Musical Theatre That Reflects Something Real About The Human Experience, That’s What David Gauci Looks For At Davine Productions
This year, Davine Productions turns 10 years old and is celebrating with a production of the musical, A New Brain. The brain, heart, and sould behind Davine Productions is David Gauci, and he’s our guest today.
The SA Drink Of The Week in from Yalumba – The Signature. This is partly because the wine is superb but also because Yalumba has long been a supporter of Davine Productions. And we’ll be joined in the tasting by winemaker, Kevin Glastonbury.
And in the Musical Pilgrimage, Kaurna Cronin has a new song out and it’s made itself into an ear worm, competing with the soundtrack of A New Brain!
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Running Sheet: Davine Intervention In Adelaide Theatre
00:03:09 SA Drink Of The Week
2019 Yalumba The Signature.
One of the signaturies of the 49th vintage of The Signature, is red winemaker at Yalumba, Kevin Glastonbury. He sits down to taste the wine with Steve Davis, as part of Yalumba’s ongoing support of the arts through Davine Productions.
00:41:29 David Gauci, Davine Productions
In 2013, the same year The Adelaide Show began, David Gauci put his roots down in Adelaide and started the theatre company, Davine Productions. Prior to this and alongside this, he has had a 25+ year career in professional theatre, as well as being a teacher to countless performers in a number of colleges and institutions including the University of Adelaide Elder Conservatorium. At the time of recording, in October 2023, Davine’s about to open a production of A New Brain. This is a delightfully quirky musical that twists left and right in surprising ways and bestows upon us such unexpected rhymes like: If you make me cry, Then I’ll probably have to kill you, I will you, know.
Learn more about Davine Productions and get tickets here. October 13-21, 2023, Star Theatres, Sir Donald Bradman Drive.
David, we’ll come back to A New Brain but while we’re on the topic of lyrics, do you have some favourite ones from the show?
I almost tripped over on the beach today when I heard the lyric in the “children’s” song that went:
Or when someone says,
“Would you like to lose your virginity?”
Someone with who you have
We just celebrated 10 years of The Adelaide Show and its reason for existance which was, initially, to fight the lazy way people used to use Adelaide as the butt of jokes for being boring. And yet, there you were, also in 2013, launching a not-for-profit, non-professional theatre company in Adelaide, with exceedingly high standards and backed by the likes of a broadway composer, a former director of the Sydney Theatre Company, a former head of acting at NIDA, and a much-loved national celebrity with multiple logies to his name. Can you share with us the moment when Davine Productions materialised and the importance of it being in Adelaide?
How do you maintain the high standard of excellence that Davine Productions is known for because in a professional company you have a big stick – you can dock someone’s pay or fire them. But in community theatre, we all need each other. What’s your secret?
There is much said about humans becoming more selfish and closed these days, so over the past 10 years, has that impact shifted your approach to finding humans who are willing to “give it their all” for the love of performing, when it’s tempting to stay home and coccoon?
I’ve seen (and reviewed) a couple of your shows – Beautiful, The Carole King Musical, and Summer Of 69 – how do you go about selecting shows for Davine Productions? What do you look for?
What is the message or feeling you want the audience to walk away with from a Davine Productions show?
On the Adelaide Show, we’ve previously discussed the profound impact that teachers can have on us (especially in episode 291 in which my daughter, AJ, interviews two important teachers in her life, Kaye and Jenny), so, I’m curious to know which of the three teachers during your primary years had the greatest impact: Sr Carmel with her piano lessons and theory, Mrs Mulvahill with her elocution lessons, or Mrs Tilley and her singing lessons?
How does your role as a teacher at the University of Adelaide Elder Conservatorium influence your work at Davine Productions?
Davine is, of course, the feminine of David but it also means Beloved. That makes it a great name for a theatre company. But it also sounds a little like Divine. I’d love to learn more about your adventure at a seminary, studying theology. Why did you do it, what made you leave?
David, it’s fair to say you and I both love musical theatre but what’s your definition of what is “good” musical theatre?
I love Les Mis, My Fair Lady, Urine Town, The Producers, Superstar, Fiddler On The Roof, anything by Stephen Sondheim, but despise Phantom Of The Opera. There’s a delicate balance in the recipe – nourishing melodies, clever word play, a story line that primes us for emotion or farce or both. Do you agree?
Your new production is, A New Brain, with music and lyrics by William Finn, inspired by Finn’s own experience with an arteriovenous malformation and the healing power of art. Can you set it up for us?
01:37:44 Musical Pilgrimage
Our featured song this episode is Eraser by Kaurna Cronin.
Eraser is a great concept for a song, when someone is the ink unto your paper. Try as you like, you can’t erase them.
It just shows Kaurna is still on form and there are many comments in his online places of people saying the song is now stuck in their heads.
David, is that the sign of a great song – generally, let alone in musical theatre?
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