LIA LOVES... FASHION. FOOD. FAMILY. FUN.

Follow her adventures as Adelaide's expert shopper & theatre reviewer!

October 13, 2019
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Review: Hairspray Jnr at Adelaide Youth Theatre

When asked to review Adelaide Youth Theatre’s (AYT) production of Hairspray Jnr, I jumped at the opportunity. This ain’t my first AYT rodeo, and most definitely won’t be my last. AYT are widely known to produce world class productions for youth performers, and this show reinforces their reputation. Hairspray is an American musical with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman, and book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, based on the 1988 John Waters movie of the same name. The songs include 1960s-style dance music (my favourite!) and ‘downtown’ rhythm and blues Set in 1962 Baltimore, generously sized teenager, Tracy Turnblad’s dream is to dance on The Corny Collins Show, a local TV dance program based on the real life Buddy Deane Show. When Tracy wins a role on the show, much to the current star Amber Von Tussle’s dismay, she becomes a celebrity overnight, wins the heart of the local teen idol, Link Larkin and leads the town to social change as Tracy campaigns for the show’s integration. I absolutely […]
June 17, 2019
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Review: Paul Capsis with Jethro Woodward and the Fitzroy Youth Orchestra at The Famous Spielgeltent

Paul Capsis. The man, the myth, the enigma. I have been a fan of Capsis’ since I watched him explode on the screen in ‘Head On’. Then seeing him as the totally mad, flamboyant reincarnation of Rumpelstiltskin in the State Theatre and Windmill collaboration – I was smitten. An award-winning, versatile, original and seasoned performer, he knows how to turn it on and turn it up. And he has been non stop since. Making a dramatic entrance and belching out the Skyhooks 70s classic ‘Ego is Not a Dirty Word’, we realise that this will be a night full of unexpected eccentricities and rip-roaring, emotion charged entertainment. And not only with Capsis out front, but with the marvellous and musically gifted Jethro Woodward and The Fitzroy Youth Orchestra supporting, we knew we were going to be witnessing something of a rarity. Wrapped in leather, fur and jewels, Capsis informs us he received a call from Julia Zemiro to be part of the Ad Cab Fest in 2019, after a five year absence. However, she had […]
June 15, 2019
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Review: Bobby Fox The Irish Boy at the Dunstan Playhouse

Settling into the Dunstan Playhouse on a cold and dreary night, the only thing we needed to warm the cockles was a pint and a good story. Thankfully, we got both. Entering dressed in a kilt to wolf whistles from the crowd, the stage slowly lit up each musician as they joined in the opening song. And what an eclectic mix of musos it was! After learning the correct Irish way to cheer for a song you like (Yeaow!, if you are curious), the audience went wild when the dazzling talents of the fantastic Mr Fox were unveiled. A remarkably charming, charismatic and captivating stage performer, Mr Fox (I enjoy referring to him in this formal manner) brings his distinctive storytelling, song, dance and limericks all wrapped up in his delectable Irish accent, to Adelaide for the first time. If it sounds like I’m crushing on Bobby, you’d be right. What’s not to love about a handsome, blue eyed, tap dancing, kilt wearing Irish man who sings songs about loving Bonnie lasses and his ma’m? […]
June 12, 2019
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Review: Unsung at The Space Theatre

The scene was established the moment you walked into The Space Theatre. Filled with orchards and peacock feathers strung from the balcony as well as the iconic peacock chairs from the era of the 70s sitting near the front of the stage. A beautiful setting for an incredible show. The crowd was full of baby boomers, and some youngins like myself, ready for the music of the night…a celebration of the music by the women in Australia during the 50s, 60s and 70s. We first saw a projected video of Merle Thornton and Rosalie Bognor who famously chained themselves to the bar at the Regatta Hotel, Brisbane in 1965, not only to gain women’s right to drink at a bar with men, but to bring to light the real issues women were facing at the time – equal pay, equal treatment and a revision of the sexist laws that plagued Australia. The very talented Amelia Ryan, of Simply the Breast and The Breast is Yet to Come fame, cleverly brought to life the unsung women […]
June 10, 2019
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Review: The Hot Sardines at The Famous Spiegeltent

