Gauci, following his string of award-winning Fringe shows: Xanadu, Altar Boyz, Violet, Flower Children, It’s Only Life and The Story Of My Life. Choreographer Kerry-Lynne Hauber and music director Martin Cheney, also part of those winning productions, are again involved.
The New York City writing team behind Judge Jackie, Michael Kooman (music) and Christopher Dimond (book and lyrics) are also much honoured, with the Jonathon Larson Grant, Fred Ebb Award and Lorenz Hart Award topping a long list. Their other musicals include The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes, Orphie and The Book of Heroes, Dani Girl, Golden Gate, Homemade Fusion and Romantics Anonymous.
Based on a concept by Van Kaplan, Judge Jackie rules her reality TV courtroom with an iron fist, presiding over a three-ring circus of America’s most chaotic civil cases. When a drop in ratings threatens her show and she faces the fragility of her own love life, the judge must learn to navigate the ludicrous laws of love in this over-the-top courtroom musical comedy.
As the cases unfold, audience members will serve as the jury while the defendants plead their case.
Top Adelaide talent will be showcased as five actors play 25 characters in this delightful disregard of jurisprudence.
The Davine design team for Judge Jackie: Disorder in the Court includes David Gauci and Gavin Cianci (scenery), Mike Phillips (lighting), Louise Watkins (costumes) and Terri Dayman (props).
Judge Jackie: Disorder in the Court will run from February 20 to March 2 2019 (10 shows only) with a matinee on March 2. Evening shows at 7.30, matinee at 2pm. The full-length musical running time will be two hours (with interval). Theatre One: Parks Theatre is at 46 Cowan Street, Angle Park.
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