FRINGE 2018 – Music – “One Wild Night: The Australian Bon Jovi show” – The Arkaba – 4.5K

By Julia Cudsi

A tribute show is something of a known quantity – you go in living on a prayer that you will  hear your favourite songs and hoping that the tribute artist treats your favourite star and their music with respect without giving them a bad name.

And that is precisely what “One Wild Night” did with their Bon Jovi show. Playing everybody’s favourite hits from the atmospheric top of the Arkaba, Tib Horvath transformed into Jon Bon Jovi and performed hits which were true to the original, from the dramatic “Bed of Roses”  to the anthemic “It’s My Life”, and all of the other hits in between.

Playing to a large crowd of obviously diehard fans of Bon Jovi, this show was, indeed, if not necessarily a wild night, then at least a great night out.

4.5K

 

 

Fringe 2018: Undercover Refugee – 4K – The Producers

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Sit back as Karen and David take you through a lighthearted, yet very real, tale of Karen’s work with Syrian refugees in Lesbos, and in transit across Europe into Germany.

Part theatre, part comedy, Karen weaves a tale of the social media obsessed volunteers, kindhearted refugees, mafia bosses, and sleazy and racist policemen that she came across during her time as a documentary filmmaker. Making their way from Greece to Germany, Karen notices the different treatment she receives from those she encounters compared to her Syrian friends, the sway her Norwegian citizenship has amongst her fellow Europeans, and how she ended up with far more friends than she ever imagined.

Both actors are charming, with a guileless enthusiasm that infects the audience. You leave their show feeling emboldened to be kinder, try harder, be more accepting and open to other perspectives. Karen’s charm and David’s energy help keep the show entertaining, and a clever mix of video and storytelling helps reinforce the show’s message – in fact, the show would have served better with an ending of a video or montage, instead of a step-by-step walkthrough of the ending images.

The show needs a little polishing, and a better room choice at the Producers, but it is nonetheless a great show with a lot of heart.

Kryztoff rating: 4K

FRINGE 2018 – Comedy/Improv – Unplotted Potter – Tandanya – 4K

By Julia Cudsi

Another Fringe staple for repeat attendees, Unplotted Potter is the brainchild of local improv troupe Scriptease.

As the title suggests, this show is one for the Harry Potter fans – each night, an extremely minor character from the Potterverse is selected (via the scientific process of a name drawn from a hat and audience applause) and the entire show is improvised around that character. For Saturday’s show, this character was Madam Malkin, a squat, kindly witch whose greatest dream was to run a robe shop on Diagon Alley. As is typically the case with improvised theatre, murder and mayhem ensued – along with a great deal of hilarity.

Although this show is (accurately) billed as being all about Potter, that does not diminish the enjoyment factor for those few who, like myself, are not fans of JK Rowling’s work. If you are looking for a fun night out with some friends enjoying some fantastic local talent, then you can’t go wrong with Unplotted Potter.

4K

FRINGE 2018 – PETER DOBBING: PLEASED WITH YOURSELF ISN’T THE SAME AS BEING HAPPY – 3K

by Riccardo Barone

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“You’re both wearing the same shirt! Now they’re gonna exchange Bitcoins under the table, furtively…”
Tech-no-logic topics, digital misfunctions, scars left from modern embarassments.
We are facing how challenging is our daily life surrounded by iphones, smart watches and micro laptops.
The comedian Peter Dobbing energetically describes the way we have become but..wait! Bitcoins? The topic has been very present in the show, as to remind everyone: Be carerful! Update your self.

If you saw his street performances you already know how much he gets the audience involved, overall when he jumps on a suspended ladder but it couldn’t happen for lack of space.

Noticeble endurance, considering the lengthy time of an hour show.
The small amount of people coming  was not so fully corrisponding the cheerful mood in the Gluttony’s Bally.
The audience was more stimulated when an interaction with itself was in place, which it really didn’t take long to take a laugh away.

RB: Which comedian influences you the most?
PD: Stuart Lee. But everyone says Stuart Lee. And Simon Munnery.

Kryztoff rating 3K

FRINGE 2018 – CABARET – Hot Mamas – La Boheme – 3K

It is very apparent that this ex-burly duo, Chrissie and Liz are true hot mamas. Their stage appeal has not been discounted not because the are now mothers. Very captivating and charismatic.

The show takes you along on their journey of becoming hot mamas. The ups and down of pregnancy that were celebrated on a humorous take. It was a very interactive show where the audience can take part of the comedy skits. The hot mamas also danced around the whole room which was good to a sense, but it meant that they’d be sometimes in the dark and it would be usually hard to see them from different angles. The performers were often distracted and it was quite distracting to watch as well. There didn’t seem to be a dressing room, which gave the audience a chance to see the hot mamas get changed on stage. It’s up to you to decide if that’s a good or a bad thing. Despite, they are obviously very talented women with amazing lipstick choice.

Overall, it was quite entertaining although it felt like there can be room for improvement. However, their energy, enthusiasm and dance skills made it all worth it.

Kryztoff Rating: 3K

INTERACTIVE – Selfies After Dark – Brklyn – 4K

By Peter Maddern

Steph Somers is important, at least in the Instagram world. She has a glowing smile, a squad who tag along with her to nightclubs and 70k followers. She may even be an influencer (but not in the Bill Gates mold).