When I was a young performing arts student living in Perth, I frequented the jazz bars and underground clubs scouring the city for the hip, sweet sounds of the ragtime blues. My housemate at the time was a jazz muso, so I had big band rehearsals in my house all the time. It’s safe to say, I have a soft spot for this style. Tonight, as part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, we were packed like sardines in The Famous Spiegeltent, to see The Hot Sardines. With the house full sign out front, we were ready to be dazzled by this New York based jazz ensemble. Co-led by lead singer Elizabeth Bougerol and pianist Evan Palazzo, she tells the story of how they met at a jazz jam advertised on Craig’s List. She was looking for a piano player, but not just any piano player. One who knew and understood a particular song, Fats Waller ‘Your Feet’s too Big’. She asked Evan if he knew the song and the rest as they say, is history. […]
June 6, 2019
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Review: End of the Rainbow at The Royalty Theatre

Like most little girls, my first memories of Judy Garland have something to do with a yellow brick road, an emerald city and red slippers. I watched in awe of this young girl skipping and singing her way into my heart and I too wanted to be part of her seemingly magical and perfect life. But End of the Rainbow doesn’t paint a pretty picture of Garland’s last days; instead it rips you through the bright lights and dark pits that tormented her, enabled her, and eventually killed her. The regal, old Royalty Theatre provided the perfect backdrop for The Ritz Hotel London, 1969, where Garland was preparing for a 5 week stint at Talk of the Town nightclub. Orchestrated and managed by her fifth and final husband, Mickey Deans, with her long suffering accompanist, Anthony Chapman, we watch the relationship between the three characters bounce between banter, comedy, hatred, power, joy, pain, love and truth. And bear witness to the mental and physical decline of the world’s darling. Peter Quilter’s worldwide smash brings to […]
May 27, 2019
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Review: Katie’s Birthday Party at the John Bishop Room, Adelaide Festival Centre

Bringing my nearly 11 year old son, who has just moved schools and is making new friends, to a one woman show about the trials and tribulations of a young girls journey from childhood to adolescence, seemed very timely and opportune. I remember my twelve year old self as slightly sensitive, hopeful, emotional and enthusiastic and I suspect, after a few personal conversations with my own pre-pubescent son, he feels the same. Internationally acclaimed solo performer, Mary-Frances Doherty gives a remarkable and real performance of 12 year old Katie, who is very happy we all could attend her birthday party. She is disappointed her best friend, Tracy, couldn’t come – she was busy making an appearance at another party. To begin with, Katie is very flippant about Tracy not being able to be there, but by the end, she is openly and visibly upset; the least she could do was answer her calls, like her posts or share her videos! In a vulnerable, exposed and intimate horseshoe setting, we are thrown together to celebrate Katie’s […]
May 27, 2019
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Review: The Gruffalo at Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre

If you have children, and perhaps even if you don’t, you have almost definitely read The Gruffalo. A children’s classic by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler which has sold over 13 million copies, won several prizes for children’s literature, has an Oscar nominated animated film, it is now also the play which has had sell out seasons on Broadway and London’s West End. The story of The Gruffalo is based on a Chinese folk tale of a fox that borrows the terror of a tiger, however Donaldson was unable to think of rhymes for ‘tiger’ so instead invented a word that rhymes with ‘know’. And the rest, as they say, is history… The mouse’s tale is one that unfolds in two phases; whereby the mouse uses crafty tricks to circumvent danger. On his way through the deep dark wood, the mouse encounters several dangerous animals (a cunning fox, an eccentric, sergeant-type owl and a maraca wielding snake). Each of these animals, clearly intending to eat the mouse, invite him back to their home for a […]
March 18, 2019
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Review: Barnum at the Goodwood Institute

March Productions debut musical offering, Barnum, is a night of triumph, energy and monumental talent. With a perfectly simple, but effective set we are transported to the 1800s, where Anna and Amy Beecher take us on a historical journey with pictures and artefacts of Barnum’s life as we take our seats. P.T Barnum truly was an intriguing man, with a knack for promotion and humbug. This sets the scene for the extravaganza we are about to experience. Our first introduction to Barnum is him running through the audience with gusto, to end up on stage and immediately breaking the 4th wall to narrate his story. I am instantly drawn into Jayden Prelc’s portrayal of Barnum – charismatic, magnetic, dynamic, not to mention his natural comedic timing and prodigious voice. He navigated the wordy script and musical numbers with such relish. A true and rare performer of his age, I anticipate a professional career in his near future. Watch this space. His Charity Barnum, played by Alana Iannace, was sublime. She had steely strength and independence, […]
March 17, 2019
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Review: Grand Finale at the Adelaide Festival Centre

