Tag: 2015 Melbourne Cabaret Festival

REVIEW: Natasha York in THESE THINGS TAKE WINE

Raise your glasses to wild and witty cabaret

By Narelle Wood

Natasha York takes us to the slightly grittier, grungier side of cabaret in her one-woman show, These Things Take Wine.

These Things Take Wine

Performing a selection of songs from Amy Winehouse, Elton John, Michael Jackson and many other familiar tunes, York takes us on a journey through her love affair with wine and all antics wine-related. York debunks the stereotype that cabaret is glamorous by embracing the look and behaviour of ‘drunk Tash’. In fact York’s intoxicated performance is so believable that the only thing indicating that York might be sober is her unfaltering vocal performance.

York’s drunken anecdotes cash in on the ‘it’s funny because it’s true’ motif. These familiar stories makes it hard not to smile and laugh throughout the cleverly selected and witty rewritten songs, not to mention the repartee between York and her accompanist and musical director Daniele Buatti. Buatti adds some deprecating humour to the performance, calling out some of the more obvious puns for what they are – not particularly ‘punny’.

These Things Take Wine unfortunately had only a short run at the 2015 Melbourne Cabaret Festival, but hopefully this is not the last we hear from York or this show. This show is cabaret, comedy and drinking rolled into one, making it a perfect accompaniment to a good night out.

Venue: Alex Theatre, Level 1, 135 Fitzroy St, St Kilda

Tickets: $35 Full | $32 Conc

Bookings: www.natashayork.com

Image by Ange Legas

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REVIEW: Dash Kruck’s I MIGHT TAKE MY SHIRT OFF

Exceedingly good cabaret

By Myron My

Every now and again, there is a show that is so clever, so witty, so painful, so funny, so daring and so much more than you thought you were getting into. Dash Kruck‘s cabaret show I Might Take My Shirt Off is a prime example of this.

I Might Take My Shirt Off

Kruck plays Lionel, a man who is struggling to accept that the love of his life has left him. To be perfectly honest, he’s a heartbroken mess, and with the stern advice of his frightening German therapist who orders him to go out and express himself, Lionel ends up performing in his very own cabaret performance.

With his “how to cabaret” list in his trouser pocket, Lionel systematically goes through his checklist that will guarantee him a successful show. Included on this list is taking his shirt off, having booze and being sexy. For the latter, he performs a hilariously brilliant and most memorable song about being – for want of a better word – “intimate” with a partner.

Kruck portrays the nervous and emotionally battered Lionel with honesty and his retelling of happier times with his ex are difficult to listen to. Accompanied by a three-piece band on keys, drums and double bass, the original songs written by Kruck and Chris Perren are well paired in guiding Lionel to overcome his loneliness and sadness of a broken heart.

Lionel may be passable in the spotlight but Kruck is an amazing talent on stage. His comedic timing and the tightness of the show’s delivery is a standout. Kruck engages with the audience on many levels as he heads into the crowd to ad-lib songs or just to say hi, so even when things get quite sexual and explicit, the relationship he has built with us lets him get away with it. Of course, his charisma and cheekiness don’t hurt either.

Kruck has a strong voice that adapts to the different tones and styles of song covered throughout the show. If only there had been an encore to the ‘unplanned’ encore because I would have happily sat and listened to Kruck’s voice for much longer than 60 minutes.

I Might Take My Shirt Off is a highly recommended cabaret about freeing oneself from the past and looking hopefully to the future. And also about killing mythical beasts. But more to do with the former.

I Might Take My Shirt Off is being performed as part of the 2015 Melbourne Cabaret Festival

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place (off Lt Collins St), Melbourne CBD
Season: Until 28 June | Thur-Sat 9:00pm, Sunday 8:00pm
Tickets: $38 Full | $34 Conc
Bookings: The Butterfly Club

REVIEW: Lynn-Ruth Miller is NOT DEAD YET

Four-score years with a vibrant performer
By Myron My
Lynn-Ruth Miller has lived a long time. She may have even almost died a few times, but in her cabaret show Not Dead Yet, she lets it be known that even at 81, she’s nowhere near done yet, not by a long shot. With a mixture of story telling, music and songs, Miller takes us on a journey on what it means to not only live, but to be alive.
Not Dead Yet

Beginning as a toddler, where even the temptation of tapioca pudding was not enough for her to drink her milk, which she still hates, Miller manages to fill us in on eight decades worth of stories in just sixty minutes. It’s a carefully crafted show where plenty of thought has been put in to how these tales will be told. Miller’s tenuous relationship with her mother is summed up with a few powerful words, the beginning (and end) of relationships is covered in just a minute but yet we feel like we know every detail of these events.There is much nostalgia in Miller’s show with bittersweet memories of past loves and family members. At one point, Miller is almost overcome with emotion and whether or not this was part of the act is hard to say. As Miller is talking about these moments, it feels like we are no longer in the room and she is literally reliving these broken-hearted moments, the swimming lessons, her 16th birthday and so on. They say you can tell a lot about a person by their eyes, and Miller’s shine when talking about all these events and in return, we are captivated by everything she has to say because she is talking from the heart.

While the show is low on musical numbers, they are still engaging pieces, which provide more insight into Miller’s varied life. Her voice is not as strong as it undoubtedly was years earlier but she can still carry a tune, and hell, she’s still a better singer than most of us anyway.

As Miller states in Not Dead Yet, this show is not a sob story but about a series of events that for better or worse, have got her to where she is now. Her life is going to keep getting better and more enjoyable every day until she dies but there is still a lot of life left in her and that’s a valuable lesson we can all take home.

Not Dead Yet is being performed as part of the 2015 Melbourne Cabaret Festival

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place (off Lt Collins St), Melbourne CBD
Season: Until 28 June | Thur-Sat 7:00pm, Sunday 6:00pm
Tickets: $38 Full | $34 Conc
Bookings: The Butterfly Club