Melbourne Cabaret Festival

Gala Opening. Alex Theatre, St Kilda. June 18, 2015

Oh what a shambles! Not so much the acts themselves, but the so called Gala (I think they left the “H” off the end of that word) Opening. I have LOVED the previous Galas…. Everything from Sammy J to Mary Wilson in properly equipped and professionally run venues; but this was like visiting your favourite gourmet restaurant only to be told the award winning chef had left and the food was prepared in a microwave.

Retro Futurismus

Maude Davey, Anni Davey, Anna Lumb & Gabi Barton, with special guests. fortyfivedownstairs | 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. 10 – 28 June 2015

Maude and Annie Davey are legends and just about everything they do is worth catching and Retro Futurismus is no exception. 

Lady Rizo - Unescorted

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre. 17-19 June, 2015.

Sometimes a performer will take your breath away with the manner in which they joyfully push against the conventional boundaries of cabaret tradition. Lady Rizo is just this kind of exhilarating fresh-air blast, and you owe it to yourselves to put her name at the top of your list.

27 Club

By Joshua Tyler and Tahli Corin. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Dunstan Playhouse. JJune 17 – 19, 2015.

It is not unusual to celebrate the works of musicians that have passed, but what sets this show apart from the rest is that it concentrates on those performers who met their maker at the young age of 27. It begs you to look for a connection, to wonder if there was a greater force or whether quite simply it was a bunch of incredibly talented individuals who each struggled with reality and sought comfort and escape that ultimately led to their deaths.

Love and Information

By Caryl Churchill. Directed by Kip Williams. Malthouse Theatre. 12th June – 4th July, 2015

Just when you thought you had seen all theatre has to offer and it was safe to go back in the water, along comes a shark by the name of Churchill to turn all your pre-conceptions upside down.

Love and Information is a conceit – and is, in almost equal parts, infuriating and exhilarating. It arrogantly throws out everything we know about theatre, and the nature of drama and linear narrative, and replaces it with a gigantic Haiku where the sum is greater than the combined value of the words….and there are words a-plenty.

MDMA: Modern Day Maiden Aunt

By Geraldine Quinn. Hayes Theatre Co. June 16 & 17, 2015.

Geraldine Quinn hits the stage running in this bright, fast-moving expose on being single, unmarried and …. how can she possibly cope? … childless! Her show is witty, close to the bone, and very carefully scripted, rehearsed and timed. It mixes stand up comedy and raunchy, well-written songs in a show that has real personal appeal.


Book and Lyrics By Eric Idle. Music by John Du Prez. Directed by Jane Court. MLOC. Phoenix Theatre Elwood. June 12 – 20, 2015

I must admit I have avoided Spamalot in the past, but I’m glad I took the plunge this time around. The show is a paradox. On the one hand being a 14 time Tony nominee and a Broadway hit, based on the work of one of the most iconic comedy groups in history; and conversely being a gigantic urine extractor full of old gags and corny music which surely has something to offend everyone (though I applaud its delicious political incorrectness). Oh, there is one other thing I should mention…it is abso-freaking-lutely hilarious.

Altar Boyz

Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker. Miranda Musical Society. Director: Osman Kabbara. Sutherland Memorial School of Arts. June 12 – 21, 2015.

In the space of a few weeks I’ve seen two productions which have taken multimedia in Sydney Community Musical Theatre to new levels, in totally different ways. First it was Tommy at BMMS, and now Altar Boys at Miranda.

On a basic setting, with rostra and scaffold columns reminiscent of a rock gig, director Osman Kabbara has made remarkable use of projection to give this small production an impressive, elaborate staging.

Legally Blonde

Music & lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Neil Benjamin. WAAPA Musical Theatre Students. Book by Heather Hach. Directed by Jason Langley. Regal Theatre, Subiaco, WA. 13-20 June, 2015

WAAPA's production of Legally Blonde is being rapturously received; and little wonder. In a line of excellent annual big musical theatre productions at The Regal Theatre, Legally Blonde stands out as particularly special, and not just because it is the WA premiere.

Featuring Third Year and Second Year Musical Theatre students, with more WAAPA students in the pit and in production and creative roles, WAAPA's 'Regal Show' is the biggest opportunity for Perth's general public to see what WAAPA can produce.

Rob Mills Is … Surprisingly Good

Queensland Cabaret Festival, Brisbnae Powerhouse, Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre Production @ Brisbane Powerhouse.14 June 2015 (later Sydney, Melbourne and Noosa)

Starting with a high-energy “Live in Living Color” (Catch Me If You Can) Rob Mills in his first outing as a cabaret performer proved he was not only “Surprisingly good”, but surprisingly charismatic and massively entertaining.

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