Tag: comedy cabaret

Review: KARIN DANGER’s Hot Box

Making up as she goes – with make up!

By Jessica Cornish

Last night I journeyed to The Butterfly Club at its new inner city location to – er – enter into Karin Danger’s Hot Box… The award-winning musical comedian presented a mix of cleverly written songs and banter throughout the 50 minute cabaret performance for MICF.

Hot Box

Karin has a terrific voice, and belted out some impressive notes with great force and control. Her original songs were animated and well-presented, and some of the lyrics were both clever and intriguing.

However, her dialogue between the musical numbers unfortunately seemed to fall flat most of the time. To be honest, I’m not really sure what the show was about. Her banter was rather confusing and jumped from idea to idea, whilst she sporadically smeared on another layer of makeup, or completed one of many costume changes.

That said, there was definitely a strange audience dynamic for her performance last night. The audience on one side of the room sat almost in silence throughout the entire show, whilst three or four people howled with laughter throughout the evening on the other side of the divide. Unfortunately I was on the quieter side of the room that didn’t quite seem to get the night.

Karin Danger was accompanied throughout by excellent pianist Cameron Thomas. Initially he appeared to be more like the backing track rather than a part of the performance; however he turned out to be quite a colourful character, providing the show with some extra energy.

Reflecting on this festival show, I appreciate that the cabaret comedy of Hot Box is a safe place where Karin can and others are invited to laugh at themselves. Like her show itself, it was clearly when performing her witty songs Karin was most comfortable with herself and us, and could be happy in her own skin – despite the odd imperfection here and there.

When:  April 09- 21, Tue-Wed 8pm, Thu-Sat 9pm, Sun 8pm

Where: The Butterfly Club, Carson Place (Off Little Collins St) CBD

Cost: Full $23 & Conc $20

Booking: Ticketmaster, at the venue 9690 2000, thebutterflyclub.com, at the door

REVIEW: Candice McQueen is NASTY

A hot night and an hilarious show

By Jessica Cornish

Candice McQueen has ‘been a lotta places, seen a lotta faces, and fucked a lotta races.’

The immortal demi-god who watched the crucifixion of Christ and chilled with the ancient pharaohs of Egypt told the tale of her 90’s love affair to a packed opening night Butterfly Club crowd last week.

Nasty is a brand new work performed by Spanky (Candice McQueen). This tranny superstar previously worked in London’s famous Bistrotheque for seven years and was proud to present her new show at The Butterfly Club as part of the 2012 Midsummer Festival.

The Mister Sister (with a fluro-pink wig dangling over her shoulders, and a malfunctioning glittering false eyelash threatening to crush her right eye) kept her hot and sweaty audience laughing all night.

The opening rap was followed by a hilarious narrative of her secret birth in front of an array of silver baboons, since her mother with a fleeting Asian/Spanish accent was tragically dying of a melting heart, and was forced to hand the small child over to an African monkey to raise as his own.

Initially the show, Nasty, was equally quite hard to follow. Hilarious, certainly – however, it wasn’t clear where the show as a whole was going. Fifteen minutes into the piece we finally learn of her love for a man named River, and the show begins to explore their naughty nineties relationship of love, loss, love and loss once more.

In between Candice’s spoken monologues of her experiences with River were splashes of songs accompanied by her acoustic guitarist/ukele player, Kylie. With her long black hair, purple glasses and loose fitted t-shirt she sat quietly in the corner awaiting her moments to shine. Occasionally Kylie also provided harmonic vocal lines to Candice’s songs which lifted the musical pieces significantly. Their voices blended together beautifully, and gave the musical pieces a whole new energy and vibrancy.

Whilst the musical composition of Nasty was nonetheless fairly uninventive, the banter in between the numbers made up for the lack of musical genius. Stand-out moments were Candice proving that the lovable Jack from Titanic was in fact a gay lad unfairly manhandled by a frumpy and loud Rose, and her segments retelling the loss of River in a risqué night club where her famous Australian father was DJ’ing at the time. 

