20 October 2009

Thomas and Friends Live on Stage

Adelaide Entertainment Centre
20 October 2009 - 1pm

Ok - I know my trend for loving all the kiddy shows is becoming quite alarming, but honestly when you go to a show and watch the innocent faces of children, and see how truly fascinated they are with what is before their eyes it is hard to not enjoy it with them.
That is what I was faced with today - a four year old who got to see one of his most favourite characters coming to life before him. Honestly when Thomas the Tank first made his 'peep peep' whistle sound, a light was triggered in my little boys face.

Thomas And Friends Live on Stage was a relatively simple production with a few background screen changes, sound effects, songs and dance - and most importantly TRAINS :-) The favourites were all there, Thomas, Percy, Gordon and James. The crew sang the songs from the Thomas television series so the children all related well to what was going on stage.
The story was typical 'Thomas' with the little engines ignoring the Fat Controllers (or Sir Topham Hat) instructions and therefore creating confusion on the island of Sodor. Of course as per usual, even though Thomas was generally the cause of the problems, it is he that saves the day and once again becomes a 'very useful engine'.

Despite the simplicity of the script, this show was extremely entertaining, for young and old and well worth seeing. If you have a child who loves trains then I would recommend without a doubt this show.
The merchandise available was generally reasonable and actually the range was very limited, which when you have children is a definate benefit so they don't spent hours umming and ahhhhing over what they want to waste their money on.
We ended up wasting our money on a spinning light that cost $20 - a bit rich and as with all these shows, the production know that all the kids want them when they see the other kids inside in the dark with them.

13 October 2009

Black Eyed Peas
Adelaide Entertainment Centre
October 10 2009 - 7:30pm

Another big event for the Adelaide Entertainment Centre and how exciting that over 8000 people packed in considering the 'Parklife 09' concert was being held at the same time in Botanic Park.

I was in the General Admission section, and perhaps should have got to the venue a little earlier, because I was probably about 10 people back from the stage. Those who know me well know that I generally like to be as close to the stage as possible - just figure I want to get my moneys worth and see the bands up close.

Well there always have to be a support act, and I guess you play to lottery to see if they are any good. 'LMFAO', was the support, I have never heard of them before and hope to never see them again - what a load of rubbish, maybe I am just getting old, but I honestly could not get into this group. Maybe it was the pants around the knees or really bad lyrics to their songs - I am not sure, but wont waste anymore blog space talking about them.

The Black Eyed Peas came on around about 8:30pm and from the moment they stepped out on stage, everyone knew this was going to be something special. With Laser lights, costumes, dancers and a terrific stage set up to keep the audience intrigued and ready to party.

The Peas started with 'Get Retarded' and played all their big hits like 'Where is the Love', 'This Generation' and 'My Hump' and of course ending the night in encore with 'Boom Boom Pow' and 'I got a feeling'. One highlight was that Fergie, Will i am, Taboo and Apl.de.ap while performing great as a group, all had a chance to perform some of their solo ventures.

While I enjoyed it all some highlights was Fergie performing her huge hits such as 'Big Girls Don't Cry' and mixed up version of all her songs from her 'Duchess' Album including 'Glamorous' and 'Fergalicious'.

Another highlight was Will.i.am playing the role of D.J. and doing music mixes with songs from artists such as Nirvana, Michael Jackson and Red Hot Chilli Peppers. He performed for probably about 20 minutes alone and I can honestly say that from where I was standing that everyone was dancing and enjoying every minute.

The Peas were fantastic, they even had all the people in the seated seats up stairs standing in their seats, dancing and enjoying every minute of the show - (I went to the Pink concert and that didn't even happen for her)!

I left the concert feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, course in the throat - I think all indicative of what you should feel after a good rock/Dance concert. Well done guys come back to Australia again soon

14 September 2009

Boom Crash Opera
with Throwaways and Fake Reality
Louisiana Tavern - Elizabeth
Friday 11 September 2009

When I heard that Boom Crash Opera was going to do some reunion shows, I thought they would be great to see and would help me to relive my 1980's and 90's experiences!

I was really surprised however when I heard that instead of the usual venues such as the Governor Hindmarsh, that at this stage their only gig in South Australia was at the Louisiana Tavern at the Elizabeth Shopping Centre. I did a bit of research and saw that the tickets were only $20 so thought - 'Hey why the hell not!'.

Tickets said that doors open at 8pm so I had no idea how long I would be waiting for any of the bands to come on - my first impression of the Tavern was that it was so small and would never be able to hold a decent crowd or sound for that matter, but after the dinner tables were removed I was quite surprised at how many people fitted in.

