Tag: Melbourne Cabaret Festival 2016

Melbourne Cabaret Festival: AMY G’S ENTERSHAMEMENT

Uproariously outrageous

By Joana Simmons

This year’s Melbourne Cabaret Festival features a program with artists from all corners of the cabaret genre and all corners of the globe. New Yorker Amy G’s one-woman slapstick-song-dance-and-skating show Entershamement is a prime example of the host of talent dished up for the tasting. She explores some personal truths about shame, and #noshame, throws stones at her haters and commands the stage to do anything and everything to entertain her audience. She ain’t chicken. Except in the act where she is a chicken.

Entershament.jpg

Belting out a range of diva staples (“I’ll put a Spell on You”, “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman”, “It’s Not Easy Being Green”) there were moments where her notes floated into the air and tickled our ears like the smoky stage she was standing on. However, there were also many moments where her voice sounded strained for the power-house notes and didn’t do the song or her justice. Her range of skills though, is as vast as her homeland: moments that had me guffawing and gasping for air were fantastic physical comedy on rollerskates, her Spanglish flamenco senorita with a fire in her belly, a glimpse into her dressing room at intermission and the amazing way she can play a kazoo with her hoo-hoo. The latter is one party trick one will never forget, and finishes the show with a rousing applause. These moments aside, the rest didn’t land for me. She touched on the concept of shame and judgment as a performer but it felt skin deep, and this shameful reviewer wants to see the rock bottom of the deepest pools of her real truths.

For a show in a festival program that has multiple events in the same venue in the one night, the production and tech is seamless. The lighting is well-set, well-timed, and adds magic to her marvelous acts. Similarly, the sound – quite simply – is great, standing strong through multiple costume and mic changes. Amy G’s costumes are as delightfully showy and theatrical as the way she got changed into them: my favourite was spinning on skates as she spun into a dress- a tornado of glamour and grace.

If you have never seen cabaret before, but kind of have an idea of what it is, this is a show for you- with a few wonderful surprises and moments you won’t forget. If you have seen cabaret before, enjoy feathers, sequins, songs, skates and jokes– a woman whose talent is varied and stories are true, this is a show for you.

Season: Until June 19

Venue: Chapel Off Chapel

Tickets: http://chapeloffchapel.com.au/melbourne-comedy-theatre-art/melbourne-events/melbourne-cabaret/amy-g-entershamement-16-19-june/

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Melbourne Cabaret Festival 2016: DEATH SUITS YOU

Blithely black humour prevails

By Myron My

Everyone has moments when they feel underappreciated and ignored at work and frustrated with their overall work/life balance, but none more so than Death. This is someone who meticulously plans how each and every mortal will meet their ultimate demise, and then needs to ensure our own stupidity or actions do not interfere with these plans. Death must watch over us all the time, even when we are sleeping. In this year’s Melbourne Cabaret Festival show Death Suits You, this hardworking individual recalls some of his finer achievements and attempts to have us understand the complexities of his role.

Death Suits You

Sam Hooper as Death is a charming and charismatic performer, even if this version of Death is simply dressed in plain black shorts and a t-shirt. Perhaps this is part of Death’s plan: to appear as “one of us” and subsequently let our guard down and allow ourselves to see things from his perspective, no matter how macabre it might be. Hooper has written some great individual tales to share and despite knowing that it will not be a happy ending, the build-up and visual language he uses has the stories running through our minds as vividly as a movie.

With each narrative, Hooper has an accompanying performance piece, and the beauty of this is that it is not just song, but also dance and spoken word, which leave the audience wondering how he will interpret the next victim’s inner feelings and sadness. Hooper tailors these perfectly and the touching dance routine during his drowning victim’s tale is equally meditative and unsettling. Likewise, Hooper’s careful diction with the spoken word pieces clearly brings out the attitudes and feelings of those who are facing mortality, and are performed with strong conviction.

Despite the necessary gloom and doom theme of the show, such as Death’s retelling of poor 6-year-old Eva’s end, Hooper ensures that the audience is never left despondent. The show is littered with clever and witty laughs, such as Death’s admission that he controls the weather to create a dramatic exit for people, or how his work is a great method of population control.

Robert Tripolino‘s music is the perfect accompaniment to the stories and, in the face of Death, is effortlessly brought to life by the two-piece multi-instrumentalist band of Shanon Whitelock and Caleb Garfinkel, providing strong support to Hooper. The simple lighting throughout the show is also used well in creating the various moods and scenarios that Hooper describes.

Sadly, as with many cabaret shows during the Melbourne Cabaret Festival, Death Suits You only has a three-night run which ends on Sunday so best head off and see this show soon, before Death decides to pay you a visit instead.

Venue: Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel St, Prahran 
Season: until 19 June| 8.45pm
Tickets: $37 Full | $33 Conc 
Bookings: Chapel Off Chapel