Reviews

Hot Brown Honey

Created by Lisa Fa’a’afi and Kim “Busty Beatz’ Bowers. Briefs Factory. OzAsia Festival Adelaide 2017. Director- Lisa Fa’a’afi. Musical Director - Kim “Busty Beatz’ Bowers. Space Theatre. September 26 – 30, 2017.

“Welcome to the Hive!” – the hive where women rule and tell their stories fearlessly and noisily. This is a high energy, passion packed performance that plays on the stereotypes and then turns them on their heads to confront and challenge. This is a show, which starts conversations and promotes revolution.

Appropriate Kissing for All Occasions and To Heat You Up and Cool You Down

By Isabelle Martinez & David Finnigan. Directed by Louise Howlett. ReAction Theatre. Club Voltaire, North Melbourne. 27 September – 1 October 2017

Here are two short works (together they run for just over an hour) about love – or, more exactly, thwarted love. 

There’s a good idea underlying the first of the two, Appropriate Kissing for All Occasions: how the personal can derail and sabotage public performance and professional persona.  It’s the comedy of disruption of expectation and convention.

Hazel’s Circus Suitcase.

Devised and performed by Hazel Bock. Presented by Upswing Arts. Melbourne Fringe Festival. Emerald City at Meat Market, 3 Blackwood St, North Melbourne. 23-30 September, 2017.

This show has suitcases full of delightful offering for early childhood audiences and features internationally acclaimed juggler Hazel Bock. Bock’s captivating performance displays her craft and incredible dexterity. The performance begins with some traditional juggling and Bock astonishes the audience as she gradually increases the difficulty of the juggling challenges, frequently involving both hands and feet.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Music & Lyrics: Richard & Robert Sherman. Book: Jeremy Sams & Ray Roderick. Wyong Musical Theatre Company. The Art House, Wyong. September 23rd to 30th, 2017

Wyong Musical Theatre Company has scored a coup these school holidays by presenting the regional premiere of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The musical, about a magical flying car, is based off the generationally beloved film created by Ian Fleming and starring Dick Van Dyke.

Hot Mikado

By Gilbert and Sullivan, adapted by David H. Bell (book and lyrics) and Rob Bowman (orchestrations and arrangements). Chatswood Musical Society. Independent Theatre, North Sydney. September 22 to October 1, 2017

Gilbert and Sullivan’s satirical comic opera The Mikado has always been quintessentially British, despite being dressed up in Japanese costumes, festooned with lanterns and screens and peopled by characters with cod-Japanese names.

Not so much in this version!  Inspired by the 1939 Afro American Broadway version The Hot Mikado, the original comic opera songs in this 1986 version now have jazz, swing, gospel and torch interpretations and harmonies, while the costuming is a mix of Japanese and 1940s American.

The Producers

Music & Lyrics: Mel Brooks. Book: Mel Brooks & Thomas Meehan. Savoyards. Director: Gabriella Flowers. Music Director: Mark Beilby. Choreographer: Hanna Crowther. Iona Performing Arts Centre, Wynnum, Qld. 23 Sep – 7 Oct 2017

Cult movies makes fabulous musicals as Hairspray, The Full Monty and Kinky Boots have proved, and if Mel Brooks’ The Producers is not the best of them, it’s certainly the funniest. Based on his 1968 movie about Broadway hucksters who scam little-old-ladies to finance the worst musical every written, Brooks created a satirical masterpiece that skewers the shams and pretension of musical theatre, with a score that pays homage to Broadway’s Golden Era.

Rabbits

By Emily Steel. Presented by Steel & Brown in association with State Theatre Company & Adelaide Festival Centre as part of its inSPACE program. Plant 1, Bowden. 21st Sept to 14th October, 2017

Rabbits is a one woman show that the playwright did not mean to write. Perhaps it would be better if she hadn’t.

Based on true events that have been magnified or played down, it tells the story of Emily Steel’s move from England to Australia to support her husband’s job opportunity.

Once settled into their new unit she endeavours to write a play but has to contend with a diverse group of neighbours.

Macho Dancer

By Eisa Jocson. OzAsia Festival. Nexus Arts Theatre. 21 Sept - 8 Oct, 2017.

The lights dimmed in the intimate space that is the Nexus Arts Theatre and we were suddenly hushed to the dominating beat of boots on a bare stage. The rhythmic stark pulsing set the scene for Eisa Jocson to burst onto the stage in smoky show lighting to commence her dominating exploration of the Macho Dance. The mood is powerful, the music strong- Metallica’s “Devil Dance”- very appropriate to the message.

Urban Kali

By Rakini Devi. Dance Projects and Riverside Theatres. September 22 and 13, 2017

Over 27 years, Rakini Devi has developed four ‘theatre works’ to the Kali, the Hindu goddess who is the divine protector and destroyer of evil. As the culmination of her doctorial thesis into Kali iconography and how sacred Hindu iconography can relate to secular feminism, Urban Kali is a protest against the rise of racial and misogynist atrocities in India.

Until the Lions

Akram Khan Company. OzAsia Festival. Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide. 22 & 23 Sept, 2017

Having seen The Mahabharata many years ago set in a quarry in Adelaide I was keen to see this new take on the Sanskrit masterpiece. I was not disappointed; Until the Lions is a visual feast for the eyes and an auditory feast for the ears.

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