Knowing nothing more than the title and its origins prior to the performance, Hofesh Shechter Company’s Grand Finale is a spectacular blend of electronic soundscape, live classical musicians, evocative lighting and choreography that is part contemporary, part trance and part traditional. We open to a bleak, dark stage, where huge black blocks, which resemble tombstones, shadow the musicians playing in the background. Ten culturally and artistically diverse dancers portray the survivors, if you will, of the sinking Titanic; while the quintet of musicians continue to play in sweet harmony, oblivious to the disaster that surrounds them. The mini orchestra is seamless as they move around the stage, inconspicuously and almost magically, with as much grace as the dancers themselves. The dancers. Oh the dancers. I’ve never seen an ensemble interpret the idiosyncrasies, nuances and manic silence of choreography quite like these incredible artists. Their language of movement, authenticity of storytelling through their bodies..it is quite the experience. One I’ve not felt like this before. While Shechter’s choreography has repetitive phrasing, it never feels monotonous. Quite […]
March 17, 2019
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Review: Ulster American at Dunstan Playhouse

Theatre. The area in which something happens. And by god does it happen. Opening night buzz of the most talked about, and shocking, Ulster American was palpable; excited theatre goers packed Dunstan Playhouse to the sounds of 70s funk music, ready, or not so ready, to take in David Ireland’s extraordinary satire. Set in an apartment in London, an English director, an Oscar-winning American actor and a Northern Irish playwright meet to rehearse a West End play. Sounds like the beginnings of a good old fashioned joke, right? Well, the joke is on us. As the three converge to discuss the play’s challenges they will face when rehearsals begin the following morning; historical accuracies, national identity, politics, misogyny, feminism, Princess Diana and Brexit become the topic of debate in this contemporary, yet classic three-hander. No sooner do the actors hit the stage, one would not dispute their undeniable talent to hold the audience in the palm of their hand. Jay Conway (Darrell D’Silva) the boisterous, egotistical, contentious American box-office movie star, is equal parts intimidating, […]
March 4, 2019
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Palmyra at AC Arts – Main Theatre

Palmyra. A desecrated but still majestic city in Syria that was once one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world. Destroyed by ISIS soldiers during their first occupation in 2015, the locals stood in disbelief, clapping their hands to their mouth when they saw the rubble, an act intended to terrorise the Syrian people. Look what they’ve done. And this is how we are introduced to Palmyra, the inventive oeuvre conceived, created and performed by Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas. Lesca and Voutsas are quite the pair. Working together since 2015, it is difficult to draw the line between reality and theatre; and this is what makes Palmyra so thrilling, applaudable, palpable, captivating and at times, uncomfortable. Performance art at its best. The stage is set with two black chairs, each with a plate by the legs. Except one plate is broken into pieces. ‘Llook what they’ve done’ to ‘they have really gone for it’ Voutsas utters. At the start, their relationship is playful; waltzing and spinning, dashing around the stage on […]
March 3, 2019
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Review: Blaas at Thomas Edmonds Opera Studio, Adelaide Showgrounds

Blaas. Where does one begin? Quite simply, it is an experience like no other, one in which words cannot do it justice. Schweigman& present their Australian exclusive performance of Blaas, and it will delight, confuse, charm and ignite intense thought long after you’ve left the space. Blaas means ‘blow’, ‘breath’, ‘bubble’ and ‘bladder’ in Dutch and is a concept devised from the minds of award-winning director Boukje Schweigman, fashion designer turned visual artist Cocky Eek and performer Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti. A study of space and time, wind and air and movement; this is theatre never encountered before. We are asked to leave our shoes and belongings at the door, and put scrub slippers over our feet. Already some theatre goers are uneasy. Upon walking into the stark, white room we sit on the white bench, and look out onto the large mass of white fabric at the back of the stage. Static noise is played through the speaker; an edgy sound that can be interpreted as almost cicada sounding. Slowly, we see the fabric rise […]
March 2, 2019
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Review: Woman at the Bally at Gluttony

