Reviews

Bobby Fox – The Irish Boy

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Dunstan Playhouse, 14-15th June 2019

In June 2018 Bobby Fox was playing Charles Guiteau, who assassinated US president James Garfield, in Assassins at the Sydney Opera House. On the opening night he, almost inexplicably, but quite literally, broke a leg and found himself out of the show, laid up with an ankle injury. The enforced rest caused a period of introspection for Fox, who has been in consistent demand in the Australian Musical Theatre scene since his emigration to Australia in 2003. This hiatus from work resulted in a longing for his home town of Longford, Ireland and the culture he grew up with.

SoCalled Sings Yiddish

With Zephyr Quartet. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Adelaide Festival Centre Quartet Bar. June 16th, 2019

Josh ‘SoCalled’ Dolgin is a Canadian hip hop artist who began his love affair with Yiddish music as a music archaeologist, digging through music collections for sounds that he could apply to his work, and this performance is a celebration of that journey. At last count, there were more than 16 different forms of Yiddish music, some very familiar as they have been embraced by modern composers including Leonard Bernstein,Irving Berlin, Stephen Sondheim, and George and Ira Gershwin.

The Pirates of Penzance

By W. S. Gilbert and Sir A. Sullivan. Players Theatre, Ballina. Director: Jaime Sheehan. 14th June – 7th July, 2019

Once again, Ballina has presented an Essgee adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan at its best.

This production was full of the fun and hi-jinks one has come to associate with this type of show and the audience loved it.

With the leading lady battling a throat infection, the cast all rallied and the audience enjoyed the gallant performance.

Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom The Musical

By Baz Lurhmann and Craig Pearce, adapted by Terry Johnson. WAAPA. Directed by Crispin Taylor. Regal Theatre, Subiaco WA. June 15-22, 2019

The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts’ annual Regal Theatre season is perhaps WAAPA’s biggest publicity opportunity of the year, showcasing the talents of not only the musical theatre students, but music students, and a plethora of students from all aspects of Production and Design. Always popular, Strictly Ballroom appears to be the most quickly booked yet, and given the polish and pizazz of this production, the capacity crowds will not be disappointed.

Travesties

By Tom Stoppard. Directed by Jennifer Sarah Dean. Bloomsday in Melbourne. Fortyfivedownstairs. 12, 15, 16, 18 – 23 June 2019

To quote the text, this may be nonsense, but it’s ‘clever nonsense’.  Of course, Travesties is not nonsense at all.  In an absurdist, witty, erudite and polemical fashion Tom Stoppard generates fast, funny and articulate debate among his characters about war, art and revolution – and, in passing, how we wish we could rewrite our own past.  A serious play with a light, light touch.

Da

By Hugh Leonard. Irish Theatre Players. Directed by Denice Byrne. Leederville Sporting Club, WA. Jun 13-22, 2019

Perth’s Irish Theatre Players have relocated after many years, finding a new home in the next suburb. The premiere season in their new home kicked off with a quality production of Hugh Leonard’s family drama, Da, playing to full houses.

The new performance space, created from scratch, is a pop-up space in the function room of the Leederville Sporting Club, with raked seating and a small end stage. While foyer space is limited, this is a comfortable and pleasant new venue, and the Irish hospitality remains as warm and friendly as ever.

Herstory

Conceived and performed by Imogen Kelly. Factory Theatre, Marrickville. 14-15 June, 2019

Burlesque. As an art-form, it's been around a very long time. Hundreds of years, in fact. But in relatively modern times, people have come to think of it as just another word for a 'strip show'. 

However, in the early days it was a showcase for parody, satire and biting social commentary. 

Paul Capsis

With Jethro Woodward and the Fitzroy Youth Orchestra. Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2019. The Famous Spiegeltent, 14-15 June, 2019

Paul Capsis is an Australian ‘living legend’ with an extraordinary career as a performing artist and actor that spans decades. He has performed in Australia and overseas, winning numerous awards including four Helpmann Awards and a Green Room Award. He was also nominated for an AFI Award for his performance in Anna Kokkinos’ 1998 film Head On.

The Mousetrap

By Agatha Christie. St. Luke’s Theatre Society, Tarragindi, Qld. Director: Sharon White. 14-22 June, 2019.

In all my years of theatregoing, despite visiting London many times, I have never seen The Mousetrap. That oversight has now been rectified by Sharon White’s excellent realisation of this world-famous Agatha Christie whodunit for St Luke’s Theatre Society. Since it opened in 1952 the play has become the longest continuously running play in history. Christie wrote it in one week and it was first presented as a twenty-minute BBC radio play called Three Blind Mice in 1947.

Liner Notes Live

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Produced by Emilie Zoey Baker, Sean M Whelan and Michael Nolan. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Blue Room, Adelaide Festival Centre. 15 June 2019

Liner Notes Live is a literary cabaret in tribute to a classic album, with different artists taking a track and expressing it in their own way: through song, poetry or a personal story, and it’s all held together by a ‘making of’ commentary delivered live from the stage.

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