Tag: classical music

Review: AMY ABLER is Pianodivalicious

Piano-playing punch and pizzazz

By Christine Moffat

Amy Abler – the woman who can play the piano with every part of her body!

While this statement is titillating (and true!), it does not do justice to Amy Abler’s talent or sense of fun.  The audience entered the theatre, and Abler was already on stage playing.  Explaining she’d hired herself as the pre-show performer, she began chatting with the crowd.  Once we were all in, and ready to go, Abler discovered we were unprepared – no feathers!  It’s true, not one of us had thought to bring along a big, fluffy feather.  Luckily the Piano-Diva had spares.


This piano-confessional style show is old school, and ironically this makes for a refreshing change.  Abler is an accomplished pianist, and plays any style of music from classical to blues with passion and panache.  She reveals that for the better part of the last twelve years she has been a headline act on various cruise ships.  Happily, in the lovely intimate cabaret venue The Butterfly Club, not a hint of big-ship dinner theatre peeked through.

Abler’s stories are sometimes funny, sometimes sad, always interesting.  Her piano playing is faultless, and more importantly, got the whole audience bobbing and swaying and subconsciously ‘emoting’ with their feathers.  This is a seasoned entertainer who has not forgotten how to entertain.

Abler is based in Chicago, but when this show (hopefully) returns to Melbourne, head along for a slice of truly universal fun.  Her audience rapport is wonderful, and the show’s retro style fits like a comfy (albeit heavily sequinned) shoe.  Lovely.

Show information:


Wednesday 20th March 2013

The Butterfly Club

Carson Place (just off Little Collins Street in the Melbourne CBD)



A Remarkable True Story: THE PRICE OF GENIUS

A cabaret of Beethoven music?

You’re kidding, right?

The Price of Genius: A Daughter of the Revolution is the brainchild of Melbourne music academic Sally Collyer, and unites two of her passions: classical music, and an extraordinary untold story of a remarkable woman.

 Price of Genius MW

In an era of Beethoven’s music and Shelley’s poetry, and a time of great upheaval and revolt, Mary Wollstonecraft changed the world forever when she wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Women.  She married an anarchist, demanded sexual equality, and gave birth to both feminism and the famous Mary Shelley who wrote Frankenstein.

But …

Mary Wollstonecraft had another daughter.

This is her story.

 Price of Genius IC

The Price of Genius: A Daughter of the Revolution opens Thursday October 22 and runs until Sunday October 25 at The Butterfly Club in South Melbourne.   It stars the beautiful Ilsa Cook in the role written specifically for her, with renowned pianist Katherine Gillon at the piano, and is the most innovative and unusual cabaret you’re likely to see this year.

And the end of this story is guaranteed to stay with you long after the final chord has died away…


Ticket prices: $22 full / $17 concession or groups of 8 or more

Bookings: www.thebutterflyclub.com

Enquiries: 9690 2000

Performed by Ilsa Cook
Accompanied by Katherine Gillon
Directed by Kim Edwards

Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Book and lyrics by Sally Collyer