The first support band that came on at about 9pm was surprisingly a bunch of kids that formed the group 'Fake Reality', at first I thought that they were maybe doing a sound check but then they jumped into their performance, and at first there was some amusement from the crowd at a bunch of kids on stage, but the boys really worked the crowd and I think the atmosphere became disbelief that kids so young could be so good.

The ages of the boys were apparently about 15, but they showed maturity and professionalism of a band that has played together for years. The boys played mostly cover songs, but even came out with one of their own written pieces which was really good! It is just an assumption, but I don't think I have seen the last of this band and wish them luck for their future successes.

The next band to perform was 'The Throwaways', these guys were really entertaining, and played music like Pearl Jam and Tenacious D, they had the audience singing and dancing with them and really was a great warm up to get the patrons wanting more for when the main act was to come on.

Boom Crash Opera came on stage at nearly midnight, I must be getting really old but by this stage I was getting really tired and my feet were killing me - I guess one disadvantage of a smaller venue is that there was no where to sit unless you wanted to go outside.

Fronted by Dale Ryder the guys launched into some of their greatest hits, such as 'Best Things', 'Gimme', 'Get Out of the House' and 'Onion Skin'. As a band they were great and everyone that attended had a great time.

Not that it affected the performance too much but Dale Ryder the lead singer really did appear to be high on little more than life for this show, he did appear a little disorientated when it came to talking to the audience between songs. I guess this was easily forgiven though because he sang the songs brilliantly and has an amazing voice.

The performance by the band was very enjoyable and was a reminder of the great songs they released probably two decades ago!

17 August 2009

Adelaide Entertainment Centre
Monday, 10 August 2009 7:30pm

Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow - I am lost for words honestly at how much of a performance this show was. Some performers do concerts, this show performed by Pink was a full on stage production that had everything.

There was trapeze, dancing, singing, and more costume changes than what there was in the latest 'Sex In the City Movie'! She sang just about all of her recent hits as well as quite a few of her old ones. She sang some covers such as 'Highway to Hell', a provocative version of 'I touch Myself' and an exciting version of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' that had all of the audience singing.

Alesha Moore aka PINK, got off the stage and into the audience to give young fans hugs, she signed autographs, accepted gifts and generally seemed to have fun interacting and teasing the audience. I have been to many concerts and have not seen a performer give this much attention to the people that buy their albums.

From what I have heard she is doing over 30 shows Australia wide, and holds a record of performing to six sell out shows in Adelaide. I am told that over 9000 people have attended each of her performances and honestly from what I saw, it is no wonder why.

I have heard from friends that it appears that the Pink may not have done some of the gymnastics and trapeze that she normally does in her concerts at this show, and one of her dancers took the trapeze at the time that Pink would normally do it - but honestly I do not care, doing everything that she does must be completely physically and mentally draining, and even though she did not do some of 'her tricks', I have not left the concert feeling disappointed in the slightest.

Pink has left me begging for more, if she ever comes back to Adelaide in the future, ill be there begging for more, and in the meantime, I think I will be buying one of her DVDs as a reminder of the fun I had at this concert. Pink is absolutely brilliant, and I would recommend her shows to anyone - even an mediocre fan would enjoy this performance - GO SEE HER, SHE IS AMAZING!!!

I have posted some more photos on my facebook profile, so feel free to check them out at the following link:

16 August 2009

The Jungle Book - A Musical Tale
Barossa Arts and Convention Centre
Wednesday 5th August 11:00am

Well as promised, I bought tickets to take my son to see the Jungle Book show and I must say this time I was quite disappointed. Nothing wrong with the theatre, I am still impressed by that, but the performance itself was a bit of a let down.

When I saw Jungle book advertised, my thought was that it would contain most of the characters from the original story by Rudyard Kipling. Instead we got three characters Baloo the Bear, Mowgli, and Tabaqui the Jackal. There was no Bagheera the panther, the tiger Shere Khan or snakes monkeys or other characters of any sort.

The play told the story of Mowgli returning to the jungle from the city to meet up with Baloo who in turn wanted to go to the city to becoming a singing bear tourist attraction. I am sorry, but the scripting of Baloo was for him to try and be funny and sing and make the children laugh, but my experience was that they were all just bored and took more joy from the Jackal that only made brief appearances.

