Tag: Dolly Diamond

REVIEW: Melbourne Cabaret Festival Opening Gala 2015

Glorious beginnings for another promising festival

By Bradley Storer

This year’s Melbourne Cabaret Festival Opening Gala, keeping with the festival theme of ‘Keeping it Fresh’, took place at St Kilda’s new Alex Theatre, with excerpts from fresh new festival acts from all over Australia.

Melbourne Cabaret Festival

Dolly Diamond provided a lovely opening to the show, passing through the audience offering roses while singing a charming medley of tunes from ‘Oliver!’, accompanied by Cameron Thomas, and introduced our host for the evening – musical theatre performer and former Australian Idol finalist Rob Mills. Mills, admitting it to be his first gig as an MC, was a charming and competent host throughout the evening, even having to strike the stage and bring out props with enthusiasm and energy.

Annie Lee shed her usual garb as the eldest of the acclaimed Kransky Sisters to deliver both a touch of glamour and gawky physical comedy to the little-known poetry of the Weimar era in excerpts from her show ‘Lighthouse Berlin’. The Strange Bedfellows, Jacqui Dark and Kanen Breen, stormed the stage to deliver contemporary Weimar-style cabaret with jaw-dropping vocal power and charisma, traversing such territory as a German-language version of ‘Tainted Love’, a new number based around the misdeeds of Rolf Harris all the way to Amanda Palmer’s gutsy anthem for humanity ‘Sing’.

Winner of the Your Theatrics International Cabaret Competition, Noni McCallum, took to the stage next and proved beyond doubt the reason for her win – a ballsy belt with a dry, self-deprecating wit, McCullum narrated the humours of dating past age 30 before ending with the simultaneously hilariously and surprisingly touching ‘Ikea Song’. A capella groups Ginger and Tonic and Suade showcased their trademark exquisite harmonies combined with witty and risqué songwriting, providing viewpoints on the modern dating scene from both feminine and masculine perspectives. Closing the night were the Queens of the City, a drag group whose members entertained the audience with sassy banter, Cher-impersonation and stunning contemporary pop vocals.

The wide variety on show at the Gala aptly displays the variety and breadth of talent, both local and international, that Melbourne Cabaret Festival draws year after year and which bodes well for the festival’s future in years to come.

Date: June 18th, 2015
Venue: The Alex Theatre, 1/135 Fitzroy St, St Kilda


But the tigers come at night

By Myron My

Sex worker. Call girl. Prostitute. Hooker. Lady of the night. In From Whore to Eternity, tribute is paid to these women and the cultural effect they’ve had, through various films, songs and stories.

 From Whore to Eternity

Ruth Katerelos and Heidi Weatherald play two sex workers who inform us and sing about “historical” women such as (Sweet) Charity, Mary Magdalene and Fantine, and how sex played a role in their lives.

The inherent problem with From Whore To Eternity is the writing. It would seem Cerise de Gelder is unable to find a balance between informing the audience and entertaining the audience. As such, we were bombarded with a number of scenes that were disjointed and clunky and struggled to retain our interest.

There were a good variety of songs chosen, ranging from rock to ballads and musical theatre classics. Unfortunately, it was the delivery of these songs that failed to hit the right notes. Neither performer had the vocal skill to do justice to many of these songs, especially when it comes to classics like “I Dreamed A Dream” that should therefore not have been touched. Their lack of vocal range and strength was apparent throughout and there was a strong need to project their voices.

The beacon of light in this show though was Weatherald’s performance of “I Don’t Know How To Love Him”. She managed to find some emotional connection with this song and found a good rhythm to carry the tune.

Special guest star for the evening Dolly Diamond, while entertaining, seemed out of place during the ‘break’ in From Whore To Eternity. She began chatting to audience members and cracking jokes, which left me wondering what exactly this had to do with the tribute to “the ladies of the night”. It’s almost as if de Gelder ran out of ideas and included a special guest to fill in the hour block.

There are so many great things From Whore to Eternity could have been, but sadly the only thing it will be in its current state is minimally entertaining, with many improvements needed on writing, direction and performance.

From Whore to Eternity was performed at The Butterfly Club as part of the 2015 Midsumma Festival.

MELBOURNE CABARET FESTIVAL 2011: Ticket Sales Are Booming!

100 performers, 78 performances, 7 venues – and only 6 nights!

It’s now only a few days until the non-stop cabaret begins, and all 32 shows for the second annual Melbourne Cabaret Festival (Tue July 19- Sun 24) are selling out once again.

This year’s program includes a particularly impressive line-up of our own Melbourne favourites, renowned national artists, and some surprise international performers all coming together to historic South Melbourne for one week of outstanding and outrageous entertainment.

From the fun and frivolity with comedy cabaret, music theatre, vaudeville and New-York-style, to the clever and edgy explorations of vaudeville, burlesque, queer shows and dark cabaret, there’s something different, delightful, delicious and decadent for every taste.

So what’s our pick of the fest? Got to admit, we’re pretty excited about The Beautiful Losers back to horrify audiences with song and satire, the intriguing Filthy Secrets from the disturbing mind of Karin Muiznieks, and the triumphant festival return of the glamorous and glorious Petticoat Soiree.

Also worth watching out for will be Le Gateau Chocolat, Queenie Van de Zandt, Jon Jackson, Emma Dean, The Jane Austen Argument, Tina Del Twist, Dolly Diamond, and Emma Clair Ford, along with a host of upcoming cabaret stars, plenty of quirky, creepy or hilarious new shows, and some special events such as Trevor Jones’ Piano Bar and the best of Short+Sweet Cabaret.

Tickets start from just $15 at www.melbournecabaret.com where you can also find all the show details to pique your patronage, because with only six days to see the all best cabaret in town, you’ll need to book fast!