Reviews

Marney McQueen - Hair To The Throne

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Space Theatre. June 7 & 8, 2015.

NIDA graduate Marney McQueen has made a name for herself as the chameleon of cabaret, so it was no surprise when the very sexy and cheeky Rosa Waxoffsi joined us to share her tales of life, from growing up in Leningrad to immigrating to Australia to become the much sought after bikini-waxer to the stars. McQueen brings this sassy individual, full of confidence and quick wit, to life and the results are hilarious.

Dee Dee Bridgewater & Irvin Mayfield with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra

Melbourne International Jazz Festival. Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne. June 7, 2015

The final night of this year's Melbourne International Jazz Festival brought us Dee Dee Bridgewater and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) with trumpeter Irvin Mayfield at the helm as musical director. With a setlist embracing jazz standards like What a Wonderful World, iconic blues shouters like Saint James Infirmary, and even spirituals (Come Sunday, performed as a tribute to Mahalia Jackson), the evening gave us a rich assortment of musical treats, performed by a tightly-honed orchestra with arrangements that brought back the spirit of the big band era.

Michael Griffiths - Cole

Banque Room, Festival Theatre, Adelaide. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. June 7-8, 2015

A confessional cabaret performed “in character”, “Cole” sees local musical theatre star, Michael Griffiths, assume the role of witty songwriter, Cole Porter, who penned some of the most enduring standards in the Great American Songbook – “Anything Goes”, “Under My Skin”, “Night & Day”, “Every Time We Say Goodbye”, “Let’s Misbehave” among them – whilst wrestling with various personal demons.

Love, Love, Love

By Mike Bartlett. Directed by Denny Lawrence. Red Stitch Actors Ensemble, St Kilda. 2nd June – 4th July, 2015

If you take a good (but not great) play by a young contemporary playwright, and combine it with a good (and often great) ensemble of  actors, plus an experienced director like Denny Lawrence, the audience is assured of, at the very least, a night of entertaining and challenging theatre.

David Gauci: It Was Worth The Weight

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Artspace. June 5 & 6, 2015

David Gauci is perhaps Adelaide’s best kept secret. A powerhouse of a man, full of personality and self-effacing humour, he is what cabaret is all about. Accompanied by the young and very talented Josh Belperio, Gauci taps into the dreamer in all of us. With an eclectic mix of songs from musical theatre to the classics, he makes them relevant to the young boy with a dream who simply did not ever give up.

Dora

By Wendy Woodson. Performed by Wendy Woodson and Phil Roberts. La Mama Courthouse, Carlton (VIC). 3-14 June 2015

No, not Freud’s ‘Dora’, although you might have assumed so.  I did.  Freud’s famous case history, about his treatment of ‘Dora’ for ‘hysteria’ is an influence on this Dora, ‘but opaquely, and only in some small details’, according to a program note by playwright Wendy Woodson. 

Medea

By Suzie Miller. La Boîte Theatre Company. Director: Todd MacDonald. Roundhouse Theatre, Brisbane. 30 May - 20 June 2015.

Is life still a bitch for women? Is passion, love and vengeance still an integral part of modern society with its responsibilities of work/life balance and the consequences of women in power? These are some of the questions that are explored in Suzie Miller's adaptation of Euripides' famous play, bringing a fresh look at Medea's complex personality and the relevance it bears on feminism today.

The Goodbye Girl

Book by Neil Simon. Music by Marvin Hamlish. Lyrics by David Zippel. Therry Dramatic Society. Arts Theatre, Adelaide. June 4 – 13, 2015.

Director Pam O’Grady has assembled a stellar cast who do their best to capture the charm of Neil Simon’s witty and at times sentimental script, based on his screenplay for the successful 1977 romantic comedy of the same name which earnt Richard Dreyfuss a best actor Oscar.

Battle of Waterloo

By Kylie Coolwell. Sydney Theatre Company. Wharf 1 Theatre. June 1- 24, 2015

An Australian play with a distinctively local story has been as rare as a lunar eclipse under reign of Andrew Upton/Cate Blanchett at the Sydney Theatre Company. So at the outset it was refreshing and exciting to see the company’s considerable resources devoted to this story.

In the inner city suburb of Waterloo (just a stone throw from Belvoir which apparently bid for this play too ) are two toweringly unattractive public housing blocks.  Playwright Kylie Coolwell is a local resident.

Venus in Fur

By David Ives. Darlinghurst Theatre Company. Director Grace Barnes. Eternity Theatre, Darlinghurst. 29 May to 5 July 2015

This is a dark gothic tale peppered with humiliation, cruelty and eroticism. It takes place over 100 minutes of continuous time on a dark and stormy night in an NYC indie theatre space. The time structure makes the storytelling riveting. A writer/director auditions a late arrival actress for his play Venus in Fur. But nothing is really as it first appears.

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