Most of the children that attended the performance were from school excursions from the local schools in the area, and really by the end of the performance the teachers were trying to control the children who were starting to become roudy. The highlight for most of the kids was when Mowgli threw out into the audience some stuffed snakes with the threat of them being venomous - the down point was the kids having to give them back as quick as they came.

Some may have enjoyed this show, but on this occasion, I am sorry to say it was money for a ticket that I wish I did not bother to spending.

26 July 2009

Time Warp
A Musical Tribute to the Rocky Horror Show
Barossa Arts & Convention Centre, Tanunda
Saturday 25th July - 8:00pm

I have never attended a function at the Barossa Arts and Convention Centre before and was a little worried at what I might be getting myself into, but I can happily say that I was more than impressed by the facilities and appearance of the theatre. Despite the freezing cold of the weather outside, it was a modern and comfortable theatre and held well the sound and lights of this performance.

Ill let you in on a little secret about myself, I am a huge 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' fan and would not be able to sit through any silly amature production of someone just singing the songs. This production far exceeded my expectations on what a tribute show should be! I was a little miffed when I heard that Adelaide was not on the touring schedule of the actual 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' current national tour, and when I came across an advert listed on www.my247.com.au for the 'Time Warp' tribute show, I thought "What the hell I'll give it a go!"

Well here is my review - I loved every second of this show, I laughed, I sang and I danced. The cast playing the characters embraced their roles and looked like they were enjoying bringing this show to the audience. This show is only touring regional South Australia, and after leaving Tanunda, they are travelling to Port Lincoln, Whyalla, Port Pirie and Noarlunga. I really believe this performance could have easily been marketed to central city locations and I am confident that with appropriate marketing, it could easily sell out quite a number of shows.

All of the hits from the original production were performed such as - 'Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch-Me', 'Dammit Janet', 'Time Warp', and 'Science Fiction'. The audience did their bit to participate with all of the usual props and costumes and the characters interacted fabulously with the audience to keep everyone entertained and laughing the whole way through the show.

My only gripe of the performance (and it is only a small one) is that the lady selling merchandise told me that the cast would come out after the performance to do photographs for $5 each - I guess this was not my lucky night because alas I waited and no performers appeared. I would of happily paid more than this for a few photos of my friends and myself in some cast photos - this could definately be a money spinner for future shows if production considered this.

At the end of the show they mentioned that the next production their production company (Event Theatre Australia) was presenting was 'Grease' and I will definately be keeping a watch out for when this comes. I will also be now be keeping check of the upcoming shows at the Convention Centre in Tanunda and may actually purchase some tickets for 'Jungle Book' which is advertised and being shown in August - stay tuned for upcoming blogs about this!!!

24 July 2009

Thomas The Tank Engine and Friends
National Railway Museum
Lipson Street, Port Adelaide
Sunday 19th July 2009
It is school holidays and what do you do in Adelaide to amuse the children? Well taking into consideration that we have no theme parks as such in the state, you save up lots of pennies and take the kids to the train museum. They have put on a special 'Thomas The Tank Engine and Friends' display to try and cash in on the parents and carers home with their children.
I have been to the train museum a number of times and find it an entertaining day with my son - he is of course train obsessed so it more than satisfies him every visit we make. I do however have a problem with the cost associated by parents just for a 'Thomas' face to be put on a train. My cost for the day was:
$18 x 2 per Adult entry fee
$2 x 10 for train rides
$4 x 2 for cup of coffee
$15 for 'Toby' train upon exiting
$1 x 2 for hand made badges
Plus other food bits to spend throughout the day - I easily spent over $100, on what should normally be a fairly cheap day out. I don't normally complain about costs and I appreciate that advertising and extra staff would mean that the National Railway Museum would have to recoup some of their costs, but seriously, make it a good day out for all - yes charge an entrance fee, that is expected, but don't charge for the train rides, kids are so excited about going on them, make the experience enjoyable for all.
Ok, I have that off my chest and will continue to point out that despite costs, we did enjoy ourselves through out the day, Sir Topham Hat was available to answer an abundance of questions by my 3 year old son, there were live performances available - I believe a puppet show called dancing monkeys and the general atmosphere was enjoyable.
Normally most of the trains are open for people to climb on, but today for some reason they were closed and were only for enjoying from afar, which was also a little disappointing.
This is an annual event, I believe held every July school holidays. My advice would be to give the school holidays Thomas event a miss and just go to the train museum on a normal weekend - there will be less crowds, the train rides will be free, you can go in and view more trains and you will save bucket loads of cash!

