Reviews

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.

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.

Starman

By Sven Ratzke. The Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne. 14 June, 2018.

There is a Starman in the sky that can blow our mind!

Starman is a masterful blend of rock and cabaret, celebrating the life and times of David Bowie, performed by the dazzling and hypnotic Sven Ratzke.

Ratzke struts out, voguish and charismatic, dressed in a frilly black lizard costume. His repertoire begins with a story about a billion stars and a billion people followed by a beautiful rendition of “Moon Age Daydream” sung like it was his own.

Le Sacré.

The National Institute of Circus Arts and The Australian Ballet School. NICA National Circus Centre, Prahran. 14 - 23 June, 2018.

The Australian Ballet School and the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) join forces in their inaugural collaboration, Le Sacré.

The striking pink, blue and yellow silks strung high at the back of the stage give a glimpse of the dynamic performance to come. One by one the cast enters the stage, lying close together to form a human mound. The mound starts to twitch. The lights finally dim. Black-and-gold clad performers enter the stage, a stark contrast to the fluorescent mound. From there it is a flurry of movement, with animalistic strength and suppleness.

Blue – The Songs of Joni Mitchell

Queenie van de Zandt. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Dunstan Playhouse, 2018

You know you are in for a special evening when a few bars into the opening song, the hairs on the nape of your neck stand on end. Queenie Van de Zandt has been treading the boards on the musical stage and in cabaret for many years and her wealth of experience is evident. She woos an already attentive audience with her smooth and emotive voice and leaves you wanting more.

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