Finally the show did demonstrate to its audience that the only point of human life was for all of us to find love, be loved and love in return, proved to be a great night out, and the sweaty audience thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Nasty was part of the the Midsumma Festival at The Butterfly Club.

Dates: 31 Jan – 5 Feb

Times: Tue, Wed & Sun 8pm, Thu-Sat 9pm

Review: MEL TRICKEY in Happiness 101

Do something that makes you happy!

By Adam Tonking

Happiness 101: Laughter is the Best Pseudo-Science! introduces us to esteemed academic Professor Geraldine Gravis, as played by Mel Trickey, who is here to lecture us on happiness, what it is and how to achieve it as proven through her scientific methods.

Not everything goes according to plan as her logic unravels and her inner yearnings reveal themselves, all for the entertainment of the audience.

This show is a perfect example of brilliantly-crafted cabaret, performed and written by Trickey. It has everything: a clear and engaging story, well-chosen songs to serve said story, a fully-realised character taking us along for the ride.

Trickey commanded the stage from the start, involving the audience – on Thursday night we were quite a small crowd which can be, well, tricky – but she was so charming that we were happy to play along. The left turn the story takes in the middle could have become trite and obvious, but as handled by Trickey was completely successful.

A lot of the humour in Happiness 101 relies on its ability to surprise the audience, and in the interests of people enjoying it as thoroughly as I did, I’m trying not to reveal too many of the details.

The show, however, reaches its pinnacle near the end in an amazing medley where the Professor realises her lifelong dream.  This moment is equal parts hilarious and spectacular, and I almost wish the show had ended at that point – it’s so good that anything after that feels like coming down.

Trickey was excellent in this show. She hits some amazing notes, assisted by accompanist Rowland Brache, who not only played beautifully, but also engaged in some lively banter with his esteemed colleague, much to the audience’s amusement.  Direction by Kim Edwards also deserves applause for making great use of the venue’s idiosyncrasies and keeping the action lively and varied.

I genuinely cannot say enough nice things about this show. Do yourself a favour and get on board. I can’t guarantee you’ll learn anything about happiness, but you will definitely be happier for seeing it.

Happiness 101: Laughter is the Best Pseudo-Science! is on at The Butterfly Club, South Melbourne, from 13th to 15th October at 7pm, and 16th October at 6pm.

Bookings through www.thebutterflyclub.com or 9696 2000.

Forget Your Troubles! The Return of HAPPINESS 101

Because EVERYONE needs more  Happiness-ology in their lives!

Having a bad day?

Here’s something to make you smile!

That’s right, ladies and gentleman, our favourite comedy cabaret guru and aspiring academic is back for a second season to remind us that laughter IS the best pseudo-science!

After a debut of feel-good performances and full-houses, Professor Gravis (aka Melissa Trickey) will be back with her lovable cabaret show, Happiness 101, and the good professor promises us it will be bigger, better, and WAY more happy!

It’s guaranteed to turn you from this…



…to this!



Mel Trickey, a mainstay of Melbourne music theatre, successfully tuned her talents into cabaret earlier this year, and is delighted to be returning to The Butterfly Club for four additional performances next week.

For fans of the first season, there is rumoured to be some new intrigues and song surprises, along with all your favourite hilarious spoofs of academia, aspirations and ABBA!

So get Glee-ful, sing for joy, and unleash your dancing queen: this show is simply and utterly a great laugh in good company, and a really fun night out!

Come on – get happy!

Happiness 101: A quirky cabaret about ploys for joy, measures for pleasure and practising what you preach.

Warning: Comedy is contagious…!

Written and performed by Melissa Trickey

Directed by Kim Edwards

Accompanied by Rowland Braché

Venue:  The Butterfly Club

204 Bank Street South Melbourne

Dates: Thur- Sun 13-18 Oct

Times: Thur-Sat 7pm, Sun 6pm

Bookings: www.thebutterflyclub.com

ANA-LUCIA AND THE BARON: She’s Back in Melbourne!