08 July 2009

Something on Saturday 2009
Presents Peter Pan
by Australian Classical Youth Ballet
Saturday 4th July 2009 - 12:00pm
Her Majesty's Theatre
During the colder months from May to September the Festival Theatre has sponsored some events to keep children amused on Saturdays!
Each event is very reasonably priced with this Peter Pan show only being $10 per person, so $20 for my son and I to take a little outing and to help stimulate his artistic side is money well spent if you ask me!
The total cast for this production must have exceeded over 50 dancers/performers, and the costumes and stage set up far exceeded my expectation for a once off budget show. We sat in the Dress Circle section of Her Majesty's Theatre, and they were great seats. I normally go for the stalls, however because this is a fairly small theatre the seats were perfect and we had a great view of the entire stage and cast.
The performers did not have any script to learn, they told the story of Peter Pan through dance and from the narration of Brenton Whittle and the Book Worm. It was performed wonderfully, and had enough action to keep my 4 year old amused and entertained. There were a few dance scenes that maybe went a little too long and kind of lost his attention a little bit - notably the Indian dance scene, it was good at first and I enjoyed it, but to a child went a little too long.
There is a different show on every week and various locations throughout Adelaide, so for a cheap and entertaining outing for your family, check out the following website for information to future shows:

27 May 2009

Scooby-Doo in Stage fright - Live On Stage
Her Majesty's Theatre
Saturday 23 May 2009 - 1:00pm

A classic cartoon turned stage production - well bring it on and bring more of it!!!!
Her Majesty's Theatre was a great venue for this performance, all of the kids were able to be close enough to the stage to see their favourite cartoon characters and all close enough together to make for a very loud show! My son is nearly 4 years old and had a great time at this show, he did at times get a little scared by the ghost but after some reassurement continued to laugh and enjoy every minute of the performance.

The 'Mystery Inc' team teamed up to find out and solve the mystery of a supernatural specter who was creating havoc at Daphne's uncles old Clawhammer Movie Studio. The scooby gang (who for some reason was missing Fred) went hunting for clues on the set of a scary movie......
Of course in traditional Scooby Doo style there were lots of laughs as the main characters of Scooby and Shaggy fell and fumbled there way around trying to solve the ghost mystery.
This was lovely yet simple performance which was enjoyed by children and adults of all ages!
I know it is generally the same for all children's shows, but my only gripe was the cost of merchandise. I wanted to buy my son a Scooby Doo toy but at $50 each - I thought this was way too much - think Ill now be looking in stores or on eBay to buy one at a much cheaper price! Not to be a bad parent, I bought him a light up Scooby wand which set me back $15 and a T-shirt which cost $20.
I did find online a link to a preview of the show on 'You Tube' so have a look, and if the show if touring near you, I can say my nearly 4 year old recommends it!

Phantom of the Opera
Adelaide Entertainment Centre
Wednesday 20 May 2009 - 2pm
Well what a treat, before we arrived at this performance we were told that because it was a matinee performance that the main characters were to be played by the understudies, so you can imagine my surprise when the Phantom appeared and it was the amazing 'Anthony Warlow'. The voice on that man is amazing and you could see that the role of 'Phantom' he has definitely made his own. I believe that Anthony Warlow is Australia's original 'Phantom' and has reprised his role after a successful battle with cancer (in his shoes it was previously 'Rob Guest' who died last year during his role as the Wizard of Oz in the production 'Wicked').
Ana Marina played the role of Christine and Alexander Lewis plays the charming, Raoul. Both actors bought amazing talent as did strong cast which I believe consisted of a lot of local 'Adelaidian' talent.
During interval I did hear a lot of people complaining about the venue and suggested that the Festival Theatre would have been a far better choice. I do however disagree, because if Adelaide is ever going to start pulling these types of shows, then it does need to be in a venue that can have an audience of more than 1500 patrons at a time. I was not sitting at the front, and also had people sitting in front of me, I was still able to see the stage, the faces of characters, and the amazing details on the costumes. I do feel that there are some South Australians stuck in past frame of mind and need to move past the idea that the Festival Theatre is the only place for a live theatrical performance to be held.
That being said the Phantom of the Opera performance was refreshing and definitely what this state needed! I believe that it has been booked for over 20 shows which is great effort!
My highlight of the show would have to be the masquerade ball, where the costumes and stage setting were absolutely amazing. The large stair case going up through the centre of the stage was breath taking.

