LIA LOVES... THEATRE. DANCE. FASHION. LIFESTYLE.

Follow her adventures as Adelaide's premier theatre buff, arts aficionado and fashion devotee!

June 16, 2021

Review: The Variety Gala at The Festival Theatre

It is always a thrill to be in the audience for the opening of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and this year is like no other; the fact that the festival is back after the year that was, and the incomparable Alan Cumming is at the helm! 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. A sold out event, the foyer of the Adelaide Festival Centre was an eclectic mix of theatre lovers, drag queens and Cabaret stars. Hosted by the sparkly, dazzling and quick witted German international superstar Hans, the night was carefree, wicked, and slightly unscripted, which was refreshingly fantastic! Singing ‘Willkommen’ atop the fully functioning bar, Alan Cumming set the tone of the night and the whole Cabaret season, and had the audience in rapturous applause! The stars of the Variety Gala were all seated appropriately in Cabaret style and made their way to centre stage to spruik their show by giving a teaser taster of […]
May 30, 2021

Review: Chess the Musical at Her Majesty’s Theatre

Capitalising on the success of the Netflix hit The Queens Gambit, StoreyBoard Entertainment bring to life a semi-staged concert production of the much loved, and listened to, Chess the Musical. With music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus of the pop group ABBA, lyrics by Ulvaeus and Tim Rice, and book by Rice, the story involves a politically driven, Cold War–era chess tournament between two grandmasters, one American and the other Soviet Russian, and their fight over a woman who manages one and falls in love with the other. Chess symbolically reflected the Cold War tensions present in the 1980s. The musical has been referred to as a metaphor for the whole Cold War, with the insinuation being made that the Cold War is itself a manipulative game. As with other productions such as Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, a highly successful concept album was released prior to the first theatrical production. In the case of Chess, the concept album was released in the autumn of 1984 while the show opened in London’s West End […]
May 30, 2021

Review: Matilda the Musical at Wyatt Hall, Pulteney Grammar School

Matilda the Musical is a stage musical based on the 1988 children’s novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. Adapted by Dennis Kelly with music and lyrics by Australia’s Tim Minchin, Matilda is a dark comedy, with the musical’s narrative centering on Matilda, an extraordinary little girl with extraordinary powers. The daughter of offensive and belligerent parents, Matilda finds refuge in library books, which she reads with lightning speed and creates her own stories. Things are no better at school, where Matilda must face the tyrannical and cruel headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, who believes in Crunchem Hall’s motto: ‘Bambinatum est Magitum’ or ‘Children are Maggots’. She finds companionship in her teacher, Miss Honey, though well intentioned, is cautious and fragile. Brave little Matilda knows she has to stand up against the adults in her world, and in doing so, discovers her own remarkable powers. Matilda’s bravery teaches Miss Honey and her classmates an important lesson – that even though life can be hard, ‘nobody but me is gonna change my story’ or ‘sometimes you have […]
April 27, 2021

Review: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Influencers Theatre

This is the fourth production for Adelaide Youth Theatre [AYT] this year and we haven’t even hit the month of May yet! Premiering the spectacular musical, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the enormous Influencers Theatre must have been a huge undertaking, but these seasoned professionals took it in their stride. The classic tale, founded on the 1964 children’s novel by famed writer Roald Dahl, was written by playwright David Greig, with original score composed by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman. Based on the Broadway version of the musical, the show presents a more contemporary version of the original story. Eleven year-old Charlie Bucket, his mother, and four grandparents all live in poverty in a small house outside of town. In his second major role, young Harrison Thomas expresses the heart and soul of young Bucket and is a delight to watch. Charlie’s Grandpa Joe tells him about the legendary and eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka and all the wonderful sweets he made until the other chocolatiers sent in spies to […]
February 28, 2021

Review: FANGIRLS

FANGIRLS is a brilliant new Australian musical with book, music and lyrics by the absurdly talented Yve Blake. First produced by Belvoir and Queensland Theatre in association with Brisbane Festival and Australian Theatre for Young People in 2019, FANGIRLS premieres at the Adelaide Festival with much hype and new cast members. A musical based on societies fascination with reckless, uncontrollable, and feverish teenagers and their frenzied infatuation with their celebrity boy worships. It’s not the first story of delusional or uninhibited female obsession, but it is the first to completely encapsulate the very real way the world tries paint young women – that they are ‘weak’ and ‘uncontrollable’ and their passion make them ‘crazy’. Yet their male counterparts are celebrated and revered for showing similar enthusiasm for their football heroes. FANGIRLS is a compassionate celebration of young women, their excitement, and their influence. A show not just for teenagers, but for their parents, grandparents and basically anyone who has ever had a celebrity crush. The story centres around 14 year old intellect Edna [portrayed to […]
February 26, 2021

Review: The Pulse by Gravity & Other Myths

Every now and then a work comes along to challenge our perception of human connection, strength, tenacity, and resilience. Out of the apocalypse that was 2020, Gravity and Other Myths [GOM] created their most ambitious work yet – The Pulse. Their highly structured international touring model was in tatters and they had to reinvent themselves for a new world. A world where touching each other was taboo and where people and communities were constantly readjusting and responding to the changing environment around them. I was privy to seeing some rehearsals and work in progress, but nothing prepared me for the behemoth I was about to witness. A cast of 30 strong acrobats and 30 young female vocalists brought The Pulse to life. Upon being seated, adorned with masks, the membranous soundscape, designed by Mik LaVage, strikes you in the core – reverberating through your soul with its ominous and palpating tones. With the house lights still shining bright, the curtain rises ever so slowly to reveal a bare stage, set as a rehearsal space – […]
February 25, 2021

Review: Playback – 80s Pop Show at Loverboy

What I love most about the Adelaide Fringe is the diversity of shows on offer; there’s cabaret, comedy, theatre, magic, circus, music, dance…and as a punter, to have to pick a few to see based on photos, a blurb and a ticketing link is not an easy task. That’s where I come in – I get to see a plethora of shows and tell you, the punter, what I recommend. And Playback, by emerging South Australian production company, Cocktail Creative, is one I highly recommend. Set in local west end nightclub, Loverboy, you enter via a rear laneway; all dingy, with graffiti on the walls I almost expected to see a group of guys huddled over a fire pit beat boxing similar to New York in the 80s! We are taken to an outdoor bar to enjoy a bevy or two before our pre-show host Big Sash Daddy took us through our paces with a game of ‘Name the Song, Artist, Movie and Year’. I’m not gonna lie. I LOVE these types of ice breakers, […]
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 […]
December 7, 2016

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

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 […]
December 1, 2015

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 […]