LIA LOVES... THEATRE. DANCE. CULTURE. EVENTS.

Follow her adventures as Adelaide's premier theatre buff, arts contributor, educator and ambassador!

May 3, 2022

Review: Into the Woods by Adelaide Youth Theatre at Star Theatre

Another outstanding production from Adelaide Youth Theatre for 2022 is Into the Woods. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, the incredible production team of Emma Riggs and Kerreane Sarti deliver once again a high quality show that spotlights the burgeoning young talent of South Australia. Into the Woods intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales, exploring the consequences of the characters wishes and quests. The main characters are taken from Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel and Cinderella. The musical is tied together by a story involving a witch whom tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from these classic fairy tale characters to reverse the curse put on their family tree. While not a typical sung through musical, the dialogue in the show is characterised by the use syncopated speech, and delivered with a fixed beat or kind of spoken song. This was not a junior version, but a solid two and a half hour full show. I’ve always […]
April 30, 2022

Review: A Streetcar Named Desire at The Bakehouse Theatre

It’s a sad day when Adelaide institution, The Bakehouse Theatre, must close to make way for a carpark, but completing its tenure with Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, is to go out with a bang! Williams’ most popular work, A Streetcar Named Desire is one of the most critically acclaimed plays of the 20th century. There is so much to digest, interpret and analyse with this classic piece; the text directions, the naturalistic language, the overarching symbolism, the expressionism concepts, and the functions of the characters, to name but a few. This is why Streetcar is a firm favourite of dramaturgs all across the world! Set in the French Quarter of New Orleans during the restless years following World War Two, A Streetcar Named Desire is the story of Blanche DuBois, a fragile and neurotic woman on a desperate prowl for someplace in the world to call her own. After being exiled from her hometown for seducing a seventeen-year-old boy at the school where she taught English, Blanche explains her unexpected appearance on Stanley […]
March 31, 2022

Review: Constellations at The Bakehouse

Every now and then, a simple but affecting play lands in my lap and it is my duty to ensure as many people as possible can experience the joy, power and preciousness of these works. Constellations, is one such play. Suppose that life exists in a multiverse – a set of parallel existences that contain infinitely different futures. The possibilities in our lives are, quite literally, endless. Every possible event that could happen, does happen, in one universe or another. And if two people meet – are drawn together in every version of existence – every possible happy ending and heartbreak that could transpire, will. Marianne, a physicist, and Roland, a beekeeper, meet at a barbeque. They hit it off and go for a drink. Or maybe they don’t. They go home together, or possibly they go their separate ways. Perhaps Marianne is engaged to someone else, perhaps Roland is. Maybe she breaks his heart, maybe he breaks hers. Possibly they come together and their love story can finally be cemented and develop, or perhaps […]
March 27, 2022

Review: The 2022 Variety Gala at The Festival Theatre

The Variety Gala, a highlight on the entertainment calendar brings together a smorgasbord of local and international talent that makes up the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. While held earlier in the year for the first time, [blame a little show called Frozen for that] this did not deter the droves of punters ready to devour the tastings on offer for 2022. Hosted by the sarcastic and sardonic Paul McDermott, who scrubbed up quite nicely after a shave and haircut since I last saw him, the night’s theme was decadence, magic and revelry. This was hurled at us in spades. Isaac Hannam, began with an enigmatic welcome to country before throwing open the stage to the incomparable and iconic Tina Arena. I must admit, I’ve never seen her sing live in the flesh, and boy oh boy, is she worth waiting for. This years Artistic Director was silky and soulful and everything you expect from the star. Singing classics ‘Church’ and ‘Burn’ she was both gloriously effortless and sophisticated while ferocious and unstoppable at the same time. […]
March 20, 2022

