Tag: Louise Goh

The Butterfly Club Presents SIMON TAYLOR DOES A WHOLE BUNCH OF COOL STUFF

He sure does

By Joana Simmons

He’s suave, he’s stellar, he’s spellbinding. He’s Simon Taylor and he is an abundance of talent and charm in his one-man show- Simon Taylor Does a Whole Bunch of Cool Stuff. Let me just say here, the title lives up to and exceeds its name in this well-structured, well-timed and well-isn’t-he-lovely show.

Simon Taylor

Opening with an epic escape act, he lights up the stage and the faces in the audience (quite a few, considering it’s a cold Tuesday night.) Simon is charming and charismatic, warming us up with some great banter, tales of his life in his new home, Los Angeles, and a trick he learned at The Magic Castle. I was the lucky one who was escorted onto the stage to pick the card, and I couldn’t believe how the magic unfolded. Card tricks aside; Simon Taylor is the Jack-of-all-trades. The things that come out of his mouth, some magic, some musical, are all delivered with skill and energy.  It’s showmanship at its best.

By about 20 minutes in, the audience is thoroughly on board and joining in the sing-a-long to Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie”, providing backing vocals, and whooping and gasping for all of Simon’s moves in all the right places. In a show like this, it’s hard not to be won over, with our host’s honest funny anecdotes and obvious enjoyment of what he’s doing. We have fun because he does. He tells us how he’s excited to be back at The Butterfly Club as it’s where he made his debut seven years ago, and the first stage he sang upon – and he’s been having lessons since. Simon was accompanied by Louise Goh and even played himsel:, vocally the notes were there, though I can’t wait to hear the resonance and fullness as his voice continues to develop.

The US is extremely lucky to have an export who is the whole package. With magic, music, stories and funnies; Simon Taylor Does A Whole Bunch of Cool Stuff is a show you could take anyone to and they will love it. Hell, you can even go by yourself because by the end of it you’ll feel like you, Simon and the audience are a bunch of mates, sharing this incredible experience that’s a live entertainment extravaganza. It’s on till Sunday, book today.

Date: 7th of August, 2016

Time:8:30pm

Location: The Butterfly Club, Carson Place, Off Little Collins Street, Melbourne

Price: From $25­

Bookings: TheButterflyClub.com

REVIEW: Yana Alana is COVERED

Captivating as ever

By Bradley Storer

Cabaret provocateur Yana Alana, the alter-ego of performer Sarah Ward, emerged from behind a scrim after her opening number, fully clothed – which she noted was a rarity after touring her critically acclaimed show Between the Cracks for the last three years, where she appeared completely nude. Here she was for the 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival cheekily taking her show title Covered in both the literal and figurative sense, with no nudity as she only sang the songs of other artists, backed up by the multi-talented members of her band The Piranas, Louise Goh and Bec Matthews.

Yana Alana is COVERED

Even when singing the words of others, Yana Alana remains a fiercely individualistic and ruthlessly entertaining performer, bringing her unique interpretations to the works of Tom Waits, James Shelton, Puccini and even Beyonce, her incredible voice scaling from a Bassey-sized belt to an operatic soprano. From trying (and spectacularly failing) to achieve complicated dance moves to running screaming offstage from one end of the venue to the other, Alana is utterly and wonderfully shameless in her pursuit to entertain.

If anything, Covered is light on Alana’s usual repertoire of political and cultural satire and self-loathing narcissism, choosing instead to use the out-of-context lyrics from various songs as segues between sections. This can feel a little toothless compared to the usual ferocity of her work, but the level of artistry and craft present means she is, as always, completely compelling and absolutely unmissable.

Dates: 29th September – 3rd October
Time: 8:30pm
Venue: Main Theatre, Lithuanian Club, 44 Errol St, North Melbourne.
Tickets: Full $35, Concession $25, Cheap Tuesday $15
Bookings: www.melbournefringe.com.au, (03) 9660 9666, at the door.

REVIEW: Yana Alana is BETWEEN THE CRACKS

Once in a blue moon

By Bradley Storer

Yana Alana, the internationally renowned self-proclaimed ‘cabaret provocateur’, returns to fortyfivedownstairs for a second season of her Helpmann Award-winning show Between the Cracks. The title of the show proves to be literal as well as metaphorical, as the cabaret diva (the alter-ego of performer Sarah Ward) emerges into the spotlight clothed in a coat of blue body paint, a dishevelled Marie Antoinette-worthy wig and nothing else.

Between the Cracks

Yana Alana is a narcissistic, self-absorbed and utterly irresistible creation, her feline grin and razor-sharp tongue making her seem (even completely naked) the most confident person in the world. Her vocals are perfection, ranging from a high classical soprano to a ballsy and bluesy belt in her lower range. Her accompanist, Louise Goh, provides the silent straight man to the flamboyant Yana, getting some of the biggest laughs of the night without moving a muscle.

The show itself, seemingly centred on the eternally self-involved Yana’s attempts at self-improvement, deliberately (and hilariously) pushes at the boundaries of acceptability, with songs on topics ranging from anal sex to the inability of celebrities and political figures to say the word ‘sorry’. Scattered throughout are chapters from Yana’s self-help book (whose name is unprintable here) and her witty and winning self-penned poetry. The journey to the show’s surprisingly touching ending, while making sense on an emotional level, is hard to trace intellectually, which makes one wonder if the show has a point or purpose at all – although with a star as charismatic as this, it hardly matters.

Don’t miss out on the return season of this ferociously talented, endlessly provocative and unquestionably hilarious cabaret performer!

Venue: fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
Time: 7:30pm Tuesday- Saturday, 3pm Sunday
Dates: 16 – 21st December
Tickets: Table Seating $45, Full $42, Conc $35
Bookings: Online at www.fortyfivedownstairs.com, Phone: (03) 9662 9966