Reviews

Dahlesque

Elise McCann. Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2017. June 17 and 18, 2017

This is a marvelous tribute to Roald Dahl, and in particular his extraordinary, inventive and imaginative command of the English language – despite a rather contrary beginning when a boy.

The radiant Elise McCann takes us on a delightful journey through the life of Roald Dahl, heightened and punctuated by respective songs relative to Dahl and his work.

Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.

By Alice Birch. Malthouse. Merlyn Theatre. 16 June – 9 July, 2017

This is vital theatre - the type that demands you think and feel at the same time. 

The first three scenes are staged in a box that is neat and contained, and used to denote several indoor settings.  There is much to laugh about in each of these incidents.  In all three we get to witness a perfectly rational and charming young woman speaking from a perspective that completely destabilizes very deep-rooted social mores around sex, marriage and work.  Words are used to describe what is generally unspoken and, in fact, largely unacknowledged. 

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.  

Courtney Act – The Girl From Oz

Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2017. Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent. June 16 – 18, 2017

Courtney Act, after entering on roller-skates singing ‘Xanadu’, announces that this show is not about The Wizard of Oz or The Boy from Oz, but about Australian Pop Music.

Based on personal experience, including living several years in the USA, Courtney Act celebrates and pays tribute to some of the great Australian ‘pop hits’ and artists that achieved international acclaim and success.

Model Citizens

By Circus Oz. Concept and artistic direction by Rob Tannion. Big Top at Birrarung Marr, Melbourne. 20 June – 16 July 2017.

Circus Oz is not always overtly political when providing the opportunity to experience some spectacular performances and enjoy some raucous fun to help forget your woes. Model Citizens is a show that contains all the traditional elements of entertainment offered by this much-loved company. However, this show is unabashed about its exasperation with a tide of politics that tries to obscure exactly the kind of difference that Circus Oz has set out to celebrate over decades.

Effie The Virgin Bride

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Adelaide Festival Centre and Frontier Comedy. Her Majesty’s Theatre. June 21st & 22nd, 2017

Hello; Good thanks” are three words that take a full house straight back to the 80’s. Mary Coustas has returned to the stage as alter ego Effie to get married to the man of her dreams, and we are invited to the wedding.

The audience is greeted by Effie in her boudoir on the morning of her big Greek wedding as she regales the guests (audience) with stories of her search for Mr Right.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Lyrics by Tim Rice. Players Theatre, Ballina. Director / Musical Director: Paul Belsham. June 16 – July 9, 2017.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has made a welcome return to the Players Theatre at Ballina with all the colour befitting this popular show.

In the capable hands of the multi-talented Paul and Sue Belsham and Jamie Sheehan, Ballina’s revival of this piece is proving to be another great production for the home of “Regional Theatre at its best”.

Bakersfield Mist

by Stephen Sachs. Tasmanian Theatre Company. The Q, Queanbeyan, N.S.W. 22–24 June 2017 and touring the eastern states till September 2017

Based (however loosely) on a true story, Bakersfield Mist is the tale of the efforts of two people — the owner, and an art expert — to verify whether a painting purchased as a piece of junk was the work of Jackson Pollock.

 

Sinatra and Friends

Michael Feinstein. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Her Majesty’s Theatre. June 23, 2017

The Great American Songbook has never been safer than in the hands of entertainer Michael Feinstein. Affectionately called the ambassador of this genre, he has made it his life’s work to share globally these unique decades in musical composition and performance.

Showcasing composers and lyricists such as George and Ira Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Sammy Cahn and Bart Howard, Feinstein exudes love and respect for his contemporaries and one-time friends.

Cunning Little Vixen

By Leoš Janácek. Victorian Opera. Conductor: Jack Symonds. Director: Stuart Maunder. Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne. June 22 – July 1, 2017

This charming Czech opera is another in a season with a strong emphasis on younger opera fans. It also involved younger opera singers, and it was a marvellous opportunity for the children to join the adults on stage and hear those mature voices at close range. It was a good move to sing it in English and the surtitles were useful when some of the children had solo lines, though there were a couple of glitches on opening night.

 

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