LIA LOVES... THEATRE. FASHION. FAMILY. FUN.

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

February 21, 2021

Review: Parlour Games at Holden Street Theatres

I absolutely adore the Holden Street Theatres, and The Arch is the perfect backdrop for this tale of murder, mayhem, and mystery. Parlour Games, presented by The Green Guys Company, plays fact with fiction, as a voiceover announces that crime-writer Agatha Christie has gone missing. This was in actuality, a true fact. Christie went missing on December 3 1926 and was not located until 11 days later, in circumstances so strange that they raised more questions than they solved. Christie herself was unable to provide any clues as she remembered nothing. Or did she? Meanwhile, the play depicts eight of her biggest fans coming together in the hope to meet their literary hero for a book signing, at a little English tearoom, only to discover that during an innocent round of Parlour Games, one of them has killed Christie herself! What ensues is an hour of hilarity, classic ‘who dunnit’ interrogations, suspense and pandemonium. Was it The Hostess [Luca Sardelis]; the hard working, but nervous wreck owner of Munkwell Manor, convening the book signing? How […]
February 21, 2021

Review: Disco Wonderland – Dancing ‘Til Dawn

When Paulini and Timomatic were announced as the headline acts for Disco Wonderland: Dancing ‘Til Dawn, I knew it was going to be one of Adelaide Fringe’s biggest shows in 2021. The show’s creators, boutique producers Release Creative, along with Andew Kay, have reimagined their original orchestral version of this show [which debuted at the Festival Theatre with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in 2018] into a bursting party celebrating the world’s most infamous, and most short-lived, discotheque, Studio 54. A hypnotic voice-over takes us back to when the Vietnam war is over, and New York is a hub of sex, drugs and rock and roll. We go behind the velvet ropes and into the seedy world of the 70s, where atmosphere, grit and disco take over. Joining Paulini and Timomatic on stage are South Australia’s crème of talent; Philippa Lynas [who has just returned from New York after touring with Cirque du Soleilas featured vocalist], quadruple threat Mark Stefanoff [Kinky Boots, Hairspray, The Voice] and the sultry and stylised Amelia Sanzo. Lynas opens the show […]
February 19, 2021

Review: Michael Griffiths – Greatest Hits

What a way to kick off opening weekend of the Adelaide Fringe with Michael Griffiths’ ‘Greatest Hits’. This Adelaide superstar, Helpmann Award winner and cabaret darling has curated his best of the best hits from his solo shows from the past 10 years. A self confessed eighties tragic, ‘Greatest Hits’ will take you from Madonna to Kylie, A-ha to Annie Lennox and some Cole Porter thrown in for good measure. Usually a one-man show, ‘Greatest Hits’ includes local musicians Felicity Freeman on bass and Steve Leske on drums, Michael tinkling the ivories at his showman best. Set in Adelaide’s newest Fringe hub, The Queens, Michael’s quirky and fun style perfectly suited the venue. From delivering his own introduction [a Fringe institution] to his final encore, Michael is a true entertainer. The epitome of cabaret; raconteur, audience engagement and collaboration, Michael delivered his ‘Greatest Hits’ with wit, enthusiasm, passion and showmanship. He was on absolute fire! As he took us on a journey through the late 70s into the 80s, he peppered his show with stories […]
February 19, 2021

Review: Carlotta – I’m Not Dead Yet Darlings!

I’m slightly embarrassed to say that this is my first time seeing Carlotta live, although the legend’s career is not lost on me. Australian cabaret performer and icon, Carlotta began her career as an original cast member of the long running Sydney based male revue, Les Girls in 1962. With an international [and celebrity!] following, Carlotta performed spot numbers as a singer and comedian before becoming the show’s lead attraction and known as ‘The Queen of the Cross’. Her life and story became the inspiration for the film ‘The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’ The living legend and now Member of the Order of Australia, bids us adieu with her acclaimed, and final show, I’m Not Dead Yet Darlings!, before retiring later this year. Staged in the newest, coolest Fringe venue, The Queens Adelaide, which is all dolled up for the occasion, Carlotta’s loyal fans are waiting patiently for their queen to hit the stage. And hit the stage she does, with her glittering COVID safe mask and glamour persona ready to sing, […]
February 19, 2021

Review: Club Queens – Opening Night

When the recommendations say mature audiences, not family friendly with occasional coarse language and mild sexual references, you know you are in for an insatiably good night! Billed as the late night after party to tickle your fancies, Club Queens really will be the place to be seen on a Friday and Saturday night during Adelaide Fringe season. Opening night hosts, cabaret doyenne Amelia Ryan and arts royalty Mitchell Butel set the tone with their parody song about Covid, cabaret, clubs, and the Clare Valley, all to the tune of ‘I will Survive’. After welcoming the dignitaries and special guests, all formalities were thrown out the window for a night of unencumbered fun, unpredictable laughs and a teaser of shows that played earlier in the night or are yet to premiere. The show began with Australia’s favourite Cabaret performer and icon, Carlotta, who taunted and heckled the crowd, much to their delight, all the while smashing out dazzling show tunes leaving the audience wanting more! Jo Lawry was up next with her soothing, velvety and […]
January 25, 2021

