Tag: Lady Gaga

REVIEW: Lulu McClatchy is SUPERGIRLY

Sassy celebrity satire

By Myron My

I first saw Lulu McClatchy and Lyall Brooks on stage together last year in Neil LaBute’s play Fat Pig, and their chemistry back then was obvious. Now in Supergirly they are given more freedom to experiment and play and the outcome is even better than I could have anticipated: McClatchy and Brooks nail it.

McClatchy portrays our slightly (or extremely) delusional eponymous starlet who has relegated herself to staying indoors and reminiscing about her celebrity life, including her relationship with ex-boyfriend Robbie Williams. She has hired manservant Bradley Cooper (but not really Bradley Cooper) played by Brooks, who (for reasons of his own) humours and entertains Supergirly by dressing up as a number of celebrity visitors to her house. Brooks is clearly having a ball with the characters, including Bradley, and creates some highly memorable moments in his impersonations and dance routines.

Supergirly

The set design adds so much to the atmosphere of Supergirly: it’s reminiscent in equal parts of a bordello with its huge red curtains and ostentatious sofa, and of “Grey Gardens”, the home of famous eccentric mother/daughter pair Big Edie and Little Edie (from whom Supergirly herself seems to draw some inspiration).

McClatchy belts out her own interpretations of well-known songs by Katie Perry, One Direction, The Pussycat Dolls and the Spice Girls to name a few. She particularly lets rip with her Lady Gaga tunes where her mannerisms and facial expressions are beyond brilliant, but the highlights of the evening were still her Pet Shop Boys and Doris Day numbers.

At just over two hours long, I feel there was a need to cut some songs as the old adage of too much of a good thing does ring true here. Credit to McClatchy and Brooks though, their energy does not wane at all and each song they perform is treated like it’s the first of the evening.

Supergirly is an extremely fun show and no-one is safe when two seasoned performers like McClatchy and Brooks let loose their sparkling satire on the cult of celebrity and its followers. Even the audience gets a talking-to, but it’s all done in such a fun way that you end up really wanting to join the party on stage.

Venue: Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel St, Prahran
Season: Until 8 June | Tues-Sat 8:00pm, Sat-Sun 4pm
Tickets: $39 Full | $30 Conc
Bookings: www.chapeloffchapel.com.au or 8290 7000

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REVIEW: A VERY GAGA VARIETY FUNDRAISING NIGHT

Variety night an exciting preview for new musical

By Scarlett Harris

Last night at their new location on Carson Place in the city, The Butterfly Club hosted a Lady Gaga variety show in an effort to raise funds for the latest creative endeavour of Kin Collaborative’s Melbourne Uni student arm. Kin CoLaboratory’s MUD Festival entry, Gaga & Assange, promises to be a romp of epic pure-pop proportions.

Gaga and Julian Assange both rose to dizzying heights of infamy around the same time: she with her anthem of tolerance, “Born This Way”, and he with the release of U.S. diplomatic cables and apparent “honey-trapping” rape charges.

Gaga & Assange

Gaga & Assange plays on this theme of sex, introducing the two via a sex-tape- and STD-fuelled romp—a “Bad Romance”, if you will—and going on to dissect the egos and dogmas of two of pop culture’s most recognisable names and faces.

But as for last night, it was a riotous tribute to all things Mother Monster, with renditions of “Paparazzi” by Gaga & Assange creator, Will Hannagan; Gaga’s Tony Bennett effort, “The Lady is a Tramp”, with G&A director and MC for the night, Jeremy Russo; and “Bad Romance”, “Alejandro” and “Americano” by Melbourne bluegrass band The Scrimshaw Four.

Alex Frank and Alexia Brinseley had the audience in stitches for “Edge of Glory”, “Hair” and “You & I” (arguably the performances of the night), while Belinda Jenkin remixed “Dance in the Dark” and “Just Dance” into ballads, and James Worsnop and Nicola Guzzardi parodied “Telephone”. The Collaborative topped off the night with a mashup of two original songs from Gaga & Assange, staged by their very own Gaga, Laura Raiti.

After the success of this fundraising event, I’m looking forward to seeing whether the musical deals with our readiness to let certain things about its titular “characters” (because isn’t that what they are—especially Gaga—to an extent?) fly, like Gaga’s alleged cosmetic surgery and Assange’s abovementioned sexual assault, in order to embrace their wider messages of acceptance and freedom of information, respectively. All with a side of Europop club anthems to boot.

A Very Gaga Variety Fundraising Night was performed at The Butterfly Club on Wednesday July 17, 2013

Review: POLLY’S PARTY at La Mama

Become part of the party!

