Reviews

The Legend of Queen Kong. Episode 2 In Outer Space.

Narrated by Yana Alana. 2018 Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Space Theatre. June 22-23rd, 2018

Yana Alana is the alter ego of Helpmann award-winning artist Sarah Ward. Her show, The Legend of Queen Kong Episode 2 In Outer Space is not for a faint hearted performer or a prudish audience. It is advertised, appropriately, as being suitable for a 16+ age group. Ward, who has a well-established cult following, makes Yana Alana, her regular main show character for all pieces, the focus; the cabaret star and story teller of this 70-minute creative and courageous show.

Homme Fatale

Sven Ratzke. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Dunstan Playhouse. June 21st-23rd, 2018

Sven Ratzke, the Dutch-German cabaret performer, personifies everything that true cabaret is about. He is sexy, flirty, audience focused and uniquely entertaining. In fact, he reminds me that I have seen a number of other cabaret performers do great shows, but Ratzke’s show is true to the cabaret genre and he is a quintessential cabaret style performer.

Don’t Monkey With Broadway

Patti Lupone. 2018 Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Thursday 21 June 2018

Patti Lupone is a Broadway legend. Making her Broadway debut in 1973, Patti Lupone has successfully played a wide variety of roles in plays and musicals. It is, however, her musical theatre performances for which she is most known and that secured her place in the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2006.

Dresden

By Justin Fleming. bAKEHOUSE Theatre Company at KXT. Kings Cross Theatre, Level 2, Kings Cross Hotel. June 15 – 30, 2018.

According to Hitler's memoirs, it was his teenage viewing of Richard Wagner’s Rienzi –  about a Roman tribune who led a proletariat revolt against the nobles of Rome – that made him understand for the first time his destiny: to strengthen and unite the German Reich. Hitler had the autographed score of Rienzi with him in the bunker where he took his life in 1945.

Perfect Wedding

By Robin Hawdon. Adelaide Repertory Theatre. Arts Theatre, Adelaide. June 21 – 30, 2018

Marriage is like a hot bath; once you get used to it it's not so hot anymore.” This is the message of the Adelaide Repertory Theatre’s latest offering Perfect Wedding.

Cake

Johanna Allen. 2018 Adelaide Cabaret Festival. June 20-21st 2018

Johanna Allen’s 70-minute show Cake is a salacious celebration of reckless consumption and excess. She is coquettish, bawdy, flippant, flighty and passionate, all within minutes. She gambols through the works of musical geniuses including Cole Porter, Madonna, Abba (a particular favourite of mine in this show), Kylie Minogue and the Eurhythmics, demonstrating a powerful, soaring and compelling vocal range through a myriad of styles including musical theatre, pop, jazz and light opera.

Assassins

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Book by John Weidman. Black Swan State Theatre Company . Directed by Roger Hodgman. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia. 16 June - 1 July, 2018

When Luke Hewitt steps on to the stage as The Proprietor, in Assassins, in beautiful voice and a sinister sense of fun, he sets the standard for a high quality, crisply directed production, that is cleverly acted and expertly sung.

Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins is a non-linear work in which we meet the assassins and would-be assassins of American Presidents from Lincoln to Reagan.

This Boy’s in Love – Adriano Cappelletta

2018 Adelaide Cabaret Festival. ArtSpace, Adelaide Festival Centre. 20-21 June, 2018.

This Boy’s in Love, written and performed by Adriano Cappelletta, is a ‘gay’ romance. It has been successfully performed and acclaimed at numerous national and international festivals, including the Adelaide Fringe Festival. These current performances of only two shows are essentially a return season, which is fortunate for me and others who have previously missed this highly acclaimed piece of  ‘gay’ theatre’.

Carmen Live or Dead

2018 Adelaide Cabaret Festival. The Banquet Room. Adelaide Festival Centre. June 20 & 21, 2018

Both being married to other partners, it was just a brief affair in the Mexican summer of 1937 between the political revolutionary, Leon Trotsky​, and the artistic revolutionary, Frida​ Kahlo​.  So, what if they had a love-child? Natalie Gamsu​ is the fictitious Carmen Frida​ Leon Davidovich​, a hermaphrodite (or as she reminds us, intersex) who is the central character in Carmen Live or Dead, seeker of love in a world that does not understand what it is to be both male and female.

Ramin Karimloo and Anna O'Byrne

Concertworks. Hamer Hall, Melbourne, June 20, 2018 and State Theatre Sydney, June 23, 2018

I was feeling a bit out of it. Here I was at Hamer Hall to review an Iranian refugee who escaped to Canada via Italy and made it big on Broadway, and I was the only one there who had never heard of him. The audience had high expectations and it didn’t take long for him to meet them completely, and I was soon as big a fan as the rest of them.

Apart from his obvious vocal talent, it was his easy stage manner and the way he made everyone feel he was talking just to them that got everyone in. There was a lot of love in the room.

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