Reviews

Joey Arias – Three Floors of Madness

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Festival Theatre Stage. 14 June 2018

As the house lights rise ever so subtly Joey Arias slinks her way to the stage in black platform stilettoes, wrapped in green velvet. Accompanied by multi-instrumentalist and very talented Charly Zastrau, her opening number is the Beatles classic A Hard Day’s Night, which perhaps could be a caution for the rest of the show.

The Beginning of Nature

By Garry Stewart. Australian Dance Theatre. Directed by Garry Stewart. Canberra Theatre. 14 to 15 June 2018 and touring internationally.

To a mostly live, powerful accompaniment composed by Brendan Woithe, played by the Zephyr Quartet, and sung by Karen Cummings and Heru Pinkasova, a troupe of nine dancers performed the world premiere in Canberra of The Beginning of Nature, the full-length (80-minute) version of a new work that patterns itself on various aspects of the natural world.

Andrew O’Keefe “Shouts” Johnny O’Keefe

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Festival Theatre Stage. June 13th-16th, 2018.

Most would be familiar with Australian celebrity host Andrew O’Keefe and his game shows ‘Deal or No Deal’ and ‘The Chaser’, but what many do not know, including this reviewer previous to this review, is that he shares a family surname with Australia’s own ‘King of Rock’n Roll’, Johnny O’Keefe.

Yma Sumac - The Peruvian Songbird

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre. June 14 – 16, 2018.

For those who have never heard of her, Yma Sumac is the legendary Peruvian soprano who was said to have been a descendent of the last Inca Emperor. Possessing an astounding five octave range, she passed away in 2008 at the age of 85.

Beginning her career in Peru, she became famous in America, then travelled to Russia and Europe before returning to the States.

A Noble Cause: Labour Prime Ministers from Watson to Keating

By Neil Cole. La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond St, Carlton. 14 - 24 June 2018.

Chris Watson, Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke and Paul Keating are vividly brought to life in this delightful collection of vignettes and musical interludes. The journey down memory lane is always a pleasant one but the pathway is littered with both accomplishments and shortcomings and allows Australia’s highly political history to come to the forefront.

The Hypochondriac

By Molière, in a new version by Hilary Bell. Darlinghurst Theatre Co. June 9 – July 1, 2018

Molière’s play is set in the bedchamber of Argan, a rich, neurotic and gullible man who employs adoctor and an apothecary who treat his imaginary illnesses on a full-time basis because of the lucrative fees they can charge. Add a greedy wife, a sleazy lawyer, an outspoken maid and a petulant daughter and you have the makings of a comedy that fits the genre in which Moliere chose to write, one that is based on double images – wise and foolish, right and wrong, good and bad.

Bliss

By Peter Carey. Adapted for the stage by Tom Wright. Belvoir and Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne. Director: Matthew Lutton. Belvoir Theatre, Sydney. 9 June – 15 July 2018

Adapted by Tom Wright, Artistic Associate of Sydney’s Belvoir Theatre and directed by Matthew Lutton, Artistic Director of Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre, this twin-company adaptation of Peter Carey’s first novel Bliss should be a winner. The fact that it isn’t has nothing to do with the cast, who give their all during its three-hour running time.

Lone

By Emma Valente & Kate Davis. Presented by The Rabble and St Martins. Set & Costume Designer - Kate Davis. Lighting & Sound Designer - Emma Valente. Artistic Associate - Katrina Cornwell . Arts House – North Melbourne Town Hall. 8 – 17 June 2018

Due to its unique and somewhat provocative nature, and very limited number of tickets, Lone is likely to be a difficult to catch during its short season at Arts House.   

Holy Cow

Joyce Slaughters the Sacred Cows of English Literature. Directed by Jennifer Sarah Dean. fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. 13-17 June 2018.

The Bloomsday in Melbourne script team have cleverly adapted the episode in which the protagonist Leopold Bloom (Hunter Perske) visits the maternity hospital in James Joyce’s novel, Ulysses. This is an exceptionally complex text and focusing on this lively episode is a good way to tackle the enormous literary tradition housed in this text.

Lea DeLaria

Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Festival Theatre, 11 June, 2018

Lea DeLaria opened her show in Adelaide with a beautifully arranged jazz adaptation of the Bowie classic “Boys Keep Swinging”. It is no accident that these lyrics, heard so many times before, are suddenly heard in a new way. As DeLaria sings, ‘Heaven loves ya, The clouds part for ya, Nothing stands in your way, When you're a boy’, there can be little doubt that the woman standing before us keenly feels the inequalities between the genders.

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