Reviews

Last Dance, The Forgotten Masters

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. The Space, Festival Centre, Adelaide, June 14 – 15, 2019

Aaron Cash has worked with some of the greats - Cher, Twyla Tharp and Mikhail Baryshnikov - and was one of the original Tap Dogs, so it’s only logical that he would create an homage to some of the people that moved him forward in the world of dance.

Don’t be fooled though, Last Dance, The Forgotten Masters is not a biographical creation as such. While Cash’s three characters have their roots in personalities from his past they are stretched to the point of caricature.

One Hander – Tom Campbell

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Quartet Bar, Adelaide Festival Centre, 13-14 June 2019

Tom Campbell is a one-handed gay actor, desperate to make it big on Broadway. In this hour-long cabaret, he tells us his stories of growing up and trying to make a living in show business.

Sweeney Todd

Music, Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Book by Hugh Wheeler. Life Like Company. Directed by Theresa Borg. Darling Harbour Theatre, ICC, Sydney, 13-16 June, 2019 and Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne, 20 – 23, June.

For those who can’t get enough of Stephen Sondheim, masterly musician and lyricist, and Anthony Warlow, Australia’s greatest baritone performer – well, you’d better get your skates on and head for Sydney’s Darling Harbour. There, at the end of Vivid, you’ll find a brilliant concert version of the epic Sweeney Todd, before it moves to Melbourne for another 6 performances. 

Gloria

By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Outhouse Theatre Co and Seymour Centre. June 6 – 22, 2019

Not very much work happens in the part of the office where the play opens – but on the other hand everything is happening. The agenda of the magazine journalists is not writing stories, rather who attended the housewarming party of misfit Gloria the night before, can the intern fetch something from the vending machine, bitching about an article written by another reporter and private phone calls.

Dami Im – My Life In Songs

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Dunstan Playhouse, Festival Centre, Adelaide, June 13 -14, 2019

We are all familiar with the Dami Im, winner of the fifth season of X Factor Australia, whose debut single “Alive” reached number one on the Aria Albums Chart andwho represented Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 with the song “Sound of Silence”. There she won the jury vote, coming second overall with a total of 511 points. But how much do we know of the real Dami?

In an extremely compelling evening of song,Dami Im – My Life in Songs explores her story as a Korean immigrant and her climb to success.

When the Light Leaves

By Rory Godbold. Directed by Jayde Kirchert. La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond Street Carlton. 12 – 23 June 2019.

Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) is a topic that has long been avoided in our legal, social and moral discourse. Rory Godbold challenges this through a deeply personal account of the loss of a loved one and this brings an engrossing rawness and authenticity to the play.

Murder on the Wireless

By Arthur Conan Doyle and Mark Kilmurry. Ensemble Theatre, Sydney. Director: Mark Kilmurry. 7 June – 13 July 2019

This is a strange one. The first night audience assembled, ready to laugh or gasp at a new play by Mark Kilmurry, Artistic Director of the Ensemble. He welcomes them, explains in character that this is London in 1959, that we are to see two radio plays performed in real time. He introduces his fellow actors (Georgie Parker and Daniel Mitchell) and the Foley Artist (Katie Fitchett) who will provide all necessary background sounds, from door-bangs to footsteps in the gravel. Audience primed, ready for fun, so off we go!

Megan Mullally & Her Band Nancy & Beth

Devised by Megan Mullally & Stephanie Hunt. Melbourne Recital Centre. 12 & 13 June 2019

‘It started as a bit of a joke,’ said Megan Mullally in a recent interview, ‘but it’s not as much of a joke now.’  Which doesn’t in the least mean her ‘punk vaudeville’ show is not funny or not extremely entertaining.  What Ms Mullally means is that this now highly polished show began in 2011 with Ms Mullally and Stephanie Hunt fooling around – with a ukulele apparently – finding they loved the same songs and that their voices blended, and slowly developing Nancy and Beth.  Don’t ask me to explain the

Philip Quast Uncut

Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2019. A Meredith Shaw Production. The Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre. June 10, 2019

An afternoon with an old friend. That’s the way the performance by Philip Quast felt in his Adelaide Cabaret Festival show Philip Quast Uncut. From the moment we hear a disembodied whistle and his approaching beautiful tones singing “The Gypsy Rover”, as an audience, we are along for the ride. It was clear there was much affection in the room for this homegrown star. He made the local audience feel special by even singing a rendition of “Adelaide’s The Home For Me”from On The Wallaby by Nick Enright.

Almost, Maine

By John Cariani. Between the Buildings Theatre Company. Meat Market’s Stables, North Melbourne. 10 – 16 June 2019

Love is tough.  Finding it, declaring it, keeping it, losing it.  Set in the fictitious snow-bound small town of ‘Almost’in the north-eastern US state of Maine on a Friday night, John Cariani’s play in nine parts depicts lovelorn or love-lost inhabitants as they hit turning points in their lives – and it’s sweet, bitter, funny and sometimes just a little too cute and corny.  

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