Reviews

Out of Earshot

KAGE. Director: Kate Denborough. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Dunstan Playhouse. 14/15 June, 2017.

To promise patrons that they “will never experience music the same way again” is to set up your show with some mighty big shoes indeed. Can Out of Earshot possibly fill them? Could any show?

Djuki Mala

The Studio, Sydney Opera House. June 13 – 18, 2017

On their 10th anniversary, the Chooky Dancers from NE Arnhem Land, now renamed Djuki Mala, are back after a run of national and overseas touring. They started off with that infectiously funny spoof of Zorba, created apparently as a sincere indigenous thank you to a Greek woman up in their country of Elcho Island – it then went viral to millions on YouTube.  

I Love You Now

By Jeanette Cronin. Darlinghurst Theatre Company Production. Director: Kim Hardwick. Eternity Playhouse, Sydney. 9 June – 9 July, 2017

Jeanette Cronin writes plays for two people in which she, a terrific, incendiary actor, portrays The Woman, stripped bare and revealed. This is often enough for certain Sydney audiences who couldn’t care less what her plays are actually about.

Greenwicks

By James Marzec and John McPherson. Wanneroo Repertory. Directed by James Marzec. Limelight Theatre, Wanneroo, WA. June 7-17, 2017

This production of Greenwicks is the second incarnation of a script written by James Marzec and John McPherson, first performed at the University of Western Australia in 2009. Filled with vibrant music, this is a show that is a lot of fun.

Set in a supermarket, the plot is a little unlikely, some jokes remain a little too “student humour” and others don’t quite land, but overall this is funny, the characters are very nicely created and the songs are outstanding.

Dianne Reeves

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Her Majesty’s Theatre. June 12, 2017.

Dianne Reeves is a jazz ‘legend’, winner of five Grammy awards, and has just turned 60, which she amusingly and poignantly reflected on in her show. This was the first time Dianne Reeves had performed in Adelaide.  Her show, two hours of wonderful ‘smooth jazz’, was the first in a series of concerts by acclaimed international cabaret artists that is one of the main features of the year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival.  Other artists include Alan Cumming and Michael Feinstein.

The Moors

By Jen Silverman. Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre, Chapel Street, St Kilda East VIC. 10 June – 9 July 2017

A superb cast and a director with an assured and inspired sense of imagery and style lift this rather smarty-pants play into something that delights and entertains.  The moors of the title – described frequently in the text as ‘bleak’, ‘windswept’ and ‘boring’, but also a stimulus to wild imaginations – are Brontë territory.  (Few clichés are left unturned – or over-turned.)  But don’t expect Charlotte, Emily or Anne to appear, or any of their literary creations.  It is, however, a play that

Carlotta Queen of the Cross

Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2017. Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent. June 11 & 12, 2017

Watching Carlotta Queen of the Cross is attending an audience with a living legend. We are privileged to share her life in 70 mins of non-stop laughter and applause.

After a short piano introduction to ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business’, Carlotta makes her entrance in a glittering full-length silver gown and black feather boa. For those of us lucky enough to have seen her in ‘Les Girls’ at the Cross, as I have, the years have not dimmed her talent and politically incorrect banter.

Three Mikados

Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2017. Dunstan Playhouse. June 11 & 12, 2017

Three Mikados is an absolute delight. Three actors attempt to do a 70-minute version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado, playing and sharing all the roles – plus a wayward spear-carrier. They are led by the popular comedian Colin Lane, whose ego starts to run hysterically out of control from the very beginning.

Bill Frisell: When You Wish Upon a Star

2017 Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Dunstan Playhouse. Adelaide Festival Centre. 10-11 June, 2017.

As someone who’s been turned on to the wonderful world of jazz music over the last five years or so, this reviewer wasn’t about to turn down the opportunity to witness an elder statesman of the genre – described in 1987’s Jazz: The Essential Companion as “one of the most accomplished and sought-after young American guitarists” – live and in the flesh.

Lucky: Songs by Kylie

Michael Griffiths. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Space Theatre. June 9-11, 2017

Michael Griffiths is no stranger to cabaret, having won the prestigious Helpmann Award last year as Best Cabaret Performer. He has toured his shows based on Madonna, Annie Lennox, Cole Porter and now Kylie MinoguewithLucky: Songs by Kylie.

Ever the consummate professional, in 65 minutes he guides us through Kylie’s life from her early days in Neighbours to her recovery from breast cancer and ability to endure through adversity.

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