Tag: stand-up

REVIEW: Jude Perl presents Is it just me?

Musical comedy with a conscience

By Narelle Wood

 Jude Perl knows how to make an entrance, an entrance in a dress that would make Lady Gaga green with envy. Perl’s musical comedy is full of musical and pop clichés in a satirical look at everything from being a pop star to asking the very poignant question Is it just me?

 Jude_Web2

The songs cover a whole gamut of topics, but all seem to have some feminist undertones, or other social commentary hidden amongst the extremely witty and downright hilarious lyrics. Her songs drip with well-written innuendo and a smattering of over shares, which, she acknowledges from the start, are things the audience may not want to know.

Between the musical numbers, Perl performs some non-musical comedy that is just as funny. While I really enjoyed these parts of the show, the highlights for me were the musical numbers; I couldn’t pick a favourite song if I tried. My absolute favourite part of the show was Perl’s voice; it sounded like an incredible cross between Alicia Keys and Suzie Quatro resulting in a sound that I found both familiar and completely unique.

I thoroughly enjoyed Is it just me? from beginning to end. There is something very endearing about Perl that made even the audience participation moments (which I usually dread) completely okay. Jude Perl’s Is it just me? is extremely entertaining and honest comedy at it’s musical best. If good comedy and good music is your recipe for a good night out then this show is a must.

Venue: The Butterfly Club, Carson Place, Melbourne

Season: 6pm Wed 13 May – Sun 17 May, 7pm Sat 16

Tickets: Full $25| Conc $23

Bookings: www.thebutterflyclub.com

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Review: DEATH OF A COMEDIAN at La Mama Courthouse

Getting behind the scenes of the comedy circuit

By Myron My

Death of a Comedian by Fred Rowan is a privileged view into the  green room of a local comedy club as a group of comedians warm up for their show, but it might as well be a group of patients in the waiting room of a medical centre awaiting test results. As the performers wait backstage we witness their tension and anxieties, and as they return from the stage we wait with dread to see if they “killed it or were killed”.

Death of a Comedian

The whole amusing performance takes place over the course of this one night in the green room. The set design was very realistic in depicting what the back room of a pub looks like, and some great stage lighting involved having the comedian who was giving their set take centre stage while the rest of the cast remained in the background of the green room, thus allowing the two worlds to combine yet remaining visually separate.

Jeremy Kewley was brilliant as Graham Dempster, the organizer of the event raising funds for a hospital. His energy and endearingly annoying character were well received by the audience. Kevin Summers as a comedian desperate for a comeback, Johnny Mazing, was reminiscent of the fear we all have of not wanting to be forgotten and trying to hold onto our past. Although it took him a while to settle into his character, the audience was firmly on his side by the end. Believing in a few of the other performers was sometimes a struggle however: it felt like I was watching comedians acting and not actors being comedians.

There was some sharp dialogue and at times this reminded me of the backstage shenanigans that go on during something like Noises Off! which allowed Death of a Comedian to bring home the laughs. I think cutting ten minutes from the show would have created a much cleaner show and the ending, whilst trying to bring in some poignancy, needed editing too as it seemed to go on that little bit too long.

Death of a Comedian is, self-consciously, a drama about comedy. But there are more than enough laughs in this production to make you think otherwise.

Venue: La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond St, Carlton

Season: Until 9 December | Wed, Sun 6:30pm. Thu-Sat 7:30pm

Tickets: $25 Full | $15 Concession

Bookings: http://lamama.com.au

Review: WIL ANDERSON is Wilarious

Melbourne Comedy Festival fare at its finest

By Myron My

The first thing I noticed when Wil Anderson came on stage to perform his 2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival show Wilarious, were the missing presence of thongs.

I have seen Wil perform five times and each time he has never worn proper shoes. I felt this was going to be a very different show with him standing in front of a room full of people – except for the two empty seats front row center  (their loss) – wearing shoes!

The beauty of Wil is that much of what he says has probably happened to many people, but it’s stuff that hardly anyone is willing to admit in a public forum. Put your hand up if you would happily (ok, maybe not happily) admit that “someone once fell asleep as I was going down on them”. Didn’t think so. But Wil does. And despite the subject matter, he doesn’t allow it get into crass territory, a trap into which so many others fall into.

Much of Wilarious does however draw on current issues and social commentary. There a perfect blend of seriousness and humour in what Wil has to say: from gay marriage rights to teaching kids that life isn’t always fair and not having them believe everyone comes up a winner all the time. There is truthfulness and reality to what Wil is saying and with his unique blend of story-telling and humour, and it makes for some poignant moments too – followed by fits of laughter.

Wil tells us that his mantra in life is that if you hear something negative, turn it into a positive. Sadly, it cannot be done in this circumstance as Wil is in top form delivering the right amount of laughs with the right amount of thinking and intellect. Wilarious met and exceeded expectations, reminding me why Wil Anderson is still considered as one of the best Australian stand-up comedians today.

VENUE
The Comedy Theatre
Cnr Exhibition & Lonsdale Sts, Melbourne
DATES
28 March – 15 April
TIMES
29 Mar-15 Apr Tue-Sat 8.45pm
Sun 6.15pm
PRICES
Full Sat $40
Full Wed-Fri & Sun $36
Concession $30 (N/A Fri & Sat)
Bookings: http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/

REVIEW: Fabian Lapham in REALITY CAN BLOW ME

Opening a chaotic can of comedy

By Adam Tonking

Fabian Lapham’s Reality Can Blow Me is a one-man show more in the style of a stand-up routine than anything else. He takes to the stage, nervous and awkward, and explains self-deprecatingly that there is no linear narrative, that the nature of reality will not be discussed, and nothing will get blown.

Then he amuses the audience for the next fifty minutes with various shtick; from observational humour, to one-liners, to sight gags, to comedic songs… Everything is thrown at the audience to make them laugh.

And it worked. While Lapham’s show would have been much better suited to a larger audience than were present the night I attended, our small group were laughing and applauding heartily at Lapham’s various antics. His running gags – dance routines commenting on the action, and impersonations of impersonations – scattered throughout the show were received particularly well.

My personal highlight was his series of “Tiny Stories,” including a novelisation of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, told as a noir detective story. His songs were clever and well-written, if not well-executed, and build to a great finale – every show needs a good ending.

Lapham is clearly a talented comic, but the constant shift of pace as he switched between different styles of comedy was at times confusing for the audience as they struggled to keep up. The gags were genuinely funny, and giving the audience more time to absorb them would have helped.

Lapham’s self-referential commentary on the progress of the show seemed a slightly dated device, and at times appeared apologetic for the show’s lack of structure. However, there were enough entertaining moments in the show to make it a fun night out, and to suggest great things from Lapham in the future.

Fabian Lapham’s Reality Can Blow Me is on at The Butterfly Club, 204 Bank Street, South Melbourne, from Thursday 1st March till Sunday 4th March at 9pm, or 8pm on Sunday. Book at www.thebutterflyclub.com