Review: Moana Jr by Adelaide Youth Theatre

It’s no secret I am a big fan of youth productions in South Australia. In the words of Whitney Houston ‘I believe the children are our future…’ and the sensational cast and crew of Adelaide Youth Theatre’s production of Moana Jr are testament that the future of theatre is in good hands! Moana Jr is a 60-minute musical adaptation of the 2016 Disney animated film, bringing the adventures of Moana and her village of Motunui to life onstage. Moana Jr features all the beloved songs from the film, written by Tony®, GRAMMY, Emmy, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i, and Mark Mancina, including “How Far I’ll Go,” “Shiny,” and “You’re Welcome.” This delightful and heart-warming coming-of-age story follows the strong-willed Moana as she sets sail across the Pacific to save her village and discover the truth about her heritage. Moana and the legendary demigod Maui embark on an epic journey of self-discovery and camaraderie as both learn to harness the power that lies within. With empowering messages of bravery and selflessness, Moana Jr […]
January 18, 2021

Review: Les Misérables at the Adelaide Youth Theatre

Celebrating their first big show in their 10th anniversary year, Adelaide Youth Theatre [AYT] marks this occasion by restaging of one of the most famous, grim and difficult musicals of all time – Les Misérables. As a recap, the story follows former prisoner Jean Valjean, who, after being released from the watchful eye of Inspector Javert, is unable to find work because of his status as an ex-convict. He eventually steals from a local church, but when apprehended, the priest claims that Valjean was given the valuables. This triggers a change in Valjean, and he constructs a new identity for himself as a pillar of society and a local businessman. Years later, he adopts a young girl named Cosette, whose mother Fantine, a former employee of his, became a prostitute and died a horrible death in the gutters after being fired. As the years progress and the French Revolution begins to foment, a grown Cosette falls for a passionate revolutionary named Marius, while Javert begins to close in again on Valjean’s secret past. Upon entering […]
October 22, 2020

Review: Scotch College Stop the Presses! at Scotch College, Adelaide

In today’s current climate, getting to see live theatre is an absolute treat, so when the opportunity to review Scotch College’s Stop the Presses! came along, I snapped up the chance! I was completely bowled over by their production of Les Miserables in 2019, so I was excited to see what they present this time around. I. Was. Not. Disappointed. Stop the Presses! is essentially a showcase of songs from popular musicals over the years. This gave the students, ranging from years 7 to 12, an opportunity to shine across multiple roles, with characters and stories. At first glance, it looks like a random compilation of musicals, however delving deeper, each musical has a common theme of hope, resilience, strength and support. Traits these kids had in spades! The opening number, Welcome to the Rock from Come From Away was gritty and true, with fabulous accent work. Jim Martin lead the charges with his strong stage presence. ‘Stop the World’ was full of fervent intensity, especially from Adele Hubmayer and Jack Raft; exceptional young performers […]
October 20, 2020

Review: Grease at the Arts Theatre

Well, Grease certainly is the word! And for our first foray back into theatres, being welcomed by Rydell High is a treat! We are all familiar with the cult film Grease, however this version is based on the Broadway musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Set in 1959 at fictional Rydell High School, the story follows ten working class teenagers as they navigate the complexities of peer pressure, politics, personal core values and love. With a score borrowing heavily from the sounds of early rock and roll, Grease was initially a raw, aggressive and sometimes vulgar show, but subsequent productions sanitised it and toned it down. The show references social issues such as teenage pregnancy, gang violence, sexual exploration and rebellion. All which are still current issues the youth of today face. The musical’s basic plot is a subversion of the common trope of 1950s cinema, where instead of the male lead being transformed into a more sensitive and sympathetic character, it is the woman who is drawn into the man’s influence and transforms […]
March 18, 2020

Review: Two Crews at Space Theatre

I was lucky enough to gain a personal invitation by acclaimed director and choreographer, Nick Power to his third independent work, Two Crews. And who else better to come and witness this hip hop battle work for the Adelaide Festival, than my own little B-Boy, my middle son. Two Crews is the collision between France and Australia in the form of Parisian, all-women hip hop dance company, Lady Rocks, founded by choreographer and dancer Lea Cazauran. Representing Australia is Sydney based Riddim Nation, a collective who bring all styles of street dance fused with elements of their traditional culture into the ring. We arrive to see the vast open space, ready for the crews to battle it out. As they enter, they warm up in their respective corners, silently staring down their opponents. The way the stage was set, felt like the audience was pitted against each other! Clad in leopard print shirt with braids, Clairea is the first to take to the stage with a light-footed, almost lyrical popping and locking sequence, before the […]
March 11, 2020