Review: Hans – A Night at the Symph-Honey! at The Thebarton Theatre

I remember first meeting Hans at the Weimer Room back in 2003; a tall, thin and lanky teenager who was the interval act and compere at the weekly cabaret shows that were hosted in the dingy, Berlin-esque bar. He had a multitude of talent back then – all singing, all tapping, all accordion playing comedian, so it is hardly surprising he has reached the dizzying heights of Berlin boy wonder today. One might call it a self-fulfilling prophecy, as he has always dubbed himself ‘an international superstar’ Manifestation at its finest! Hans A Night at the Symph HONEY! marks his return to the stage since the dreaded C-word took hold of the arts world and spun it through the wringer. But being the stalwarts that we are, we dusted ourselves off and prepared for retribution. A what a night of reckoning it was! The magnificent Thebby Theatre was electric – both literally and metaphorically – as the highly regarded 18-piece Adelaide Concert Orchestra, ahem, The Ungrateful Bastards Orchestra, took to the stage to rapturous applause. […]
March 14, 2022

Review: Retail Reality at The Lark at Gluttony

A self-proclaimed glamorous bogan, Amelie Peters is a classically trained singer, international performer and accredited vocal coach who burst onto the stage with her flame hair and sequin covered curves. Just like a real-life Jessica Rabbit – but with personality and pipes! This young cabaret diva takes us through an hour of painlessly pitched parodies, cracking covers and her own original songs interspersed with stories and anecdotes from her [agonizing] years as a retail assistant. Let’s face it – we’ve either all been the retail worker who knows exactly what she is talking about or are the customer she’s lamenting about – either way, this show is for everyone! With satires of ‘9 – 5’, based on the irregular working hours of retail casuals, to the Whitney Houston/ Andrea Boccelli ‘I will always love you/Time to Say Goodbye’ medley – as an ode to her finally leaving her retail job, Peters has her full voice, and acting range on display. From a soft alto, to belting chest voice, flipping right up into the highest of […]
March 14, 2022

Review: The 60 Four at Norwood Concert Hall

Having grown up with the songs of the 60s and 70s thanks to my parents, it felt fitting to bring my mum to enjoy the musical extravaganza that is The 60 Four. A group of four young men, three of whom met in music class at school, who found and fell in love with the sound of the 60s back in 2015, thanks to cabaret performer Michael Griffiths. After performing a Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons medley for an awards night, they received a standing ovation and were immediately booked for three gigs. Luckily for us, they have continued to hone and explore more music of the era, extending their repertoire into a two-hour show, jam packed with slick suits and even slicker choreography. With a venue as brilliantly suited to this style as the Norwood Concert Hall, and a stage set up to rival any celebrity playing in town, the boys roar onto the stage, decked out in matching green velvet jackets to bust out ‘Sherry’ from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, […]
March 8, 2022

Review: Classical Mystery Tour at The Moa, Gluttony

When I saw the marketing for the Classical Mystery Tour, I thought this would be perfect for my Beatles loving, drumming mad son. Not to mention, I grew up on the sounds of the rocking 60s and swinging 70s, so this world premiere of the legendary Beatles album, Magical Mystery Tour was right up my alley. Staged at The Moa, the famous outdoor venue at Adelaide Fringe’s Gluttony, this concert, at a pre-sunset time, was, quite literally, a magical ride through the soundtrack. Magical Mystery Tour album was born after The Beatles completed Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band  in April 1967. McCartney wanted to create a film that captured a theme of a psychedelic bus ride with McCartney’s memories of Liverpudlians holidaying on coach tours. The film was to be unscripted; various ‘ordinary’ people were to travel on a coach and have unspecified ‘magical’ adventures. Despite the widespread media condemnation of the film, the 1967 soundtrack release was a critical and commercial success. With Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles continued their studio experimentation that […]
March 7, 2022

