Genre: Musical, Comedy, Romance
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Runtime: 99 minutes
This production of Lehar's The Merry Widow is a mixed bag, appropriate, perhaps, for a work of art that is both sublime and ridiculous. Its weakest element is the presence of Joan Sutherland, which will undoubtedly attract the most buyers. Still, viewers will replay it often (perhaps bypassing some of Sutherland's numbers) for the sake of its lavish production, particularly for the abundant, polished, and colorful dance numbers. The 1988 performance, by the Australian Opera in the elegant Sydney Opera House, dates from the end of Sutherland's career, and it leaves one wondering whether she should have retired a bit sooner, while at the same time treasuring every moment in the presence of one of the unique voices of the 20th century. There are moments of beauty in her singing, but intonation and support are both variable. The supporting cast, including Ronald Stevens, Anne-Maree McDonald, and Anson Austin, is generally adept, though some gags (especially the Pontevedran accents) may seem overworked. --Joe McLellan
Exhibit 2, please. Now, generals of the jury, I will prove with this exhibit...
Your honor, I object! I object to having this witness called an exhibit!
She IS an exhibit!
He's a witness!
She is not!
Objection sustained. From now on, the prosecution will refer to Exhibit #2 as Witness #1.
Now tell me, if you weren't married... if you weren't my wife, could you fall for Gabrielovitsch?
If I weren't married... if I had it to do over again, and had the choice between you and Gabrielovitsch? Frankly, I'd take you.
That shows you what I think of Gabrielovitsch.