Tag: Joe Accaria

Review: Drummer Queens

An hour and a half drumming and dancing spectacular

By Margaret Wieringa

Drummer Queens slammed an hour and a half of drumming and dancing out at the Comedy Theatre and nearly took the roof off. Creator, Composer and Musical Supervisor Joe Accaria worked with Choreographer Peta Anderson and Creative Director Nigel Turner-Carroll to create this stunning, varied performance which thrilled the audience, receiving not one but two standing ovations.

This is absolutely a show for the whole family. The show moved from huge, full-cast numbers to solos and smaller interactions. It was the physical bantering between performers that had the kids giggling, in particular the moments between Rebel (Stef Furnari) and Bey-b (Georgia Anderson).

The set looked like some kind of under-the-city world with exposed pipes forming arcs across the stage. The queens came out in a series of variations on the yellow overall and white singlet combo, each reflecting the personality of their character. And as the show went on, there were more and more set reveals, including a series of moving platforms with varieties of percussion set-up that allowed the drumming to be transformed into fully choreographed numbers.

It’s hard to pick a favourite part when there were so many amazing numbers – the totally kick-arse Asian Metal number (with very impressive head-banging from Cap (Ned Wu) – all whilst slamming the kit); the beautiful gentleness of The Heartbeat Song; the excited, pounding energy of Chant. But for me, it was when things went Eighties. Rebel was rocking it on an electronic drum, and when the full cast joined in with an impressive light show, including sticks and costumes, I wasn’t sure if I was more impressed with the choreography, the drumming or the magnificent spectacle.

Or maybe it was when Freedom (Peta Anderson) blew the audience away with a tap number that started small, a few taps, the clacking of drumsticks, but built and built until she was playing a kit that other cast members built around her, while dancing an absolute storm, and the auditorium broke into a storm of applause.

Unfortunately, Drummer Queens only has a short run in Melbourne before touring the country. Get in, take the family, and maybe grab some earplugs because this show is extremely loud. And if you’re still unsure, check out these videos for yourself

60′ vox pops https://youtu.be/PwvGdCNTddI

Beyanet https://youtu.be/2Q_nze9nVdg

Drummer Queens is playing at the Comedy Theatre in Melbourne until May 8. It will then be touring the country – visit https://www.drummerqueens.com/ for details.

Photography by David Hooley


Sparkling and sexy disco cabaret

By Bradley Storer

Even before the show began, the atmosphere at the opening night of Velvet was electric. Upon entering, the audience was immediately drawn into the hedonistic disco era through the beats being spun out by music director Joe Accaria on the deck above the stage. The opening image was stark and sudden – centre-stage, a young innocent-seeming man (Brendan Maclean), ukulele in hand and unsure of himself, drawn into the seductive world of a Studio 54-esque dance party filled with bright lights and sequins, the quintessential ‘Boogie Wonderland’, bringing us along with him like Alice down the rabbit hole.


Velvet is not a traditional narrative theatre piece, but rather a variety-show combining music, song, fabulous costumes and incredible acts of acrobatics and aerial feats, held together by the Dionysian atmosphere of classic disco and the incredible charisma of the performers. After the opening Mirko Kockenberger launched us into the spirit of evening with an wonderful character act that combined acrobatics and strip-tease, channelling a sexy and cheeky energy that provoked the audience into a near frenzy.

Fellow acrobats Emma Goh and Stephen Williams would each have their own moments to shine across the rest of the evening, with amazing aerial acts that combined both of their talents, a highlight being their S&M-themed ballet in the air. Performer Craig Reid was quite possibly the biggest scene-stealer of the night: as a short chubby man dressed in sequined lycra, he was not the traditional image of burlesque glamour. But he wowed the audiences with such stunning hula-hoop skills and an impish and utterly joyful magnetism that you couldn’t help but watch him every second.

From the moment Marcia Hines, as the disco ‘fairy godmother’ of the evening, steps onstage she completely commands the audience. She takes centre stage and tears through numbers like ‘Never Knew Love Like This Before’ and ‘It’s Raining Men’ with such authority that you want to bow down before her. Hines is backed up by two wonderful singers, Chaska Halliday and Rechelle Mansour, who dance up a storm and send chills up your spine with their vocals in their own songs.

Maclean as the young man whose journey and transformation loosely ties the show together is completely charming, with a wonderful and emotive voice that truly comes into its own during the show’s more emotional moments. His blossoming into a fabulous disco creature of the night allows him to unleash his own wild stage presence that burns just as bright as that of Hines.

A daring attempt to fuse elements of cabaret, circus and burlesque, Velvet is a massive success, creating a spectacular world that thrills at every moment and is infused with such glamour, sex and excitement that you just want to visit it again and again!

Venue: The Merlyn Theatre, Malthouse Theatre, 113 Sturt St, Southbank

Dates: 23rd March – 17th April

Bookings: Ticketmaster.com.au

Image by Daniel Linnet