20 April 2009

Model Train Show

Railshow 2009
Golden Grove Recreation and Arts Centre
17-19 April 2009

Well what do you do on a Lazy Sunday afternoon to entertain a train fanatical 3 year old, you take them to an advertised Model Train Show!
Presented by the 'S.A. Railway Modellers Association Inc', this was a display of the hard work of some dedicated model train enthusiasts. The cost to get into the show was $15 per family with part proceeds going to St John Ambulance.
The trains that were on display had amazing attention to detail. My favourite which was the Kangaroo and Cockatoo Railway. This display had hand carved people and really did resemble a small town and its logging operation. It was obvious that the builder of this model railway had spent many many hours working out the fine detail of the town and its features.
Much to the delight of my 3 year old, and to many other children, that among the exhibits was more than one 'Thomas the Tank' model train sets. Each with working trains and a good selection of the Thomas characters. Courtesy of my son, I think we spent at least an hour in front of the Thomas models, and was dragged too and fro from display to display, but always back to Thomas!
There were approximately 12 different Model Trains on display, I guess I was hoping for a little more than what there was, but it was still enough to keep a child entertained. There are a number of factors that I could think of that would keep model train owners away and that being that the Models were on display in a small venue, and the fact that the exhibitors were using their own time and risking their Models to the trust of many little (and sometimes big) enquiring hands. I think one thing lacking from the event as well was the lack of a major sponsor of the show. Perhaps if the show had sponsorship support from radio stations or television channels, this would help with advertising and promoting the event.
I am not complaining, this was a cheap event and was a good way to spend an afternoon, but I really feel that with some more support of more of the members of the SA Railway Modellers Association that this show could be huge, and a great draw card to families with little boys (or girls) obsessed by trains and tourists within the state! If the promoters were able to secure perhaps even just 5-10 more model train displays, particularly of the same amazing attention to detail as the ones on display, it could be a show not to be missed - and could even compete on a national scale.
The program lists that the next exhibition will be held on the June 2009 Long weekend, and then also at the Royal Adelaide Show, so keep a look out for model train displays near you.

01 October 2008

KungFu Panda
Westfield Shopping Centre - Tea Tree Plaza (Modbury)
October 1 - 11am

Ok, so not really an event at the Festival Theatre, but I thought it was worth a quick mention on my blog. We were shopping at Modbury today and at 11am they showed a Kungfu Panda show to entertain the kiddies during the school holidays.
It was very cute. Apart from a few audio problems, the show got the kids on their feet and had them exercising, dancing and doing KungFu moves. A much welcome relief to all the mums and dads who probably enjoyed the 30 minutes to stand back and have a little break and relax, while the kids used up some of their energy stores!
I believe that this show is being showed daily at 11am and 1pm for the remainder of the week, and is completely free, so if you are bored with nothing to do to entertain the kiddies these school holidays, it is something that will entertain them at least for a little while - the hard part is dealing with the kids at the shops after the show!

26 August 2008

The Imperial Ice Stars in:
Cinderella On Ice
Adelaide Festival Theatre
Friday 15 August 2008 - 7:30pm
This is the first 'On Ice' show that I have been to see and was not sure what to expect. I took my husband along and explained it to him as a contemporary type dance routine but the dancers are on ice skates. Not sure if that won him over but neatherless he came and enjoyed!
Well when we arrived at the Festival Theatre, I noticed the large amount of families present with their children (mostly daughters) and I must say I was glad to see parents getting their children involved in performing arts. I know I have harped on about it before, but Adelaide needs so many more people involved and supporting performing arts, that maybe the next generation will help pull us through - you never know!!!
The performance started and notably absent was any talking in the production. The story was told purely through dance, music and a little imagination.
The stage set up was amazing, and the ice skaters were absolutely brilliant. The gentleman that played the part of Cinderella's father, was lifting women probably around 50 kilos above his head and was spinning them around in the air like they were featherweights. I don't know if the skating movement made holding the women easier, but the strength and rhythm shown was truly exceptional.
The story was very cleverly done, and without giving too much away because I know that the show is still touring this wonderful country, it starts with the emotional scene of Cinderella's mother dying. With no words spoken you could feel the heart break and emotion of the cast involved. Then going into the future 10 years, you saw an adult Cinderella trying out for the lead role in 'Swan Lake', she was of course a brilliant dancer, but then enter the evil step mother, the head of the dance school who wanted her daughter to take the lead.
Of course fate have that the step sister was injured and Cinderella filled her spot only to grab the attention of the handsome prince in the audience.....the rest of course is history with the only exception to the story being that the glass slipper was replaced by a ice skate and of course fitted Cinderella perfectly.
And what can I say they all lived happily ever after.......