By Myron My

Upon entering Polly’s Party you are asked to make a choice. Do you want to be inside Polly’s Party or outside Polly’s Party? My friend and I instantly decided to be inside Polly’s Party, not quite sure what that would entail.

We are taken away from the rest of the audience and to a white room with eight green stools, a projector, Lady Gaga music playing and the lady herself, Polly (Renae Shadler). Dressed in bright-multicoloured tights and a sexy, silver “spacesuit” top to rival Gaga, Polly greets us with punch and dance.

The outside audience watches through a one-way mirror and it is from the very beginning the idea of social media watching us and how we put on performances for our fans, followers and friends is explored. We are even encouraged to use social media to make comments, take photos and post videos during the performance.

A big variable for a performance piece such as this is audience participation. In my experience, audience members can be very shy about participating and of the five who did, two absconded to the outside party and one created a few awkward and uncomfortable moments for others. However, Shadler does not break character at all and it is obvious and admirable she has developed Polly so well that she can just be her without a need to “act” like her.

Polly’s Party broaches the subject of self-worth and how that has lately been defined through social media and our increasing need to create a cyber personality for the world to see. Her desperation to have more friends on Facebook and to have a higher Klout score than Justin Bieber touches on society’s crumbling wall of realism.

Unfortunately, Polly’s Party doesn’t really dig any further. It’s a fun and energetic ride with 110% energy levels but insight and depth into social media and its effects is lacking. Once Paula, a shy, introverted suburban Aussie girl, is introduced, you can see the sadness and the eagerness to be accepted into society and it would have been great to see more of that vulnerability and need explored.

Venue: La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond St, Carlton.

Season: Until 23 September| Wed, Sun 6:30pm, Thurs – Sat 7:30pm

Tickets: $25 Full | $15 Conc

Bookings: 03 9347 6948 or www.lamama.com.au

Review: ANA-LUCIA AND THE BARON (Episode One)

Bring on Episode Two!

By Bradley Storer

Lisa Nightingale returned with one final performance of her sell-out show, Ana-Lucia and the Baron: Episode One, previously seen at The Butterfly Club and brought back as part of the Butterfly @ Trades programme last night. Entering the stage to rapturous applause, Lisa began with an eerie Sondheim-style ode to her most treasured possessions: her precious diamonds (which Ana-Lucia repeatedly tells us she most certainly did not steal from the Baron!). From start to finish, the aptly-named Nightingale held the audience in the palm of her hand.

Playing the deliciously ditzy Frenchwoman Ana-Lucia, Nightingale is shamelessly entertaining in the best possible sense. Ana-Lucia is a saucy and cunning gold-digger in the mould of Lorelei Lee from Gentleman Prefer Blondes, a comparison highlighted by Ana-Lucia’s rendition of the classic ‘Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend’ (here hilariously chained onto Travie McCoy’s ‘Billionaire). Her dubious French origin later provides the basis for a side-splitting Edith Piaf send-up which skewers every French stereotype imaginable. The enormously self-dramatizing heroine returns home while recovering from amnesia brought about by a mysterious accident – in hot pursuit is the dreaded Baron, who may or may not be her former lover. Ana-Lucia is aided during her moments of lapse by her partner-in-crime, Juan Pablo (pianist Trevor Jones) who chimes in at the appropriate moment to trigger flashbacks and lost memories.

Nightingale is a strong singer, her voice ably handling a range of songs from Cole Porter to Lady Gaga. Jones proves an appealing comic partner to her brassy but forgetful persona. Nightingale’s occasional memory lapses (not all of them scripted, I think) were quickly integrated into the comic exchanges between the two players, actually making complete sense in the context of the amnesiac character.

The real strength of the show was Ana-Lucia’s interactions with the audience, cast as the guests at Ana-Lucia’s ‘welcome home’ party. Nightingale engaged the audience in treasure hunts, party games and sing-alongs to great comic effect. She even managed to make a running gag of the continuous stream of late-comers entering the show, who were then forced to come to the front of the stage to receive party bags and hats. With such a strong command of her audience, it’s no wonder this show has sold out three previous seasons.

However, this strength also becomes a weakness at points – beginning with a series of giggle-inducing plot twists, the story meanders towards the middle of the show as the emphasis shifts to audience participation. In particular the inclusion of a Beyonce number, however funny and charmingly performed, seems unnecessary and slows down the action.

This quickly changes towards the finale of the show, ending on a climatic cliff-hanger which promises interesting revelations for Episode Two.

Ana-Lucia and the Baron (Episode One)

The New Ballroom, Trades Hall

Thur Sept 29, 7:30pm