Posts tagged la boheme
Amongst the lush surrounds of La Boheme, the audience settled in as Chris Martin, on upright piano, played a delightfully jazzy introduction and Antje Guenther took to the stage. Guenther will be familiar to Adelaide audiences, having appeared in recent plays with State Theatre Company, but this is her inaugural solo appearance on the Adelaide Cabaret scene.
The audience was taken on a light-hearted expedition through a dozen or so songs fitting under the banner of “Sex & Crime”. These were frequently amusing, with laughs abounding during To Keep My Love Alive, I Got It From Agnes and I Hold Your Hand in Mine, while at other points they explored both the more risqué and serious sides of the theme. Adding to the variety, several of the pieces (as well as a rather amusing story explaining the birds and the bees to young children) were presented in Guenther’s native German.
The quality of the singing varied across songs. Those in the higher register, such as Die Lotusblume and Barbara Song, were more successfully produced while the lower, throatier songs tended to be a little flat. Nerves also appeared to contribute to these issues at some points. Happily, the banter between songs was pleasing and genial – an exhibition of Guenther’s acting talent – and this helped to offset the abovementioned problems. Despite its flaws, this was an agreeable, cheeky and amusing afternoon of entertainment.
Kryztoff Rating 3K
This is a comedy show with a difference – the comedian, Stevl Shefn (Steve Sheehan), never utters an understandable word for the hour he’s on stage. Instead, he interacts with the audience in two ways; via his monotone, burka-clad translator Fatima and through the inspired physical comedy present in both his and Fatima’s demeanours.
To refer to this show as “cabaret” is stretching the truth a little; though there are a few song-based interludes, I don’t know that you’d call any of them a musical number. Having said that, it does provide one of the more interesting duets you’ll come across, as well as a chance for you, the audience, to engage in a sing-a-long in a “foreign” language.
Covering subjects as wide ranging as the intricacies of thesis writing, interspecies relationships and rainbow-chasing, you never know which direction the show is going to take next. The beauty of it is in the absurd places it goes and the pace at which it does so.
The material comes close to crossing the line of decency several times but, somehow, the calm no-nonsense voice of Fatima manages to keep it on the right side (just) and make it even funnier. Stevl and Fatima have been around for a few years now, popping up during Fringe Festivals (winning this year’s Adelaide Fringe award for best comedy) and the like, and although those who have seen them before may recognise some of the jokes there is also new material to enjoy.
Kryztoff Rating 4K
Recently returned from a year studying in Boston, Paul Dougherty showed a small but appreciative audience the benefit of his time away with an engrossing display at the quaint La Boheme last Thursday night. Dougherty with two strings to his bow as both a bass player and vocalist played an array of music – much his own but supported by the likes Bill Withers – complemented by equally varied lyrical topics including the opening five song homage to Amelia Earhart based in turn on a song by Joni Mitchell.
Paul was well supported by Daniel Brunner on key boards (and also a composer for the evening) and Chris Neale on drums while out of the direct light but a wonderful accompaniment to Dougherty’s voice and compositions was young Dan Clohesy on sax.
Dougherty showed great confidence and maturity in not only his own abilities but also the program he chose. While jazz of this type can suffer for composers who can’t sing, Dougherty’s smooth hedgehog brownie type voice added extra dimension and enjoyment. His Ain’t No Sunshine cover perhaps best highlighted his talents vocally as well his capacity to interpret as well as innovate.
Find the time to track him down when next he plays.
Kryztoff Rating – 4K