Production Details

Producer: StageArt Australia
Writer: William Finn & James Lapine
Director: Tyran Parke


Sarah Shahinian’s Trina manages to hold everything together despite disrupted family life. Her flawless and versatile performance includes two highlight numbers – ‘I’m Breaking Down’ and ‘Holding to the Ground’ – which are performed with power and conviction.”

~ Owen James, TheatrePress.com.au

“The cast is superb and it feels like they’ve been living with these characters for a long time. Sarah Shahinian’s Trina is the backbone of the first act and her two solo numbers are striking and heartbreaking. In a show that feels like a storm, with a family’s lives turned upside-down, Trina’s spotlight moments are intimate but no less complicated and messy. Shahinian’s performance is mesmerising.”

~ Keith Gow, KeithGow.com

Sarah Shahinian, who is returning to the stage after a five-year hiatus, is the stand out actor of the cast. Her performance as Trina, a functioning addict who works tirelessly to maintain appearances of ‘a tight-knit’ middle-class family is compelling and honest in its mix of comedy and desperation.”

~ Emily Holding, Lot’s Wife Magazine

Sarah Shahinian conveys the manic frustration of Trina without overplaying her hand, allowing fleeting shadows of pain and disappointment to pass subtly across her face without drawing undue attention. “I’m Breaking Down” is up there with “Rose’s Turn” in all-time great female musical theatre ballads, and it is to Shahinian’s credit that she allows the song to speak for itself without overdramatising her performance. In act two, as Trina copes with Jason’s prevarication about his bar mitzvah, Shahinian’s performance is all the more affecting for its naturalism.’

~ Simon Parris, Man In Chair

Sarah Shahinian is wonderful as Marvin’s long-suffering wife Trina. Her voice is very strong and her performance has a beautiful emotional depth and refreshing sincerity.”

~ Reuben Liversidge, ArtsHub

Sarah Shahinian shined as Trina and was the walking embodiment of a ball of nerves. Her number, ‘I’m Breaking Down’, was performed to the hilt.”

~ Ross Battaglia, Milk Bar Magazine

Performances by the cast are outstanding – the manic energy of Shahinian in ‘I’m Breaking Down’ is a highlight…”

~ Ellen Burgin, TheatrePeople.com.au

Shahinian gives a dizzying and hilarious performance in ‘I’m Breaking Down’ and in her playful rendition of ‘I’m tired of all the Happy Men’, whilst berating herself for loving them, is moving and entertaining.”

~ Flora Georgiou, StageWhispers.com.au

Sarah Shahinian is truly exceptional as Trina and expresses much emotion and feeling through the slightest of facial expressions. While the musical numbers require a loud voice and grand movements, she finds subtle and nuanced ways of showing Trina’s state of mind and sharing her thoughts with the audience.”

~ Myron My, MyMelbourneArts

“Marvin’s wife, Trina, is played by Sarah Shahinian who makes her return to the stage with this role. Once again, the director and Shahinian join all the dots missing from the first act libretto and we see a fully-rounded character – a Jewish Mum who wanted everything “very Jewish, very middle class, and very straight”. But, being the almost 1980’s, EVERYONE is off to ‘therapy’. Her ‘I’m Breaking Down’ (from In Trousers) was a gem in understatement leaving a carrot or a banana to do the work for her. Her voice is an authentic Broadway belt dream..”

~ Will Conyers

ArtsReview.com.au Interview
On the Couch with Sarah Shahinian


PICTURED: Sarah Shahinian, Nick Simpson-Deeks,
Don Winsor, Sam Ward, Francesca Arena,
Jenni Little, Ben Jason-Easton & Riley Flood

PHOTO CREDIT: Belinda Strodder


Co-directed by Greg Kata & Jack Lee
Cast: Sarah Shahinian, Gabriel Paez, J. Claude Deering, Ari Butler, Lauren Shealey, Cori Silberman, Chris Brady