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

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

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 […]
February 28, 2019
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Review: Sex and The Musical at Treasury 1860

Walking into Treasury 1860 on a hot Adelaide night, a Cosmopolitan was just what I needed to cool me down. And the cosmos were indeed flowing, in this perfect venue for Sex and the Musical. Taking our seats to the theme music that took me back, it’s hard to think that the show actually ended in 2004. But with 2 movies and reruns still going, this iconic and cult series still has a huge following. We are taken back before the action starts, a prequel, when Carrie’s boss tells her she’s losing her edge, so she goes on the hunt for a posse of friends ‘sweet, smart, sassy and sexy’ to help her get her mojo to write her successful columns again. Carrie’s opening song, The most interesting woman, is a hilarious send up introducing us to the main character, but also questioning how she affords her luxurious lifestyle on a columnists wage. A question we have all asked ourselves! Stefanie Rossi has the hair, the body, the look and the tutu to bring musical […]
February 23, 2019
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Review: Djuki Mala at the Garden of Unearthly Desires

Tonight’s sold out, highly anticipated, award winning show, Djuki Mala are quirky, high-voltage, compelling, cheeky and joyous. And that is just the crowd warmer! Direct from Elcho Island, Djuki Mala (meaning bird mob) perform an incredible fusion of traditional Yolngu culture, contemporary dance and storytelling. They achieved overnight success when Frank Djirrimbilpilwuy (Big Frank) uploaded a clip of the ‘Chooky’ boys dancing to Zorba the Greek back in 2012. Lionel, Big Frank’s son, created this special video as a thank you to the Greek nurse, Liliane, who cared for his sister while she was sick. From the success of the video, which has had over 2.5 million views on YouTube, they have toured all over the world with their exuberant and effervescent interpretation of dance, song-lines and pop culture. Beginning with a history of colonisation, we see an opening of the four dancers in traditional costumes and ochre, with Gara (spears) and Galpu (spear thrower) and are introduced to Margaret, Big Frank’s wife, via the multimedia projection on stage. She tells us about Big Frank, […]
February 21, 2019
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Review: By a Thread at The Peacock at Gluttony

I like seeing a show without expectation, so I do minimal research beforehand and be led purely by what I see on the stage. And what I saw this evening, By a Thread presented by One Fell Swoop Circus, was nothing short of magical. A thick, white rope strung between 2 large pulleys suspended from the top of The Peacock in a spotlight, greeted the audience as we took our seats. Soon, there were bodies clad in jeans and white tank tops entering the arena to take turns in pulling one end of the rope to unravel it upwards. Our attention is then drawn to a scream as a young woman, Ellen, swings on the other end into the crowd. This performer astounds me. She looks as graceful as a gazelle and delicate as a rose, but the strength her body has is incredible! All the performers are spectacularly powerful, agile, elegant and athletic. And there is no prejudice between the roles the performers play. Women being lifters and the base at times, while the […]
February 20, 2019
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Review: Eddie Ifft at Adelaide Fringe

As a mother of 3, with 2 jobs and 1 husband, I love a night off to have a good belly laugh. So while my huz looks after the kids, I take my dad to see Eddie Ifft Walking on Eggshells. I can hear some of you chortle right about now…I have a cool dad who is not easily shocked or offended, so he was the perfect date. The US comedian has performed to sold out crowds around the world, hosts the successful Talkin’ Shit podcast and has released 3 DVDs, including one titled ‘I Love Pussy’, and 3 CDs with songs such as The Vagina Room and Freeze Enough Sperm, this guy is not afraid of a little over sharing [when I say a little, I mean a lot] or shock value. Ifft lives up to his reputation as a boundary pusher, being politically incorrect at the same time as being super funny. I found myself laughing at jokes and face palming at the same time. This is Eddie’s thing. Making ‘people laugh at […]
May 5, 2017
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Top 5 for the Queen of the hive…

Is it just me, or has Mother’s Day crept up on us this year? Maybe because I’ve been overseas for nearly 4 weeks (ahem, bragging rights!!) but I’m not ready yet! Lucky for you (and me!), Harbour Town has everything, any mum could want on her special day. I’ve whittled it down to the top 5, but there are PLENTY more to choose from… ONE. Now is the time to pick up some gorgeous autumn/winter boots in colours that are so on trend. Navy, grey, burgundy, snake print… you name it, Nine West have them. And with an additional 30% off, you’ll not only make mums day, but you’ll kinda make a profit too (because you’re saving money, you’re actually making money – amIright??!!) Navy boots were $199.95 now $90.96, Snake/multi print were $219.95 now just $62.96, burgundy boots were $210 now $90.96 and black boots were $220 now only $97.95. TWO. Looking for something in the kids budget? Head to Cosmetics Fragrance Direct and pick up one of their pre packaged bundles for $30 […]
December 7, 2016
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Tis the season to go shopping, fa la la la la…

