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Salient. Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 26, No. 6. Tuesday, June 4, 1963

Extravaganza Lacked Pace

Extravaganza Lacked Pace

On the first night of the season, when I saw it, Extravaganza certainly had its problems.

Scene from the Extravaganza performance

Basically, they amounted to inadequate preparation. The cast lacked confidence, and the show as a result, lacked pace. Their task was not made any easier by the stage crew, who were noisy and awkward.

These may sound like formidable obstacles, but with more rehearsal they could have been eliminated. Pace in particular is important. A comparison with "The Black and White Minstrel Show" may seem unfair, but at least it shows that you can take material 30 years old and more, and with good stage management and plenty of pace turn it into a first-rate show.

The music was good throughout, and the songs were, too, though they needed more work on them. It is more difficult to judge the script, but apart from Walter Nash's visit to the Treasury it was not nearly as biting as I had expected. Though prominent members of both Parties were present on the opening night, I doubt if they went away angered, which is a pity. Mr. Nordmeyer may have been a little peeved by Hamlet-meyer's antics outside the public closet, though.

In my opinion, Doug (Jim Crint) Wilson deserved a bigger part. In his short appearances as Dr. Malice. South Africa's representative at the UN, and as a Juvenile Delinquent, he was very impressive. He has a good stage voice, too.

George Andrews as Hamlet-meyer certainly deserved congratulations for a thoroughly convincing performance. His antics outside the Taj Mahal, which I mentioned earlier, were very successful.

Of the stars of the show I am less enthusiastic. Margot Sutherland did not carry her part as confidently as she might have. At times she gave the impression of forced performance, particularly when she and John Koolman were on stage together.