Review: MACRO at Village Green, Adelaide Oval

An official opening night spectacular, MACRO is the merging of talent, culture, strength, and human connection. Lucky to have witnessed both Gravity & Other Myths [GOM] The Pulse and Djuki Mala previously, I was keen to see what this collaboration event would bring. Adelaide Festival Co-Director, Neil Armfield gave a heartfelt and humorous introduction, informing the 7000 strong crowd that MACRO is a co-commission between Adelaide Festival and Edinburgh International Festival, where it will tour later in the year. The beautiful and profound live welcome to country was an incredible ceremony to witness, with the entire cast of acrobats, performers and singers entering the stage to be cleansed with the spirit before seamlessly beginning the show. While there was much the same with the original Pulse production, this version was an utterly full partnership between GOM, Djuki Mala, Adelaide’s celebrated youth  vocal ensemble Aurora and a trio of Scotland’s most esteemed contemporary folk musicians. With big screens on either side of the massive stage, lighting rigs to rival any superstar concert and voices reverberating through […]
March 5, 2022

Review: The Rite of Spring/common ground[s] at Her Majesty’s Theatre

There are certain opportunities in life that are unmissable, and beholding Pina Bausch’s The Rite of Spring is one of those momentous occasions. A German dancer and choreographer who was a significant contributor to a neo-expressionist dance tradition now known as Tanztheater, Bausch’s approach was noted for a stylized blend of dance movement, prominent sound design, and involved stage sets, as well as for engaging the dancers under her to help in the development of a piece. Her work, regarded as a continuation of the European and American expressionist movements, incorporated many expressly dramatic elements and often explored themes connected to trauma, particularly trauma arising out of relationships. From this, she created the company Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, which performs internationally to this day. Her thrilling Frühlingsopfer (The Rite of Spring), created in 1975, caused a stir in the dance world with its stark depiction, in which the Chosen One is sacrificed to gratify the misogyny of the surrounding men, all while dancing on a stage entirely covered in soil. Based on the ballet and orchestral concert work by composer Igor Stravinsky, The Rite is described by […]
March 1, 2022

Review: 360 ALLSTARS at The Flamingo at Gluttony

360 ALLSTARS, the phenomenal physical worldwide smash, that has been selling out Broadway, Edinburgh and the Sydney Opera House, is back at the Fringe! A show which features and explores all forms of rotation, 360 ALLSTARS connects the elite street to the masses to deliver a supercharged urban extravaganza. Boasting a stellar cast of young, hip and impossibly talented artists, including the 2x World Champion BMX Flatlander, two champion break-dancers, an internationally acclaimed basketball freestyler, and a World Record holding Cyr wheel artist, 360 ALLSTARS is a spectacular fusion of the extraordinary skill and originality that begins from street culture. Add to this a stunning live soundtrack delivered by US MC and live looping vocalist, Mirrah, and multi-award-winning master musician, producer and visionary Gene Peterson combined with incredible video projections, 360 ALLSTARS is as aurally exciting as it is visually astounding. As The Flamingo filled to almost capacity, we are treated to an intro of all the talent who will be entertaining us. Starting with B-Boy Sette, a champion break-dancer from Melbourne. A dancer for […]
February 28, 2022

Review: Roald Dahl and the Imagination Seekers at The Flamingo

‘Those who don’t believe in magic, will never find it’ Roald Dahl I, for one, am a magic believer, which is why I adore live theatre. And these words were beamed in front of us, as if to test our faith during this delightful and captivating children’s show, Roald Dahl and the Imagination Seekers. Presented by Get Lost & Found Ltd, Puffin and the Roald Dahl Story Company in association with Interactive Theatre International, a UK based theatre company that produces and promotes interactive comedy theatre, the show is an immersive and collective performance between two actors, and the audience. First commissioned in 2015 by Puffin Books to create a new children’s theatre show based on the works of the world’s number one storyteller Roald Dahl. This show was performed all over the UK and Ireland. In 2019, a collaboration with Roald Dahl Story Company created this new show and has been touring the world since. Especially conceived for ages six and up, the show fosters both imaginative and literacy skills through performance, games and […]
February 28, 2022

