Posted in Adelaide Fringe 2012

Two Points of Reality by Move Through Life (Adelaide Fringe 2012) – (unpublished)

I love the Holden Street Theatre. Such a wonderful suburban theatre that puts on some amazing productions, and Move Through Life’s Two Points of Reality is another one they can add to the list.

Two Points of Reality is a contemporary dance performance that aims to depict the journey of an individual who is suffering from dementia. The performance takes us through one woman’s life before dementia, and as dementia is setting in, helping the audience to understand the slow deterioration of the disease, why people suffering from it behave the way they do and the carers who look after them.

This is a wonderfully moving performance, with dancers Catie Cullen, Karen Humphreys, Christine Mauch and Kelly Moritz moving with absolute grace and displaying wonderful technique. The minimalist set and costumes, in the darkened theatre space, adds to the portrayal of confusion by dementia patients and the often bleak outlook carers can experience.

Choreographer Daniel Turbill obviously has a personal connection with the source material, as evident through his emotive and inspiring dance numbers. My only criticisms are the film at the beginning of the piece, along with the commercial for Alzheimer’s Australia at the end, is slightly preachy and joltingly informative, rather than a seamless and complimentary piece to the actual dancing. Also, the short 40 minute performance is a little disappointing for a Fringe show, making you question why a topic, such as dementia, with its endless amount of material, couldn’t be stretched for another 20 minutes.

Don’t be put off seeing this show in the future though, or indeed any Move Through Life performance, based on this show’s heavy reality based topic, because Move Through Life have a unique way of portraying a serious topic, in a contemporary and inspiring way you can enjoy.

– Suzanna Parisi

Posted in Adelaide Fringe 2012

The Rat Pack Revue (Adelaide Fringe 2012) – (unpublished)

My dad Rocco has THE best taste in music. Thanks to him, I have now developed a wonderful and eclectic taste in music because I grew up listening to cool musos like The Wrights, Daddy Cool, The Beatles and of course the music of the Rat Pack.

Most of these bands I grew to love, ended long ago, and there will never be a chance for me to see and experience their wonder live. So when I sat down to eat a scrumptious 3 course dinner at Saldechin on King William Street I only had one thought “this is as close to the golden age of Hollywood as I’m going to get” and boy was it magical.

Saldechin proved a spectacular setting for this Vegas style show with beautiful candle light, a pre-show act, amazing eats and drinks and of course some amazing singers.

Pre-show act Ziggy, while a little ‘old school’ with his jokes and magic, was a perfect fit for a crowd whose average age was probably around 50, but he was only the warm up for the main act of Leo Capruso and Bob Foley, performing Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra’s biggest hits. 

Accompanied by their 5 piece band, and playing all the favourites like New York, New York, You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You, That’s Amore, Come Fly with Me and Volare, the boys had the entire crowd singing and cheering along, and definitely did not disappoint.

While the tribute to Sammy Davis Jr, by Bob Johnson, didn’t involve any singing at all, Johnson’s personal stories of his time as part of the Sammy Davis Jr band and the re-telling of Sammy’s own Rat Pack stories, was moving and had everyone in awe.

Sure this show might have a bit of a “seniors” vibe to it, but it’s a fitting tribute to a bygone era where the music was inspirational and positive…they just don’t make them like they used to.

– Suzanna Parisi

Posted in Adelaide Fringe 2012

Damian Callinan – Robinson Crusoe

Damian Callinan is an unusual man…funny…but unusual.

His hilarious performance in last year’s State Theatre Company adaption of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged is what prompted me to want to see this – and the man does not disappoint. 

Callinan’s show Robinson Crusoe is based on the parallels of two epic stories. One tale is of the swashbuckling hero marooned on a Caribbean island, the other is Damian as a boy locked outside his childhood home and stuck in his garage for hours – totally the same thing.

From the moment Callinan steps on stage, you can’t help but laugh at his ridiculousness, whether he’s telling you the entire story of Robinson Crusoe in an absolutely hysterical 2 minute dance montage, making you crowd surf a cashew or getting you to see the funny side of his catholic upbringing, you will be guaranteed a good laugh.

I’m definitely having my faith in standup comedians renewed at this year’s Fringe, and Damian Callinan has certainly helped strengthen that faith because his show is fresh, original and downright funny.

– Suzanna Parisi

Issue #540

Posted in Adelaide Fringe 2012

Dave Thornton – The Some of All the Parts (Adelaide Fringe 2012) (unpublished)

It’s been a pretty long time since I’ve seen a standup comedian, which is ridiculous if you think about it because I love nothing more than a good belly laugh and the Fringe always offers up a plethora to choose from each year. My reason for giving them a bit of a rest though, is because everyone tends to do the same act each year or talk about the same stuff but just in a different way, and let’s face it that gets old.

