Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director & produced playwright (20 plays). Scripts published by Currency Press. She worked as an actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate is currently Convenor of Professional Writing & Editing, Swinburne University. Read her reviews here or at: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Thursday, 16 June 2016
Opening Gala, Melbourne Cabaret Festival, June 14, 2016 ****
Machine, 228A Malvern Rd., Prahran, Festival runs until June 26, 2016 Reviewer: Kate Herbert on June 14 Stars:**** Review also online at Herald Sun on Wed June 5, 2016 and later in print. K
Amy G. pic Olivia Rutherford
OK, it’s Melbourne Cabaret Festival time so
you need to go to your computer and book a ticket to any or all shows in the
program. I mean now!
from eight productions featured in the Opening Gala and the absolute must-see
is New Yorker Amy G, in
Entershamement, an audacious, blindingly skillful and achingly funny show that
incorporates slapstick, roller-skating, impressive vocals and a titillating
blend of glamour and wickedness.
Amy G has an easy charm and a big, belting voice and
she does a Buster Keaton-style fall-down routine on skates then plays the Stars
and Stripes with kazoos that she secretes in all the wrong places.
next remarkable and accomplished act is Geraldine
Quinn whose original, hilarious, satirical songs parody both those childlike
pop singers who think they are cool but are just pretentious, and also ridicules
desperate musical theatre tragics.
Quinn is an accomplished talent and her show, Bang On The Strillers
Live, will highlight her musical skills and those of her guests.
Geraldine Quinn_Fox Poncing_pic by Theresa Harrison
the credit card handy so you can book big-voiced, big-haired Yana Alana, our very
own transgressive, camp cabaret artist who usually performs wearing nothing but
blue paint but is clad in a red, sequined lycra jumpsuit this year.
her show, Covered, she sings none of her own material, but messes with other
people’s songs including the bizarre Dinosaur Egg by Scout Niblett, as well as
tunes by Alanis Morissette, Jim Morrison and Jennifer Lopez.
Yana Alana, pic Peter Leslie
Ash Flanders is best known as an award-winning
theatre performer but in his solo show, Playing to Win, he teases out issues of
being a winner or a loser in this fickle performance industry and he does so
while being perky and adorable.
The snapshot of Sam Hooper’s show, Death Suits You, is a
dark and compelling monologue in which he portrays Death as a mild-mannered but
determined forward planner.
has a fine singing voice and Death’s song, Embrace Your Child, is a sweet
ballad that confronts suicide.
Otto and Astrid are the faux-German brother and
sister act, Die Roten Punkte, although their usual brand of outrageous punk/cabaret/rock
did not feature in their Oompah-Oompah, German drinking song at the Gala.
Mike McLeish, the newly minted Festival
Artistic Director, was as excited as the crowd about his Festival program and,
given the caliber of the acts at the Gala, this will be a bumper season for
music, comedy and off-the-wall cabaret acts.
Melbourne Cabaret Festival runs until Sunday June 26 and you can find the
program at www.melbournecabaret.com.au.
Go book a show now.