Oh deer! It’s Christmas already?! But I haven’t even started thinking about my present list?! Yes, I can hear your cries of help, so never fear, yule love my Chrissie gift guide – something for every budget and awesome bounties that all the family will love!   FOR HER Who doesn’t love a shoe and bag coordinating combo? At Nine West, these turquoise flats will set you back $20 (gasp!) while the new season woven clutch is only $39.95… that’s mum sorted! Perhaps the lady in your life would appreciate some new arm candy? I’m talking bracelets… Shiels have some super sales at the moment, and you can pick up these wrap bands for $29… did I mention the tan one is leather and only $9.99…!! Perfect for the stocking! Care to get sexy? Bendon have a massive $20 sale going on… yep, nearly everything is $20 a piece – brands from Pleasure State to Heidi Klum… $20 each. Looking for a gorgeous dress to take you from Christmas brunch, all the way to dinner, […]
April 27, 2016
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Mama, I love you…

“Sweet lady, don’tcha know we love ya? But my plan is to show you that I understand you are appreciated” See, even Tupac loved his mummy but I bet he didn’t shop at H-Town for the best pressie! I’ve sourced the best deals under $60 for ya’ll, so just drop this under the nose of your significant other, child or anyone who is doing the Mothers Day shopping this year (yes, you can even spoil yourself!) Let’s start with a fabbo trio of bracelets from Mimco. Who doesn’t love a little arm candy? From only $29, everyone’s a winner… Typo have a huge range of Mothers Day gift ideas in store, including this combo of eye mask and bed socks pack for only $19.99, a Lean on Me convertible neck pillow for $24.99 and ‘Come dry with me’ tea towel declaring your love for granny, is only $5 with any purchase! Many more designs to choose from too…   If, like me, keeping your tootsies dry but looking funky during the soccer/footy season is an […]
January 25, 2016
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Whoa, whoa, I gotta go… back to school… again!

Yes, I’m referencing the B-grade sequel to Grease… but you gotta admit, the songs were pretty catchy… Grease 2 aside, yes, it is back to school already! Gah! Where did my summer holidays go?? Oh, that’s right, entertaining my kiddies so they wouldn’t complain to me about being bored (which they did anyway!!). Seriously, schools hols are so expensive…. Which is why I’ve put together my budget friendly, outlet loving back to school shopping guide. Let’s go…   BACKPACKS Where do I start? Strandbags, Victoria Station Clearance, Bags and Luggage Direct all have a great range of kids kindy or school backpacks, but when I spotted Ben and Holly at Bags to Go for under $15, I knew my daughter would lose the plot. Done deal… They also had a super cute Play School backpack with educational features on it for under $25…awesome! For the tweens, JT Surf has them covered. A wall of Billabong, Roxy and Santa Cruz starting from $35 (down from $70) just waiting to be slung over the shoulder of the […]
October 6, 2015
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Just a little something for the kids…

I’m always on the lookout for kids clothes…new season, or end of season that I can purchase a size or two bigger for next year. And my go to place is Cotton On Kids; always on trend, always great prices, and huge stock turnover, so there is always something new. I’ve had a few requests for puffer vests and I knew Cotton On Kids could deliver. Great range of colours and styles from $15 – $20! Happy customer indeed! Next stop was Cheeki Kids, another awesome kids clothing and accessories store I’ve been shopping at for years. I love the big brands like Chloe and Burberry, but they also carry the coolest Aussie labels like Munster and Rock Your Baby too..which was 25% off the already marked price. Hulloo… Just a couple of doors down is Step Footwear, and I needed to buy my little Miss some uggs. Found the cutest panda pair by Emu Uggs for only $39.95! That’s a great buy for this iconic brand. I stopped into Typo because their totally cool […]
September 2, 2015
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Shopping for Father’s Day – tips and bargains!

Last minute bargain Father’s Day Ideas… With Fathers Day just around the corner, I thought I’d help you all out with some top tips on where to shop for the special blokes in your life. You’re welcome. Harbour Town caters for just about every type of dad there is. For the cool casual dad, I’d be heading to Connor, Gazman, Roger David and Oxford. Ed Harry have a great range of new season shirts at outlet prices and at Tarocash there are chinos and shirts as far as the eye can see. If your dad is more into sweating it out then check out Adidas, Fila Brand Direct, Intersport, Sports Power and Converse. Brooks Factory Direct have a huge sale with their runners at more than 50% off! Where at JT Surf, your skater dad can hold onto his youth a little bit more with big surf brands like Hurley, Rip Curl and Santa Cruz. Perhaps you need to shop a more mature look? We’ve got that covered too. Stafford Ellinson, Rivers and Black Pepper […]