So that said, I was pleasantly surprised when Dave Thornton stepped out on the stage.

Dave Thornton’s The Some of All the Parts is based on a real life event where he was booked to speak at a posh high school and tell the students what it’s like to be a comedian (yes very Any Questions for Ben?) – It was something that he found very difficult, but luckily for us absolutely hilarious.

Performed at the Rhino Room on a tiny little stage and with a tightly packed audience, the show allows for a lot of intimacy and interaction and brings us back to good old grass roots standup comedy, although Dave is very much the seasoned comedian. He effortless glides from the main story, to a billion different little offshoots that are all interconnected in some way and has us rolling in our seats laughing.

What makes Dave so great though, is he seems to be the every man. His humour is genuine and relatable, yet outrageous, as if he’s hasn’t censored that part in his brain that says “I probably shouldn’t say that” and that’s what makes his show one of the most original and utterly hilarious stand up acts I’ve seen in a while – buy a ticket soon because people will catch on quick as to how awesome his show is.

– Suzanna Parisi

Posted in Adelaide Fringe 2012

Where Did It All Go Right by ponydance (Adelaide Fringe 2012) – (unpublished)

When you walk into The Stag and take your seat in preparation for watching Where Did It All Go Right by ponydance, your initial thought might be that you’ve stumbled onto the preparation of a So You Think You Can Dance audition, but don’t head for the door too quickly, because what you’ll soon realise is you’ve found yourself at a little hidden fringe gem.

In Where Did It All Go Right a guy and a two girls walk into a club, and it’s “game on mole” to see who can win his affection, through outrageous and comical dance numbers, to take him home at the end of the night.

This amateur dance/comedy production from Ireland has a lot going for them. Whist they’re not technically flawless in their dance moves by any means, they definitely win you over with their comedy, cheek and charm. They brilliantly capture the hilarity of two girls vying for one man’s attention, and manage to have you laughing and cringing at the lengths someone will go to in a club to be noticed, and what happens when you mix alcohol, sexual tension and outrageous personalities together. Indeed, some dance numbers are even more effective for their lack of technique, but what constantly shines through is this groups ability to take the piss out of themselves, making this funny and awkwardly funny at the same time.

This isn’t too dialogue heavy, which is great, because this groups comedy strength lies in portraying the ridiculousness of nightclub behaviour through their dance and not words. The dialogue they do use often falls very flat of fitting in organically into the show, but as usual their comedy makes up for those hit and misses.

Without spoiling too much, their audience participation is by far the most hilarious I have ever seen, the strobe light dance number is fantastic and the ode to flashdance number, towards the end, is the absolute stand out.

I get the feeling that the four performers in this show are on the verge of being Adelaide Fringe favourites, and I’m happy to have seen them before they get too big for their dancing shoes.

– Suzanna Parisi

Posted in Adelaide Fringe 2012

Best of the Fringe – Variety (Adelaide Fringe 2012)

For those of you who are yet to experience the Adelaide Fringe venue Gluttony, you’re missing out, because it’s what The Garden of Unearthly Delights used to be, before there was a line up a trillion miles to long get in.

This idyllic little parklands venue is host to a range of acts throughout the Fringe including the Best of The Fringe – Variety. If you’re not entirely sure what to see at the Fringe this year, then this little show tasting platter is just for you, as it serves up a stack of different show samplers every night. Each night is also a different line-up of national and international acts as chosen by its hosts Patrick McCullagh and Tim Motley, so what this means for you, is that your show could be very different to the one I saw. What you’re guaranteed to get though is an eclectic mix of acrobats, comedians, improv artists, burlesque dancers and whatever other genre the fringe can throw at us…hopefully not mimes though, because no one likes a mime.

Saturday’s opening night performance consisted of some really great acts including Canadian comedian Christophe Davidson, improv artists Sound and Fury, circus act Shannon McGurgan, Burlesque act The Barrell Sisters and an amazing sword swallower who I can’t remember the name of unfortunately (pays to hand your stuff out after the show then hey?). Christophe Davidson was quite clearly the stand out in this arena of acts, proving that the Canadian is your every man comedian, with the ability to charm a laugh out of his audience even with the a good old poo joke.

Host Tim Motley on the other hand was a complete swing and a miss, often failing to remember who he was introducing next, or delivering lame ba doom tish jokes with a hint of a sexual undertone, that were just not funny at all. Even his in-between magic acts were old and tired and circa 1980s…really…the ring trick…I’m pretty sure I discovered the secret to that trick when I was five.

The only other downside to this show is that while the other acts were interesting and unique in their own way, they often seemed a little devoid of preparation and rehearsal, but this could well be opening night jitters that will be ironed out over the next few shows. If anything you’ll at least find one good act, you’ll want to see in its entirety – I’m booking my Christophe Davidson ticket as we speak.

– Suzanna Parisi

Edition #540