Tag: 2014 Midsumma Festival

REVIEW: Ginger and Tonic are 50 SHADES OF GAY

Just bought their CD…

By Narelle Wood

The a cappella group Ginger and Tonic’s 50 Shades of Gay is more than just good singing of songs by gay composers, iconic gay songs and a song from Marvin Gaye: it provides a whole lot of sass and a whole lot of laughs through the group’s comedic styling and homosexual humour.

Emma, Jane, Carena and Sheona have amazing voices and not only an incredible ability to harmonize but to construct musical arrangements that segue seamlessly from one song to another: 4-non-blondes and Sophie B Hawkins, a Ricky Martin tribute, and a medley from the big six Divas of our time, among some of the best.

50 Shades of Gay

Emma, Jane, Carena and Sheona have amazing voices and not only an incredible ability to harmonize but to construct musical arrangements that segue seamlessly from one song to another: 4-non-blondes and Sophie B Hawkins, a Ricky Martin tribute, and a medley from the big six Divas of our time, among some of the best.

For most groups an ability to sing would probably enough to sustain an hour’s worth of good entertainment, but on this musical trip through every colour of the rainbow, the girls also test the knowledge of the audience in some Spicks-and-Specks style gaymes: musical trivia with a gay twist.

On the lighter side of the 50 shades are songs such as “The Love Shack”, a Lesley Gore tribute, and a Minogue sister battle, that showcases the humour with which this performance had been put together. This is mostly accomplished through the part-clichéd, part-sassy, part-sexual dance moves, some wild gesticulations and animated facial expressions.

But it isn’t all fun and games. Ginger and Tonic through their performance of Rufus Wainwright’s “Natasha” demonstrate that they can sing with the stillness of the most seasoned performers and this highlights just how good their voices are.

The night, for me, ended far too soon as I would have been happy to continue counting down (or counting up in this case) well past the 50 songs and well in to the hundreds. It’s okay though because I’ve since found their CD on I-tunes.

I would like to describe Ginger and Tonic as Pitch Perfect meets the Spice Girls, but the comparison just isn’t fair. Ginger and Tonic are definitely in a league of their own.

50 Shades of Gay was performed for the 2014 Midsumma Festival at The Butterfly Club. For more information, visit http://www.gingerandtonic.com.au/

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REVIEW: Mockingbird Theatre Presents THE TEMPEREMENTALS

Unmissable Midsumma fare

By Ross Larkin

“Before Stonewall, a braver bunch of us stood up to the plate… before there even was a plate”.

The Temperamentals is a curious little piece based on true events. Written by Jon Marans in 2009, it made a significant impression off-Broadway, and has maintained a cult following and critical respect since. Local favourite Mockingbird Theatre provides the perfect team to re-imagine this important story as an inclusion in the 2014 Midsumma Festival and a Melbourne premiere.

The Temperementals

The Temperamentals is set in the USA in the 1950’s, when homosexuals were forced to lead secret lives of façade and repression in a society of bigotry. However, five young men dared to reveal their truths and confront the world around them, by founding the first gay rights organisation called the Mattachine Society. The group is accelerated into ambition when its member, Dale Jannings (Sebastian Bertoli) is arrested by an undercover cop in a public toilet.

Bertoli is exceptional as the unassuming Jannings, with the ability to maintain striking presence and poignant subtlety at once. In fact, director Chris Baldock’s casting overall is outstanding. The small ensemble of five, most of who play a variety of characters, exhibit genuine versatility and chemistry with highly accomplished direction.

Tim Constantine in particular, who plays Austrian fashion icon Rudi Gernreich, engages charisma, shame, passion and hurt with an understated three-dimensional beauty that allures audience members during his journey. Angelo De Cata, as Mattachine Society protagonist Harry Hay, is also a solid centrepiece, embodying a brave but pained man with excellent conviction, while supporters Angus Cameron and Jai Luke add a kick of colour and humour to the otherwise intense circumstances.

The Temperamentals is a slow-burner, with more telling than doing, and may not grab you until you’ve truly fallen for its beloved characters. However, it’s most certainly worth holding tight for, because fall you will – in another highly praiseworthy example of Chris Baldock and Mockingbird’s ability to stage some of the most noteworthy theatre in town.

The Temperamentals is playing now at The Brunswick Mechanics Institute Performing Arts Centre (corner of Glenlyon and Sydney Roads, Brunswick) as part of the 2014 Midsumma Festival.

Tue 21 Jan – Sat 25 Jan at 8pm
Sun 26 Jan at 5pm
Tue 28 Jan – Sat 1 Feb at 8pm

Bookings:http://www.trybooking.com/61975