Reviews

Ramin Karimloo and Anna O'Byrne

Concertworks. Hamer Hall, Melbourne, June 20, 2018 and State Theatre Sydney, June 23, 2018

I was feeling a bit out of it. Here I was at Hamer Hall to review an Iranian refugee who escaped to Canada via Italy and made it big on Broadway, and I was the only one there who had never heard of him. The audience had high expectations and it didn’t take long for him to meet them completely, and I was soon as big a fan as the rest of them.

Apart from his obvious vocal talent, it was his easy stage manner and the way he made everyone feel he was talking just to them that got everyone in. There was a lot of love in the room.

2018 Melbourne Cabaret Festival Opening Gala

Chapel off Chapel. 19 June – 1 July, 2018

The Melbourne Cabaret Festival returns for its ninth year. The Opening Gala kicked things off with a bang, hosted by second-time Artistic Director, Dolly Diamond. Dolly certainly knows how to work a crowd, getting everyone laughing, cheering and singing along in no time. No one does sarcasm sharper than Dolly.

I Love You Because

Book and Lyrics by Ryan Cunningham. Music by Joshua Salzman. Emma Knights Productions. Goodwood Institute (SA). June 20-24, 2018

It usually takes a lot to impress critics. After all, we see a lot of theatre. On a cold winter’s night in Adelaide this week I attended the preview of Emma Knights Productions’ musical love story I Love You Because and was at first won over by a delicious complimentary lemon cupcake (a typically unique Knights touch) and a glass of wine. But it was the show that really hit the spot. It was a delight.

Brothers Wreck

Written & directed by Jada Alberts. A Malthouse Theatre and State Theatre Company of South Australia Production. Malthouse Theatre, Merlyn Theatre. 8 – 23 June 2018

‘All happy families resemble one another; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’  So goes Tolstoy’s oft-quoted dictum.  But the indigenous Darwin family in Jada Alberts’ play is worse than unhappy: they are shattered by the suicide of a family member - and their lives are shaped and defined by their indigenous past and present.  (Is it incidental that there is no father figure here?)  The play begins with the discovery of that suicide – a flashback to the main action.  Joey, whom we never see, has hung himself with fishing nets

A Streetcar Named Desire

By Tennessee Williams. WAAPA Third Year Acting students. Directed by Emily McLean. The Roundhouse Theatre, WAAAPA, Edith Cowan University, Mt Lawley, WA. 15-21 June, 2018

WAAPA Third Year Acting delivers a high quality, traditional production of A Streetcar Named Desire, that had its audience completely absorbed thanks to thoughtful direction and excellent performances.

Emily McLean, guest directing thanks to a grant from the Minderoo Foundation, gave performers and creatives permission to “make it your own”, while remaining loyal to the classic text and keeping traditional timing and setting.

Marjorie Prime

By Jordan Harrison. Ensemble Theatre, Sydney. Director: Mitchell Butel. 15 June – 21 July 2018

Maggie Dence plays two characters in this touching drama about memory and aging: Marjorie and Prime Marjorie. In the first she is 85 and fast failing, lost in her past playing the violin, missing her husband dead for 10 years. In the second she is revived, her face is freshly painted, her attention centred on giving comfort to her fraught daughter Tess. Such are the wonders provided by Senior Serenity, the company who serve Primes to this futuristic Philip K. Dickian world.

Hans and Lucky Seven’s Love Boat

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Banquet Room, Adelaide Festival Theatre. 16-17th June, 2018

Matt Gilbertson has come a long way since busking with his accordion. By day he is a gossip guru for Adelaide publication The Advertiser and by night he’s the German dynamo Hans.

He has joined with the extremely talented jazz ensemble ‘Lucky Seven’ to bring his naughty act to the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. With two sold-out shows, it is clear he has a strong following.

Carousel

Rodgers and Hammerstein. WAAPA Music Theatre Students. Directed by Jason Langley. Regal Theatre, Subiaco, WA. 16-23 June, 2018

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel has darker overtones than its contemporary shows, but director Jason Langley’s production, featuring WAAPA’s Second and Third Year Music Theatre students, is an especially dark edged incarnation. 

Butt Kapinski

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. The Artspace. 14 - 16 June 2018.

Butt Kapinski is an extraordinary piece of satiric theatre based on the work of, and performed by, American theatre artist Deanna Fleysher.

Whilst embedded in conventional cabaret inter-active theatre and dramatic narrative forms, Deanna Fleysher practices her unique version, which is called ‘Naked Comedy’. Quoting from the Butt Kapinski web-site, ‘Naked Comedy is vulnerable and sublime. Use your bodies, use your hearts, make us laugh’. 

Lawrence Leung - Very Strange Things

The Arts Space. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. June 13 and 14, 2018

Are you someone who likes the mystery in life? Or are you some one who likes to solve mysteries and is quite sceptical? Lawrence Leung is a sceptic who likes to solve mysteries and to illustrate this quandary he examined the idea of ESP.

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