Posted in Adelaide Festival Cabaret 2012

Lenny Henry’s Cradle to Rave – Adelaide Festival Cabaret

ImageWhen I was a kid my mum never let my brothers and I stay up late and watch anything on TV…until the Lenny Henry Show came along. I remember it being quite a cutting edge comedy show, and we used to love sitting and watching it together…something that never happens any more with all our busy schedules.

Needless to say, seeing Lenny Henry at the Festival Theatre as part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2012 was a great way to re-live some wonderful childhood memories, which would have only been trumped, had I met the man himself.

Cradle to Rave is Lenny Henry’s tribute to the music that he grew up with, and that made him the man and comedian that he is today. Lenny discusses all his musical influences literally from the cradle until now, sharing family stories, awkward teenage moments, Othello monologues and all the other sounds that helped shape his life.

For this number one fan Lenny certainly delivers with a hilarious and interactive show. Even though you’re sitting down, all posh and theatre like, in those bright red Festival Theatre seats, Henry still seems to make you want to forget your “theatre” behaviour and move in your seat to the beat or jump up and start dancing…even if it is to C&C Music Factory’s Everybody Dance Now and you’re doing the running man.

Henry is a smart, funny and amiable man who has an innate ability to relate his stories not only to music, but also to the variety of age groups that were dotted throughout his audience. He really is the everyman, even managing to make a few dad jokes that you probably wouldn’t encourage your dad to make, but in his case you make an exception, because he’s just so wonderful.

One show in Adelaide was just not enough for Henry to reach all Adelaideians, more people need to find out what a fantastic performer he is, a performer who has not only given me some amazing laughs over the years, but that I have no doubt will continue to do so. If you missed him though, you may need to wait another 7 years for him return to Adelaide…let’s hope the music keeps inspiring him.

– Suzanna Parisi, DB Magazine (http://www.dbmagazine.com.au/)

Posted in Cabaret Fringe Festival 2012

Fack to Bront (Nexus Cabaret Theatre)

There is something really great about seeing amateur performers with a passion and sense of fun for music and singing that you know will one day make them really great polished performers, and Fack to Bront is one of those acts.

 A tribute to musical theatre, with a twist by flipping the sexes, the girls singing traditional boys songs and the  boys singing traditional girls songs, is both a moving and at times hilarious performance. I guarantee you’ve never heard All That Jazz or Confrontation from Jekyll and Hyde the musical, sung quite like this.

 Whilst the girls are quite clearly more confident and have far more superior voices to the five boys that make up the group, what the girls lack are the comedy skills and the boys make up for in spades, absolutely getting into the fun of their characters. That coupled with the group’s song choices, a mix of musical theatre and popular songs, makes Fack to Bront well worth their $22 ticket price. It’s absolutely wonderful and puts a smile on my face to see this group putting so much effort into making this a great show, and knowing that with each performance they give, the show will only keep getting better.

– Suzanna Parisi, DB Magazine, Edition #547, http://www.dbmagazine.com.au/

Posted in Cabaret Fringe Festival 2012

Live at The Soul Box – Variety Show

Apparently, Live at The Soul Box – Variety Show is a show that features “a selection of interactive cabaret, theatre games, comedians and hip swinging Jam sessions.” What you get though, is an overrated, lengthy, amateur “cabaret” show – if you can call it that.

 That might sound completely and unjustly harsh to many of you, but this was absolutely painful to sit through. Where they go wrong to begin with is not putting enough variety in their “variety” show. Of the eight acts that featured, five of them were comedians plus if you include the show host, that makes six – and none of them funny at all, apart from one or two good jokes here and there. It was completely self-absorbed and absolutely exclusive comedy, meaning if you weren’t a friend in the audience you didn’t get their humour. Not to mention, their hypnotist, who had the potential to be a really great act, was on stage for all of five minutes, and the show’s host Ross Voss, used the word “yep” after every second word, which made hearing it a million times over two hours, akin to nails on a blackboard.

 By now you’re probably thinking, wow, totally scathing review and you’re right, but in the interest of being fair I should mention it wasn’t 100% terrible. There was a great female singer who had an amazing voice and sang some really terrific original songs, a really great mentalist, who – whilst not completely polished or original – still managed to entertain and amaze, a Jazz warm up act that was very upbeat and fun – but that’s saying something when the warm up act is better than the actual act – and The Soul Box as a venue is really great. It’s just such as shame that this lengthy and self-absorbed act, doesn’t live up to it’s too hype.

– Suzanna Parisi, DB Magazine

Published in DB Magazine, Edition #547 http://www.dbmagazine.com.au/