Review: Blindness at The Queens Theatre

The curation of art during the Adelaide Festival is at it’s impeccable best with the addition of Blindness. Based on the 1995 novel by Portuguese Nobel Prize winner, Jose Saramago, Blindness is a socially distanced sound installation, produced by the Donmar Warehouse, adapted by Simon Stephens and directed by Walter Meierjohann. This latest version not only fits perfectly within the world we currently live, but the story is not far off from the sentiment of issues either. Blindness is the chronicle of an unexplained mass epidemic of blindness infecting nearly everyone in an unnamed city, and the social breakdown that swiftly follows. The story follows a handful of unnamed characters who are among the first to be wounded with blindness, including an ophthalmologist and several of his patients. The ophthalmologist’s spouse, “the doctor’s wife,” is mysteriously immune to the blindness. After a lengthy and traumatic quarantine in an asylum, the group bands together in a family-like unit to survive by their wits and by the good fortune that the doctor’s wife has escaped the blindness. […]
February 28, 2022

Review: 27 Club at The Moa at Gluttony

After missing out on seeing this rock show at last year’s Fringe, I finally got to witness the hype that is 27 Club. Presented by Andrew Kay, Australia’s premier rock and roll promoter, and Release Creative, the team behind last year’s hit Disco Wonderland and the Barossa Contemporary: Festival for the Curious, are bringing the house down again with this must-see gig. A simple premise – lets celebrate the greats of rock and roll with a rotating cast of Australian rock royalty. Featuring Sarah McLeod from The Superjesus, Kevin Mitchell of Jebediah fame, Carla Lippis, Dusty Lee Stephenson, Libby O’Donovan and a band that brings the house down – this is a concert for those who lived through the 70s, worshipped the 90s and celebrated the noughties. The icons of the ’27 Club’ – those that met their demise at the age of 27 by drink, drugs or jealous husbands– included blues influencer Robert Johnson, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Amy Winehouse and Jimi Hendrix. Add the exactness of The Moa as a venue, […]
February 25, 2022

Review: Bodylex at The Bakehouse

I like to walk into shows impartial – I don’t do any research before, so I allow my natural appreciations and instincts to react. It has been a while since I’ve seen a true dance theatre work – and Bodylex did not disappoint. Produced and choreographed by creative academic, Rhys Ryan, Bodylex explores rules, regulations and laws and how our bodies respond to these forces either unintentionally or consciously. Questions are posed – do we resist? Conform? Adapt? This piece of experimental theatre is designed to provoke, engage processing of politics pursue examinations of the physical form. Upon entering the hazy black box of The Bakehouse, of which I’ll be extremely sad to see gone, the stage is set starkly with three dancers in simple, muted tone pants and singlet. Two side lights illuminate the space, and we hear the sound of a repetitive and pulsing clap or wood knocking together – this is the heartbeat of the soundscape that gets built upon as the tensions rise. The movement of the dancers – Anika de […]
February 24, 2022

Review: Arcadia Bohemian Cabaret at The Octagon

What is Arcadia? Utopia. Unspoiled. Uncorrupted. Presented by local South Australian company, Cocktail Creative, off the back of their award winning sell out season of Playback from Adelaide Fringe 2021, Arcadia is an escape to a desert paradise celebrating idealistic social values of the wild and free. A communal journey expressed through dance, aerial and music with a banging, psychedelic soundtrack. Music from the 70s spanning multiple genres of pop, rock, indie and RnB will see you plunged into a world where the soul, spirit and heart can be truly free. The Octagon at Gluttony is a great venue for this type of show, the cast of five dancers utilise the shape and space really well and have an obvious connection to each other. Starting with a steam punk, Mad Max feel then moving into bohemian, trippy vibes, finishing with massive pops of colour and texture, the costumes, set and lighting were dramatic and vivid. Vocalist Rachel Vidoni, who also happens to smash out a tune on the harmonica and a super sparkly guitar, had […]
January 30, 2022