Review: The Artist at AC Arts

A typical artist’s studio. Paint splattered floor. A wooden, ricketty shelf with finished canvas’ tucked away. A window for natural light. A red table with a white chair. A red ladder leans casually against the shelf. We see a pair of yellow socks poking out from underneath the easel, where The Artist himself is hidden behind his canvas, deep within his creative process. So preoccupied that he often dipped his paintbrush in his cup of tea, and drank from his paint water! My eye, and ear, is drawn to a leak in the ceiling. I am a little concerned, as it is very close to the lighting rig, but my concern soon turns to relief as the annoying drip is all but part of the show. There is a chuckle-inducing scene involving the drip, his cup of tea, and a teabag. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination… Thom Monckton is a New Zealand born, Finland based physical theatre artist trained in circus arts at CircoArts in Christchurch and then at the famed mimodynamics school […]
March 7, 2020

Review: How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying at the Goodwood Institute

‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ the Pulitzer Prize winning book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert and Tony Award-winning musical with Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser, is a story about the triumph of the typical man amid the mockery of big business. Once again, March Productions brings a quite adult-themed musical to life with a young cast, and while the wordy and 1960s dated show proved a little challenging at times with some stumbles over monologues, producer Alice Kennett should be very proud of the modern and sophisticated end product. The stellar production team of Michelle Davy, Mark DeLaine and Brady Lloyd should be highly applauded for their fabulous work on this little gem. When a restless, ambitious and charmingly manipulative window washer named J.Pierrepont Finch (that’s spelt F.I.N.C.H) comes across a book entitled ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’, he decides to begin his climb up the corporate ladder. Guided by the Voice of the Book, and a dose of his own canniness, Finch begins his […]
March 6, 2020

Review: Luminarium: Daedalum at R.C.C, Adelaide Fringe Festival

Architects of Air (AoA) are really onto something. Alan Parkinson, founder and designer and artistic director has built and toured over 500 exhibitions in more than 40 countries, sharing his ‘sense of wonder at the phenomenon of light’. Inspired by natural forms, geometric solids, Islamic and Gothic architecture; each new creation is a maze of winding paths and domes where visitors may lose themselves in sensory bliss. A luminarium takes between 4 to 6 months to build entirely by hand by a workforce of around 6 people. Built entirely in AoA’s Nottingham workshop using a custom-made PVC unique to AoA. A luminarium will last for approximately 300 days of exhibition spread over 4 years, after which it is cut into pieces to be recycled. The luminarium structure is designed with functionality in mind as a temporary building to include portability, accessibility, stability and a modularity to allow the structures to be reconfigured for different sites. Daedalum takes it’s name from Daedalus. In Greek mythology, he was the father of Icarus and the architect of the […]
March 6, 2020

Review: Cold Blood at the Ridley Centre

I don’t like to read about a show before seeing it. I much prefer to go in unaware and come to my own conclusion. With all the hype surrounding Kiss & Cry Collective’s Cold Blood, it was difficult to shield myself from the talk. However, I managed to observe opening night only knowing I was watching dancing hands in a tiny set. The brainchild of husband and wife creative duo, dancer and choreographer Michele Anne De Mey, and acclaimed director and screenwriter Jaco Van Dormael and texts by Thomas Gunzig, Cold Blood takes us on a whimsical and entrancing ride. It is the story of seven unpredictable and startling deaths through a multitude of scenarios, using human hands and tiny, child-like toys to demonstrate the silly but fading feebleness of life. This fascinating mix of art forms – dance, film, text – is true genius and is nothing short of original fantastical theatre. As we sit and see a large projection screen, below is the live activity of dancers, camera crew and technicians that create […]
March 5, 2020

Review: Frankenstein: How to Make A Monster at RCC

Debating whether to sit in the elevated section or centre front upon arrival with my guest, I’m glad we decided centre front. We were up close and personal with all the action. Making it’s Australian debut at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, the Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) Beatbox Academy all the way from the UK, lead by the coolest cat Conrad, are a bunch of uber talented youth presenting Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in an innovative and electrifying combination of beatbox, theatre and song – all live and all made from the mouth. We begin the evening hearing about BAC’s collaboration with our own youth arts centre, Carclew, and Conrad introduces three incredibly raw, but oh so adept kids; Ocean, T-Dog and Eemes, as a curtain raiser to the evening’s performance. They had been workshopping beats, jamming, raps and writing lyrics. Except Ocean. She had no lyrics and was going to freestyle with words the audience threw at her. Chicken, Madhouse, Rabies, Sausage. Yep, she killed it! Conrad then turned the audience into a Beatbox orchestra by […]