Reviews

iOTA – Slap and Tickle

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Dunstan Playhouse, Festival Centre, Adelaide, June 21 – 22, 2019

Even though Slap the clown declares in his first musical number “I may be gay, but I’m not THAT cabaret”, in iOTA – Slap and Tickle, that’s exactly what he is.

What follows are 60 minutes of humour with just a touch of heartbreak. Set in a world of glitter curtains, a makeup table and a wonderful ten-piece band, Slap the Clown and Tickle the Gimp reveal their somewhat abusive relationship and a collection of outrageous characters created by Slap.

Pride & Prejudice.

Adapted by Kirsty Budding. Based on the Jane Austen novel. Budding Theatre, directed by Kirsty Budding. Belconnen Community Theatre, 18–22 June 2019.

Fans of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice are likely to find Kirsty Budding’s stage adaptation gratifyingly faithful to the novel.  With one or two slips into more modern parlance, it’s a mature adaptation that highlights the novel’s subtle humour without seeking to outshine Austen’s own words.

 

Melbourne Cabaret Festival Opening Gala

Chapel Off Chapel. June 19, 2019

The Melbourne Cabaret Festival is celebrating its tenth year at Chapel Off Chapel.

This year’s Gala host, feisty Festival Ambassador Sally Bourne (accompanied by her partner in crime Drew Downing on piano) commenced proceedings by belting out a joyful rendition of “Big Time” (Peter Gabriel), preceding her boisterous introduction to a selection of many of the wild and wonderful acts participating in this year’s festival.

Spontaneous Broadway

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. The Blue Room. Adelaide Festival Centre. 19-22 June, 2019

Fans of the brilliant, sadly now defunct comedy improv show Thank God You’re Here will love Spontaneous Broadway.  This is the Australian version of the very successful New York Theatresports company production, and is nothing like scripted, performed theatre.

Between Two Shores

Vika and Linda Bull. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Dunstan Playhouse– Adelaide Festival Centre. June 20 – 22, 2019.

Beginning with a beautiful lilting rendition of the Lord’s Prayer in Tongan followed immediately by a traditional Irish Lullaby, Vika and Linda Bull introduced the audience to their parents and their childhood. Their mother was a powerful singer and the lead soloist in the Tongan Church they attended every Sunday, and their father was an Australian who sang them to sleep every night.

The Torrents

By Oriel Gray. Black Swan State Theatre Company / Sydney Theatre Company. Directed by Clare Watson. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of WA, Perth, WA. June 15 - 30, 2019

Opening Night of The Torrents started with an address to the audience from a casually dressed Celia Pacquola, talking briefly about the show, and very naturally sharing a touch of her comic talents. It was a lovely surprise, and a great way to introduce this little known show.

Megan Hilty: Broadway Hits In Concert

Orchestra conducted by Michael Tyack. Sydney Opera House, 17 June 2019

Megan Hilty is pure magic. Magic of the incandescent, amazing, feel-good kind.

Backed by a brilliant 40 piece orchestra led by MD supremo Michael Tyack, Ms Hilty gave a concert that, for the mostly music theatre fans in the audience, dazzled with the "Wow" factor.

Megan Mullally and her band, Nancy & Beth

Concert Hall, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Brisbane. 19 June 2019

Self-styled musical misfits Megan Mullally (Broadway veteran best known for her TV work in Will & Grace) and Stephanie Hunt (Californication), are the harmonising lead singers of their band – Nancy & Beth – a folky, punky, jazzy collaboration with an equally talented group of performers. Hidden behind their red prison-style uniforms, ‘Nancy & Beth’ are the magic violin and vocals of Petra Haden, the groovy keys and uke of Datri Bean, solid drumming by Joe Berardi, super bass by Andrew Pressman and electric guitar by Roy Williams.

Tender Napalm

By Philip Ridley. Scuti Productions. The Studio, Holden Street Theatres, Adelaide. 19-29 June 2019

A woman and a man sit on the stage, their arms and legs entwined, their faces just inches apart. They talk quietly, lovingly – tenderly. A hand brushes away hair from a face; they almost kiss.

This is the scene we face as we walk into the well-lit auditorium, soft music providing a cushion to our inevitable murmurs of conversation when we take our seats. Then the house lights fade; the stories begin.

Dispersion

National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA). Co-Directed by Zebastian Hunter and Meredith Kitchen. NICA National Circus Centre, 39-59 Green St, Prahran. 18 - 22 June, 2019.

Dispersionis a beautifully evocative show that incorporates traditional circus arts, such as tightropes, tightwire, trapeze, straps, roue Cyr and hoops and combines them in a seamless manner with stylised movement, physical theatre and live improvisational jazz. The dazzling combination is presented as an ensemble show involving second year NICA students.

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