Review: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Dunstan Playhouse

Edward Albee’s classic, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf finally makes it’s debut to eager and excited audience members, after rescheduling from September 2021. And it’s worth the wait. First staged in 1962, the play examines the complex and dangerous marriage of a middle-aged academic couple, Martha and George. In the early hours following a university faculty party, Martha invites an unwitting younger couple, Nick and Honey, as guests to her home, and draws them into their bitter, twisted and maddening relationship. A play in three acts, with two intermissions, the title, which alludes to the English novelist Virginia Woolf, is also a pun on the song ‘Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?’ from Disney’s Three Little Pigs. In the first moments of the play, we are told that someone sang the song earlier in the evening at the party, and Martha repeatedly pesters George over whether he found it funny. Act One, entitled ‘Fun and Games’, flows as quickly as the liquor the characters are drinking. Martha and George engage in scathing verbal abuse […]
October 10, 2021

Review: Shrek Jr – The Musical by Adelaide Youth Theatre at Arts Theatre

The beloved story of an anti-social, territorial green ogre named Shrek, whose solitary life is interrupted after the diminutive Lord Farquaad of Duloc exiles a number of fairy tale creatures to Shrek’s swamp. Not happy with this new set up, Shrek decides to travel to Duloc to see Farquaad and regain his swamp. Along the way, Shrek rescues a talkative Donkey and he joins him on his quest. Back in Duloc, in order for Farquaad to become king, he must marry a princess, so after the recommendation from his Magic Mirror and his henchmen, Farquaad settles on Princess Fiona, who is trapped in a tower surrounded by lava and guarded by a terrifying, fire-breathing dragon. Upon arriving in Duloc, Farquaad is impressed with Shrek’s size and stature, and demands that Shrek must rescue Fiona on his behalf, and in return, will give Shrek the deed to his swamp. The two unlikely friends make it to the castle and fight off the dragon to escape with Fiona. Wanting to see her ‘Prince Charming’ in the flesh, […]
September 23, 2021

Review: Blood Brothers by The Princes Players at ANZAC Hall, Prince Alfred College

With book, music and lyrics by Willy Russell [of Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine fame], Blood Brothers, set in the 1960s, tells the story of a contemporary nature versus nurture plot, revolving around fraternal twins Mickey and Eddie, who were separated at birth, one subsequently being raised in a wealthy family, the other in a poor family. The different environments take the twins to opposite ends of the social spectrum, one becoming a councillor, and the other unemployed and in prison. They both fall in love with the same girl, causing a rift in their friendship and leading to the tragic death of both brothers. Inspired by a one-act play Russell read as a child ‘about two babies switched at birth. Originally developed as a school play in the early 1980s, Blood Brothers then ran for 27 years in the West End, before being reproduced on Broadway, with cult following. Making its way back to the school scene with The Princes Players, this production packs a punch with a complete cast and crew of high school […]
July 2, 2021

Review: Alan Cumming is Not Acting his Age at The Festival Theatre

When Scottish-American Renaissance man Alan Cumming agreed to become the 2021 Artistic Director of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival back in 2019, little did we know a pandemic named Rona was going to turn the world upside down and throw all plans for the arts world into a spin. As our first international Artistic Director, the whole city waited with baited breath to see what Mr Cumming would bring to the table. And what a banquet he served! From unusual and unconventional to downright unforgettable, this year’s festival is truly one to remember. Cumming has performed in concert halls across the globe; including the Sydney Opera House, the London Palladium, the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall. He’s played God, the Devil, Hitler, the Pope, a teleporting superhero, Hamlet, all the parts in MacBeth and of course the EmCee in Cabaret in the West End and on Broadway. To spend an intimate evening with him, on the closing night of what I believe to be one of the best Cabaret Festivals yet, was an absolute privilege and […]
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 […]
February 28, 2020

Review: Blanc de Blanc Encore at the Fortuna Spiegeltent, Garden of Unearthly Delights