Looking for a night out to celebrate all things women in a man’s world through the storytelling of cabaret? Then head on over and catch Woman by the vocally talented chanteuse, Jodie Stubbs. She will take you on a historical journey through time; from the Garden of Eden, to the turn of the 20th century to modern day motherhood explored through song, story and comedy. Using music from Broadway, 60s classics, R&B, pop; you’ll enjoy this one-woman show as she navigates what it’s like to ‘have it all’. Jodie makes her grand entrance with strong opening vocals, before walking us through the long history of female oppression, beginning with the story of Florence Nightingale. She first sings ‘What’s Up?’ by 4 Non Blondes, and this becomes her theme song for the night…before she is interrupted by her ‘ringing’ phone – the babysitter. She then strives to get through her one hour show recounting how you can be a mum, cabaret star, wife and career woman – without having to check on the kids! The systematic […]
March 1, 2019
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Review: Paul McDermott and Steven Gates at the Garden of Unearthly Delights

Tonight’s Fortuna Spiegeltent, the most elaborate and superbly air conditioned tent at The Garden of Unearthly Delights is the home of Paul McDermott and Steven Gates’ Go Solo (Together, as they say) for the next ten days. McDermott and Gates became friends in 1999 after meeting at the ARIAs, but this marks the beginning of their musical duo, after singing together privately for 5 years. Two of Australia’s most adored and revered comedic singer-songwriters, McDermott, from cult musical comedy group Doug Anthony All Stars and Good News Week (my fave) and Gates, one third of Tripod, bring Adelaide a show of old friend barneys, reminiscing, witty banter and spontaneous drivel scattered amongst their genius lyricism and songbook catalogue. We begin with Shopping Mall, Paul’s tongue in cheek ode to finally understanding common life after his high roller times with DAAS, followed by a rock, Chilli-Pepper-feel rendition of White Man Prison (loved it!). A beautiful Be My Queen, by Gatesy, with comical vocals by McDermott lead into an impromptu heckle of a 13 year old audience […]
December 1, 2015
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Gah Christmas already!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… no, it IS Christmas, like just around the corner!! But don’t fret, I have your back. You can do everything at Harbour Town (or HTown as like to call it), and I mean EVERYTHING. From mum, grandma, dad, kids, pets…and everyone in between. Let’s get shopping…   FOR HER Bags and Luggage Direct have a super sale at the mo, with Tony Bianco bags from $21.50 (these were $99!) and Kardashian Kollection down to $29.50! Pick up a voucher from Centre Management for an additional 15% off until Dec 15. Are you kidding me?! I also love the Shiels Direct leather and stainless steel bracelets for only $30. Slip that in my stocking thanks huz… For the fragrance lover, Cosmetics Fragrance Direct have the gorgeous Elizabeth Arden Green Tea gift pack for just $25… that includes 100ml fragrance, bath gel, body cream and makeup bag. Shopping for the sporty friend? Then check out this hot Lorna Jane combo of tank ($15) and shorts ($30). I think I’ve […]
October 27, 2015
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One outfit, 4 ways – Spring Racing and beyond!

If you are anything like me, where you love the Spring Racing season, but don’t love how much every different outfit costs then you’ll love this. One outfit, 4 ways. I’ve started with the most gorgeous pair of off white culottes from Cue for a bargain price of $67.50 (original price $225 in full price stores) paired with the coolest top from Seed, which set me back only $63.96 (almost 50% off the original price, thanks very much). The best thing about separates? You can wear them again and again, with a different top or bottom for a completely new look. And guess what? Cost per wear becomes totally negligible. So there, husband…   Derby Day: Traditionally, black and white, I’ve added some stripes and spots for a little personality. Stunning headpiece from Mimco for only $69, plus another 20% off until November 8. Shoes from Nine West $69.96 (ridic, I know!) Necklace $79.20 Mimco (20% off until Nov 8) Clutch $63.20 Mimco   Melbourne Cup Day: This is your day to shine, so dress […]