It doesn’t get more cut-throat than this.
Koorliny Arts Centre is currently performing Ruthless, declared ‘the stage mother of all musicals’, a hilarious, all female musical comedy centered around the merciless underbelly of the performing arts industry. This musical is recommended for adult viewers. The play and the lyrics for the musical, were written by Joel Paley, while the music is composed by Marvin Laird.
This play follows the Denmark family, consisting of an incredibly talented eight-year-old girl, Tina (Bella Freeman), and her mother Judy (Genevieve Newman), a seemingly simple housewife whose suburban bliss is shattered after Tina murders one of her classmates for the lead role of the school production. With a series of stunning performances by the women of Koorliny, this musical shouldn’t be missed.
With numerous deaths, this isn’t a play that provides a message about morality. However, its abundant use of satirical film and Broadway references, combined with its amazing solos, made it a thoroughly enjoyable play. A clear crowd favourite was Casey Edward’s (Miss Thorn) rendition of Teaching Third Grade.
For some scenes, it’s necessary for audience members to suspend their disbelief, as it’s hard to ignore the fact that Tina’s biggest third-grade rival is an adult dressed in a Pippi Longstocking costume. The set is simplistic and the only set change takes place during intermission but the show shines regardless.
With a wide range of complicated, and often deranged, women—ranging from a child-abandoning manager (Natalie Burbage), to a career-ruining grandmother (Rachel Monamy)—these characters will seize your attention until the final curtain closes. With incredible vocals and witty one-liners, these characters embody the stereotypical ‘worst’ of show-biz, with cunning child managers, ruthless reviewers, and bratty actors.
I could not recommend this show highly enough, so go and support this local community theatre; they are doing some marvelous work and deserve a Broadway-sized crowd for this Broadway musical.
Ruthless is being performed at Koorliny Arts Centre until September 2.