Archive for the ‘Music & Theatre’ Category

“Tell them what the Internet is fooooor…”

I took my wife to the Comedy Theatre yesterday for a matinee performance of Broadway’s multi-award winning Avenue Q. Growing up in the early to mid 80s (guess that kinda pegs my age into a certain age group!) to the regular introduction of letters and numbers of Sesame Street, it was great to relive something days long gone in the flesh.

Of course, nobody in the audience was expecting anything as tame as the PBS show, so we knew what we were getting ourselves in for. It is the most extraordinary show I’ve ever seen. Who knew puppets could be so funny and touching? Few people would have the chance of experiencing a quality Broadway performance in their lifetime and I’m glad had a chance to say they’ve definitely destroyed my cutesy image of puppets! It’s Sesame Street meets South Park! I won’t give anymore away! It’s so good I feel like double clicking on my mouse……..

The Avenue Q team plays in Melbourne for another week before moving to other parts of Australia. Tickets are very affordable and have been reduced to $49.90 (except Saturdays) and I highly recommend it with your family or date or just friends wanting a good time. Just make sure they’re of ‘mature’ age!

EDIT: I just realised Neil’s previous post has a picture of Lucy the Slut. How’s that for unwitting advertisement placement?

Image from

Ad Placement WIN

Herald Sun Avenue Q Ad

Spotted this great ad placement in today’s Herald Sun.

Next Wave Festival


Running until the 31st of May is The Next Wave Festival. The festival celebrates the “next wave” of young artists displaying their works throughout public spaces in the CBD. By works it could mean art or some kind of dance or anything in between. There is 2020?, a display of industrial waste destined for landfill. Open Embrace invites the viewer to experience the tango from the perspective of the dancer. One more to my taste is Pennies & Pints, a large-scale poster that brings to life the many maps, near misses, and apocalyptic moments of Fitzroy’s history.


Next Wave Festival

Post-History Boys

Last week or so, I posted an entry about The History Boys. I went and actually saw the show last night, so I can appraise it a bit better now.

The play itself is really, really strong – it’s much better than the screenplay for the film. The direction was lacking a bit in this production, however. The reviews I read said that it started to drag in the second act, but really the performance last night never really crackled. The dialogue needs to be fast and spontaneous, and it just never really got there. The guy playing the headmaster was just shocking; he played every scene for laughs and conspicuously detracted from several key moments. The space itself seemed too large for such an intimate show.

So, I will say that I enjoyed the play as a whole. However, given the choice again, I would probably save the money and just go see the original cast in the film, now playing at the Nova.

History Boys

12888a.jpgThe History Boys is on at the Arts Centre Playhouse. It’s a great play, though the review in The Age says this production drags on a bit. It was made into a film as well (not sure if it made it across the overly large pond), but it’s such an intimate play that it’s best to see it live.

Here’s the blurb:

An unruly bunch of bright, funny sixth-form (or senior) boys in a British boys’ school are in pursuit of sex, sport, and a place at a good university, generally in that order. In all their efforts, they are helped and hindered, enlightened and bemused, by a maverick English teacher who seeks to broaden their horizons in sometimes undefined ways, and a young history teacher who questions the methods, as well as the aim, of their schooling.

The best bit is that if you’re under 28 tickets are only 27.50 instead of 68.90. There must be some confusion because the rate for under 26, pensioners, and unemployed is $60, which makes no sense. Anyway, if you’re in the ever-expanding definition of ‘youth’ (30 is the new 20!) then you should definitely go see it. The cheap tickets are only on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

I don’t know what the AU cast is going to be like, but the writing of the play makes it worth the ticket price. Cheap theatre is great!

The History Boys runs through 12 May.

Ticketmaster (though you may be able to buy tickets at the venue)

Le Cirque du Soleil in Melbourne

The Cirque du Soleil is in Melbourne! This time round, they are presenting their Varekai tour. I have seen this one before, in another country and I must say, it is quite spectacular. Enough to tempt me to buy a DVD of its performance.