She’s sassy, sexy, extremely dangerous – and totally hilarious!

That’s right, folks: THREE sell-out seasons clearly wasn’t enough for Melbourne’s favourite femme fatale!

With the ever-amazing Trevor Jones moonlighting at the piano as the enigmatic Juan Pablo, that mysterious and fabulous French con-woman Ana-Lucia is back for a final performance of her infamous comedy cabaret in a brand-new venue…

Ana-Lucia and the Baron (Episode One) is part of the special Fringe festival event (Butterfly @ Trades Hall) this month where our gorgeous and glamorous girl will be hosting her own welcome home party, and you and all her closest friends are invited!

 Not that she remembers who you are, of course… or more importantly who she is!

She seems to have lost her memory, but just between you and me, isn’t she being hunted down by the evil Baron, who may or may not be her one true love, over some diamonds that she may or may not have stolen?

So put the date in your diary, pour the champagne, pull out your party shoes (and hide your diamonds!) because for this unique one-night performance, Ana-Lucia herself has promised:

“Zis will be… ‘ow you say?? … a ‘oot!

Let’s get this party started!

Date: Thur 29 Sept, 7:30pm

Venue: The New Ballroom, Trades Hall, Cnr Lygon & Victoria St, Carlton

Tickets: $24 / $21

Written by Lisa Nightingale
Directed by Kim Edwards
Accompanied by Trevor Jones

REVIEW: Amelia Ryan is a STORM IN A D-CUP


By Lisa Nightingale

Yup, sure… that IS how I am going to start this review. I think ‘Wowee’ sums up tonight’s performance of Storm in a D-Cup perfectly!

Taking my seat in The Butterfly Club tonight, the hot-red peep-toed shoes waiting on stage in front of me let me know that a party was about to take place, and I was not mistaken. Amelia Ryan burst from the rear of the room and made her way up on stage, and from that moment she was on fire.

Ryan’s cleverly-written, bear-all biography delivered through conversation and song had me, through the most part, bursting with laughter.

When I wasn’t laughing, I was entirely stunned at the sharp twists and turns her life has taken and I’ll tell you, her stories just NEEDED to become a cabaret! From tales of a transsexual step-mother to ‘sick leave’ pains, Ryan keeps her audience completely entertained.

The songs through the show were fantastic – re-written and made entirely her own.  I was blown away with how cleverly old favourites from Sound Of Music, Avenue Q and Belinda Carlisle were worked into the story. 

Ryan has an amazing connection with the music she is singing, keeping the audience enchanted through humorous lyrics but also through the emotionally engaging songs we then hear midway through the show, which were breathtaking and reminded us that we are listening to a real girl’s stories and real-life challenges.

Ryan’s focus and ‘real’ performance whilst she was singing is something that I cannot praise enough. I did feel however that her story-telling could have been a little less ‘rehearsed’. She shows such freedom and release whilst singing, and during the season I hope she finds this when delivering her well-written script as well.

Yet, hearing her tales of how clumsy she is, I couldn’t help but relate to stories she told – and hearing other females laughing in the audience, I knew they felt the same.

Another HUGE bonus to this already fantastic show is Cameron Thomas on piano. He brings such excitement to the stage, has a few lines in the show that cracked me up—and once he starts playing that piano, his energy buzzes!

Amelia Ryan has everything she possibly could need to take her blossoming cabaret career as far as she wants. A brilliant stage presence, hot-to-trot voice and a banging body – and don’t forget, she’s a blonde bombshell D-cup!

If you have no plans over this weekend, get to The Butterfly Club; and if you already have plans, CANCEL THEM and head down anyway for the 7pm performance of Storm in a D-Cup Friday and Saturday or 6pm Sunday. You’ll be giggling for a whole hour – promise!