But she has a dark side, a bitchiness that her adoring fans know nothing about but which some of her closest friends are eager to reveal, for in the social media world it’s not just the haters and stalker-nazis who may wish to bring you down.

Brendan Hay’s take on Steph and her ilk probably doesn’t break new ground when it comes to the story but it is the interactivity aspects that makes this show great.

Participants are led around some of the grottiest parts of east Rundle Street in search of Steph by the attractive Alicia (surely she must have 70k followers as well) and along the way we receive Steph’s Instagram feed updates on the dramas unfolding ahead of us all at the nightclub where we are all heading. The combination of vision and story from Steph’s, her friend’s, her stalkers and who knows who else”s perspectives peels away the layers of these false and sad lives. It’s riveting layered drama.

It’s also all great fun and those who are into this stuff will lap it up. This is a clever and well composed production and well worth being part of Brendan’s squad for Steph.

Kryztoff Rating  4K

FRINGE CABARET – Anya Anastasia: The Executioners – Queen’s Theatre – 4.5K

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Anya Anastasia is magnetic. From her dramatic entrance, to her samurai slashing, ju-jitsu jumping climax, she holds full sway in her new and limited edition performance “Anya Anastasia: The Executioners”. On trial? 21st century social and political mores. Presiding and adjudicating? Anya herself, as judge, jury and executioner. At stake? An hour of your time – categorically worth every minute – and maybe just the whole fabric of modern Western civilization and culture.

There is nothing pedestrian or passe about “Anya Anastasia: The Executioners”. Set in the groovy Queen’s Theatre on Playhouse Lane, everything about the show is fresh, energetic and invigorating. Anya herself, dressed and heeled in Gaga-esque glory, holds forth in a light hearted dissertation on all things current affairs, as seen from the perspective of one of the disillusioned proletariat “trying to make a difference” in the world. The following social and political commentary is a tongue-in-cheek but nonetheless insightful dissection of Western culture, ranging across topics including immigration, climate change, social media addiction, insipid political leaders, and even the all-prevalent materialism that seeps into even our best and most generous acts. All of this is accomplished to a soundtrack of original lyrical and musical compositions, delivered with the marvellous combination of vivacity, heart, and humour so unique to cabaret.

The performance itself is a masterful production. Anya’s vocal abilities need little embellishment, and she effortlessly navigates both a powerful upper register and the more dulcet, contemplative moments in the show. While a remarkable musician in her own right proving equally capable on piano and ukulele, she is adroitly supported by a multitalented and droll accompanist playing an eclectic combination of instruments oriental and conventional. The combination of lyrical levity and vocal prowess is captivating, a fitting medium through which to shine the spotlight on issues personal and endemic.

Funny, thought-provoking, musical, entertaining – “Anya Anastasia: The Executioners” is cabaret performed as cabaret should be. Musically it is entirely satisfying. Thematically, it proves a perceptive analysis of personal, local and global trends and dilemmas. And as testament by the truly cross-sectional demographic present, it is show that has wide appeal to those seeking comedy, cabaret and contemplation alike.

Kryztoff Rating 4.5 K

Protected: EL HABLADOR – Ross Noble – 4.5K

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FRINGE 2018 – AWO AT THE TONYS – 4K

by Riccardo Barone

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The Adelaide Wind Orchestra comes back to the Fringe with a program all based on music performed/awarded/written around the Tony awards (the highest US theater award).
What a pity for the low amount of people coming to the show!
The conductor David Polain, with hilarity and charisma, demonstrates the hard work behind hours spent on rehearsals; the orchestra plays with a compact sound, full dynamism and strong precision, as we can listen from the performance of L. Bernstein’ s Overture Candide.
Melissa McCaig, with the already Director of Music of the Concordia College Mat Noble, introduces the concert and sings with excellent interpretation and involving passion some of the Broadway classics such as All that jazz.
The potential and the strength of the Awo is a reality that needs to be enhanced. Last Fringe has been outstanding with Awo at the Oscar,  performing soundtracks from awarded movies.
Probably the bizzare decision to perform this year on a Saturday at 2:30 pm didn’t really help to bring more audience.

 Kryztoff Rating  4K

Fringe 2018: GINGZILLA: Glamonster VS The World – 4.5K – Gluttony

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Gingzilla is THE Glamonster.

7ft tall, Gingzilla is unleashed upon the world after putting up with too much of the patriarchy. Armed with a powerhouse voice, a killer wardrobe, and the most amazing pair of heels you’ve ever seen, Gingzilla gets her revenge on those that would keep her from being her most glamourous self.

Firstly, Gingzilla’s voice is incredible. Singing songs from a range of artists including Beyonce and the White Stripes, she handles every song effortlessly. From the first note sung, you’ll sit back and marvel at a voice that rivals most of what you hear on the radio.

Combined with cleverly produced audio-visual content, including Gingzilla superimposed onto the original King Kong movie and a range of sexist ’50s beauty advertisements, this show is a well-produced, clever, and entertaining night out – and a must-see at this year’s Fringe.

Kryztoff rating: 4.5K