It is a once in a blue moon experience. If you haven’t seen a performance by the cirque du soleil team, it is worth watching at least once. Their performances started yesterday and will continue til the 3rd of June 2007, before heading west to Adelaide.

Puppet Up! Uncensored

Puppet Up! Uncensored is the most advertised show in the Comedy Festival which is probably why the tickets go from about $50-$70. I can’t make heads or tails of The Age’s review of the show (or any other shows).

Anytime I laugh so much that I cry is a sign that the show is funny.

  • Audience laughed throughout the entire show.
  • Puppets Uncensored= Muppets plus Who’s Line is It Anyway?. Or in other words its an improv puppet show requiring audience ideas for sketches.
  • The host, Patrick Bristow (not a puppet) looks like Adam Savage from Mythbusters.
  • The Princes Theatre is not too big and most of the show you are looking between TV screens and the stage. Getting the cheap seats in this case wouldn’t affect the show.
  • Brian Henson, son of the late Jim Henson, is one of the puppeteer/comedians in the show.

Puppet Up! Website
Comedy Festival: Puppet Up!

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Comedy Festival ’07 on a late Friday Night

Was one of those evening when I found the luxury of a Friday evening complete with nothing to do. Sauntered across to Trades Hall and checked out a couple of shows. Had a barrel of laughs and thought it’s worth a share with readers. The Burlesque Idol (right) had a little bit of everything you’d expect from a burlesque, bad Australian Idol Kyle Sandiland judging and rude men jokes. It’s well worth the money to check out the various dance forms that, in my opinion are forgotten and rarely seen in modern theater. The nudity was in good taste, and is hardly offensive. Recommended.

Comedy Festival Roulette

It’s that time again for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (April 4-29). Every year, people go through the list of hundreds of comedians and shows to find a bit of laughter. Just like a game of chance, you can see some great shows and some that just stink. Generally, going to the small shows with unknown comedians is part of the fun of the comedy festival but if you want some good laughs here is a short list compiled from memory and the internet.

Shows to see:

Daniel Kitson (Seen his show twice, weird looking guy, intelligent stand up comedy.)
Jim Henson’s Puppet Up
(Expensive ($60) but has received good reviews, think Muppets gone Wild)
Danny Bhoy
Ross Noble
Stephen K Amos

RocKwiz (Usually filmed in The Espy, it will be taped at the Forum Theatre. RocKwiz is a funny rock trivia show on SBS.)
Dylan Moran
Adam Hills
The Comedy Festival Gala
(Expensive but this is the taped show that will show on Channel 10. Features many comedians.)

You either love em or hate em:

Wil Anderson (From the Glass House)
Dave Hughes
(From Holden & Carlton ads, footy, and a whole bunch of other things. Ask yourself, Can you sit through 1 hour of hearing his voice?)

Best Value: The After Party at the Exford Hotel, after 11PM is free comedy. Random comics come in and do standup sets. Very intimate setting although the Exford is generally a dive bar (open all night).

Post any shows that you love/hate below.

Compiled from memory and Whirlpool.
Picture from Wcities.

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Crystal perfect…

Went to see Billy Crystal on Sunday – was absolutely awesome! 700 Sundays is direct from Broadway (they asked Crystal where he wanted to take the show – he could have gone anywhere – but he chose Australia because he loved his visit in 94′) and it deals with the death of his father when Crystal was 15. It’s title came from the amount of Sundays (the day his father had off to hang out with him and his older brothers) Crystal worked out he had with his father.
The first half is VERY funny with Crystal describing the attributes of his eccentric Jewish family. The second deals with how his father died, and the burden he had to carry around with him afterwards.
The thing that was so extrodinary was Crystal was up there by himself for 2hrs and 40 mins (with a 20mins intermissing between) with only the outside of a house as a backdrop (he showed pictures of his family on the houses windows) – and he made everyone tear up one minute, and pissing themselves laughing the next. AND I wasn’t bored or distracted once – and it takes a bit to hold my attention folks!
He plays at the State Theatre till the 4th of March. Go to for details!

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