Reviews

Spiritual Gangster

The Butterfly Club. Nov 28 – Dec 1, 2018.

 A wild, energetic, extroverted ball of fire, Spiritual Gangster (Joana Simmons) is a wacky new comedy show that is a mixed blend of in-your-face social commentary, dance, yoga, song and some wacky combustible mantra.

There is a helluva lot going on - she bears a striking resemblance to a harlequin street perfomer - l was literally waiting for her to pass the hat and ask for spare change.  She is a souped-up can of beans, punching out her material with kicks, side steps and upside acrobatic salutes to the sun.

House of Dracula

By Martin Downing. Garrick Theatre Guildford, WA. Directed by Fred Petersen, Nov 29-Dec 15, 2018.

House of Dracula, billed as “A Monster Hit”, is a romp of a show that gathers your favourite characters from gothic literature in an unlikely situation and ties it all together with a collection of campy hijinks and gags.

Elf Jr. The Musical

Book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin. Music by Matthew Sklar. Lyrics by Chad Beguelin. Old Mill Theatre, South Perth, WA. Directed by Katherine Friend. 30 Nov - 8 Dec, 2018

Old Mill Theatre’s final production is a feel-good Christmas celebration, bursting with holiday feeling, youthful exuberance and community joy. The lovely atmosphere begins in the foyer, as patrons are entertained by the Bel Canto Performing Arts choristers performing a selection of Christmas carols. A lovely way to get into the spirit of the show.

Mad About Musicals

Northam Theatre Group. Directed by Rae Knight. Link Theatre, Northam. 30 Nov - 1 Dec, 2018

I was fortunate to join quite a significant sized audience to see the final rehearsal of Northam Theatre Group’s Mad About Musicals. A glamorous concert, with formal suits and gorgeous evening gowns, it featured a cast of broad age and a beautifully varied selection of entertainment.

The WonderWombs

The Dust Palace. Brisbane Powerhouse. Wonderland Festival. 30 November, 2018

The WonderWombs is performed by an all-female troupe, The Dust Palace, who hail from New Zealand. Established by circus and physical theatre aficionados, Eve Gordon and Mike Edward, they have been performing together for nearly 10 years. The WonderWombs starts as a kind of cabaret with a difference – this being the Wonderland Festival, it is a definite difference. With wicked Kiwi humour, the host introducing the show is a man in a suit – well, a pregnant Jess Holey Bates (who also directs) playing a man in a suit, an MC stuck for words.

Depthless

Written by Kate Harman and Ben Ely. Presented by The Farm, supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland. Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts Performance Space, 29 November to 1 December, 2018

Brisbane indie music talent Ben Eli and choreographer Kate Harman have created a work of art with a capital A in Depthless. It seems appropriate on opening night, that we enter the space via IMA (Institute of Modern Art) as this show sits well in a modern art space.

Two Man Tarantino

Written by Christopher Wayne and Maureen Bowra. Directed by Maureen Bowra. Presented by Christopher Wayne. Visy Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse, Wonderland Festival, 29 November – 2 December, 2018

Theatre producers often grapple with the task of attracting TV and cinema lovers off the couch and away from the dreaded Netflix. Two Man Tarantino is one of those concepts that’s designed to get those bums on seats. It’s energetic, pacey and superficially entertaining comedic work.

The Melbourne Monologues

Melbourne Writers’ Theatre. La Mama Courthouse. 27 November – 2 December, 2018

Director Elizabeth Walley has brought together six very strong monologues with six excellently cast performers to create an extremely engaging. crisp and lively evening of ‘Writers’ Theatre.’

The Merry Widow

By Franz Lehár (libretto in German by Viktor Léon and Leo Stein). State Opera SA. Festival Theatre. Nov 29 – Dec 6 2018.

The Merry Widow or Die Lustige Witwe is one of the world’s most beloved comic operettas. Performed in three acts with the score by Franz Lehár (libretto in German by Viktor Léon and Leo Stein), it premiered on December 30, 1905.

Hanna Glavari is a wealthy young widow who Baron Zeta would prefer to marry a Pontevedrian, not a Frenchman, to keep her money in the country. The obvious choice is Count Danilo, but there is a problem. They are exes, and he is too proud to marry her because of her fortune.

Invisible Things

Alex Mizzen, Brisbane Powerhouse, Wonderland Festival. 29 November, 2018

The Brisbane Powerhouse’s Wonderland Festival is a carnival that gives the stage over to comedy, burlesque and circus acts that might not quite fit in any other theatrical genre. The ‘misfit’ label would probably delight the internationally renowned physical theatre performer, Alex Mizzen. She has the physique of an acrobat and dancer and uses movement in a kind of absurdist short play or film on stage. Her latest piece – Invisible Things – is inspired by her own journals, exploring personal reflections and emotional journeys.

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