Reviews

Metamorphoses

Written by Mary Zimmerman. Gold Coast Little Theatre. Directed by Bradley Chapman. 19th June-10th July, 2021

This past year or more has played havoc with theatre companies, both professional and community. Many companies have gone to the wall financially after the long period of no income at all. As a result, most companies have clearly evaluated the demographic of their audience and have played safe. There’s a plethora of feel-good comedies and whodunnit’s around - easy entertainment as sustenance after a long famine. Gold Coast Little Theatre, long known for its diversity, is the exception rather than the rule.

The Art of Protest

Vince Jones. Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2021. Dunstan Playhouse. June 19-20, 2021

Image: Vince Jones - Photo by Kevin Peterson

Billed as a world premiere and Adelaide exclusive, The Art of Protest is written and narrated by an animated Brian Nankervis (RocKwiz, The Friday Revue) and seems a pertinent choice of theme for our troubled times.  There are interesting tales to accompany the songs though Nankervis’ introductions did read a little like Wikipedia entries at times.  The music was the hero though and the audience was vocally appreciative.

White Pearl

By Anchuli Felicia King. Directed by Priscilla Jackman. Bille Brown Theatre, Queensland Theatre, Brisbane. 17 June to 10 July 2021

Set in the offices of the all-female Clearday cosmetics start-up in Singapore, White Pearl is the finely crafted dark comedy that our stages have been craving. Based on an absurd situation of a real-life racist cosmetics ad that went viral in 2016, the background provides playwright Anchuli Felicia King with a checkerboard on which to place some hilarious characters to comment on gender and corporate powerplay politics. It's a corporate playground where women are just as capable of losing their emotional intelligence when tempted by the lure of cash.

Introspective

Eddie Perfect. The Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2021. Dunstan Playhouse. June 18-19, 2021

Given Melbourne’s current Covid status, we were fortunate to have Eddie Perfect on stage this week, with only appropriately restricted ‘escorted travel’ from hotel room to stage and back again.  And in fact, it is the epic history of that city’s lockdowns that helped form this show, first performed in February at Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre.  Perfect reflected that tedious lockdown conditions provided the precise opportunity for introspection as he crafted this cabaret performance.

The Wedding Singer

Music by Matthew Sklar. Lyrics by Chad Beguelin. Book by Tim Herlihy & Chad Beguelin. David Venn Productions. Directed by Alister Smith. HOTA, Gold Coast. 18th-26th June, 2021

Warning! There’s a triple-threat explosion happening on stage at the Gold Coast’s  HOTA theatre and it’s burning with energy, enthusiasm and excellence. Forget about the book – it’s pretty forgettable, with a cliched boy loses girl, meets another girl, can’t have her … well, you’ve seen it many times before. As for the music, and lyrics, they’re suitably “pop-py” and sometimes witty. If you’ve seen the movie you know exactly what to expect.

BOOBS

Selina Jenkins. Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2021. The Quartet Bar. June 18-20, 2021

BOOBS is a tiny gem; an intimate, reflective, and enlightening cabaret offering from a talented, humble crafter of songs and stories with no hint of the didactic.  With three shows only at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, BOOBS then crosses the continent for a season during the Perth International Cabaret Festival.  Catch it if you can.

Brent Ray Fraser

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. The Famous Spiegeltent, Adelaide Festival Centre. June 18 – 20, 2021

Brent Ray Fraser is the Picasso of the Penis! Completing his art studies in 2009, he ended up as a stripper after watching a strip show. The combination of these two art forms has led to his current show which has been touring for over ten years.

His body is his instrument and a daily yoga session ensures it stays in perfect condition. In fact, at 42, he has the physique of a man many years his junior and even though he has retired four times he claims, ‘I'm going to be painting with my penis until I'm dead. I'm going to paint all the way up to my grave.’

The Odd Couple

By Neil Simon. Directed by Trevor Dhu. Old Mill Theatre, South Perth, WA. Jun 11-19, 2021

Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple premiered in 1965. It was followed by the 1968 film, the 1970s television series, a female adaptation in 1985, and a variety of other spinoffs. Consequently, most of the audience have some knowledge of the story of slovenly sports writer Oscar Madison and his unlikely housemate, the fastidious and neurotic Felix Unger. Old Mill’s The Odd Couple has been playing to sold-out crowds, who are clearly enjoying this interpretation of the play.

The Obbligato Sonatas

Johann Sebastian Bach. June 18, 2021 at St James Church Sydney. June 20 at 2pm at Parish of the Holy Name Church, Wahroonga.

How fitting to bring together work composed by Johann Sebastian Bach in the 1720s and Francis Greenway’s stately St James Church King Street, consecrated one hundred years later. In that revered building – the oldest existing in inner Sydney – Bach’s much-loved Obbligato Sonatas thrilled a large and appreciative audience.

We’ll Always Have Paris

By Jill Hyem. Adelaide Repertory Theatre. Arts Theatre, Adelaide. June 17 – 26, 2021

Not even the wrath of the elements could dampen the enthusiasm and warmth of the Adelaide Repertory Theatre’s latest production, We’ll Always Have Paris!

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