After seeing the inceptive Blanc de Blanc two years ago, my expectations were high. I was hoping this wasn’t going to be like a bad sequel following a great original. I wasn’t disappointed. Strut and Fret’s gutsy and uninhibited blend of comedic cabaret, dynamic dance numbers and awe arousing aerials will leave you applauding like mad and wanting for more. Seated in the round, the stage is set with champagne on ice, and large circles, or balls if you will, creating the backdrop. The opening Gatsby-inspired party really got the crowd fired up and in the mood for what lay ahead. Our incredible and wacky hosts for the evening, Felix …. and Remi Martin took us on a journey to Parisian glitz and glamour, transported us through vintage French flavours and fantasies and opulent times of the City of Light. Their interluding gag shows were an absolute highlight for me, as was their chemistry, banter and connection on stage together. Scenes of the cast lip-synching to various songs about drinking while a spotlight followed them […]
February 21, 2020

Review: The Choir of Man at The Moa, Gluttony

Entering the hustle and bustle of the fab venue, The Moa, with one of my all-time favourite nostalgic tunes, ‘You Call Me Al’ blaring, you know you are in for a good night when you are invited up on the stage to enjoy a beer as you walk in! The Choir of Man is the international success from the hitmakers, Andrew Kay and Nic Doodson. And what a hit it is! Put a pack of 9 twenty-something young, talented men together to sing, drink and talk for almost an hour and a half and what you get is incredible adrenalin, high voltage energy and pure, undiluted entertainment! A cast of seemingly ordinary guys will blow you away with their incredible choreography, tight vocals, sweet poetry and dynamic instrumentals featuring songs from rock, folk, pop and Broadway! The scene was set with the opening number ‘Welcome to The Jungle’, which also happens to be the name of the pub the show is set in. After this bolt of lightning initial scene, we get to meet the […]
June 17, 2019

Review: Paul Capsis with Jethro Woodward and the Fitzroy Youth Orchestra at The Famous Spiegeltent

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

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 10, 2019

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

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

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

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

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, […]
January 27, 2019

Review: Last of the Red Hot Lovers at Bakehouse

Walking into the Bakehouse Theatre this evening was a burst of fresh air. No, literally. It was 45 degrees outside. And fittingly, I was going in to see Neil Simon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers. This offering is the fourth for Starc Productions, Adelaide’s newest full-time professional theatre company, a collaboration between Marc Clement, Stefanie Rossi and theatre gem Tony Knight. Starc’s sentiment is to produce plays with minimal set design, thus allowing the actors to take, for lack of a better phrase, centre stage. This was evident upon entering the theatre – a clean, classic set in white and red. Stylised as such that the key timekeepers – the clock and telephone – were in bold red, while the couch and table were white. I liked the addition of the apples on the table; a suggestion of sexual seduction perhaps? Set in 1969, to the tunes of Bacharach, Barney Cashman, a middle aged, married, fish restaurateur, wishes to join the sexual revolution. Unbeknownst to him, it’s not that easy. In three acts we […]
January 18, 2019

Review: A Doll’s House at Bakehouse

Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, written in 1879, is a significant play in the way it deals with the awakening of a middle class wife and mother in a male-dominated world, one not too dissimilar to what we are experiencing in current day society. As you can imagine, the play caused great controversy at the time, and continues to speak powerfully more than 100 years after it first hit the stage. Ipskip Productions brings a new adaptation to life under the cultivating eye of director Nathan Quadrio and dramaturge Miriam Fietz, set in London in 1959. Nora Helmer, the innocent (or not so innocent) self serving wife, was played beautifully by Allison Scharber. She portrayed the complexities of Nora’s character with charm, at times submissive and manic. She struggles with juggling kids, her house, husband, a secret debt, a terminally ill best friend and the arrival of an old school friend who brings much chaos through the door with her. Georgia Stockham’s Christine Linde, the chaotic old friend, has the perfect blend of forcefulness and amiability […]