04 August 2008

State Library of South Australia
Tuesday 8 July 2008 - 10:00am

This was a children's play performed by the team at 'Windmill Performing Arts' and was aged at children 1-3 years.

It was based on the book 'Boom Bah!' by Phil Cummings and Nina Rycroft.

If you have never read the book, it is a simple story of Animals making noises with items from around their farm. When they all join their sounds together then 'Boom Bah' you have a farm yard band!

The actors for the performance came out dressed as a Cat, a Goat, a Rooster and a pig and in a very clever way of slow movement and sounds from their instruments captured the attention of the under 3 years old crowd - an amazing feat if you ask me, since most mums know that to hold a 2 year old's attention for more than 5 minutes is a miracle!

After cleverly telling the story the actors allowed the children to interact and play and touch the instruments used in the performance. After half an hour of sitting and taking in what they had seen the kids all got to have a little run around and learn about the sounds they had just witnessed.
This is the third 'Windmill' performance that I have taken my son too, and have once again not been disappointed. After seeing 'Cat' and 'Green Sheep' and thoroughly enjoying them all with my child, I will continue to support and attend these local productions to stimulate and enhance my child's educational advancement.
For more information on upcoming 'Windmill' children's performances check out their website at http://www.windmill.org.au/index.htm

13 May 2008


Just a quick advert - I just found a way to earn money towards Ticketek tickets. I have done about 3 surveys for Ticketek and I am already upto nearly $20 towards some free show tickets. Just thought I would share the info because free tickets are good tickets.

The link to join is below:


Dont worry the site is SPAM free, and I only receive emails when there is an available survey!


05 May 2008

Commonwealth Bank Police Tattoo
Adelaide Entertainment Centre
Sunday May 4th 2008 - 2pm
Well yes a Tattoo is a show with lots of bands and in particular lots of 'bag pipes' but was very entertaining to the mixed young and old crowd.
This show started with a traditional blessing from the Kaurna Aboriginal people who originally occupied the land that the show was held on. It was a dance from the Paula Tonkin school of dance where, one man played the didgeridoo, then 1 girl placed an offering while the boys seemed to be acting out a Kangaroo, a Kookaburra, an Emu and a Snake. It was one of the more entertaining blessings I have been privy to witness.
The show then commenced and everything about it had a wonderful Adelaide feel to it. There were performances by the Adelaide Harmony Choir, while the band played drums in the dark with glowing drum sticks - this was very clever and well harmonised.
There were local dance studios performing such as Calisthenics, Highland Dancers. With the calisthenics performing a great 'Blues Brothers' rendition (of course to keep with the Police theme).
A highlight for me was a wonderful performance from 'Todd McKenney' who is the original performer from the stage show 'Boy From Oz' (He did it before Hugh Jackman and of course after Peter Allen).
Todd performed his favourites from the stage show, and started with 'Tenterfield Saddler' and as he come out during certain segments of the show he sang 'I Go To Rio', 'Don't Cry Outloud', 'I Still Call Australia Home' and amazingly he sang 'I honestly love you' while also using Auslan sign language to sign the words along with the help of students from the 'Klemzig Primary School' - it was wonderful and very moving to watch.
As interesting and wonderful as the Tattoo was, it definately would not have been a complete show if factors in Todd's personal life had kept him performing. I personally are very glad he made it and was able to perform.
Another highlight of the day was a dance performance by the 'Polish Folklaw and Tatery', there were axes, jumping, wonderful costumes, fight scenes that were all very entertaining.
With all the pipes, drums, trumpets, bag pipes, dancers, singers, and band members, the Adelaide Police Tattoo was a wonderful demonstration of the wonderful talent that we have in South Australia, and in particular showed how multi talented our police force here is.

24 April 2008

Paradise City
Adelaide Festival Theatre
23 April 2008 - 7pm

Tonight was the opening night of the Festival Theatre’s inSPACE season 08, and it was opened by a show titled ‘Paradise City’.

This was quite a contemporary piece and was a little strange. If you are not used to modern performances you could be excused for not getting your head around this piece. In fact some people seated next to me left part way through the show, which to be honest I found extremely rude – It was only a one hour performance for goodness sake.

This performance was rather unique, in that the performers were generally street wise performers consisting of a skater boy, a b boy, a BMX rider, an acrobat, a contemporary dancer and a singer (or diva as listed on the program).

Each one of these performers was extremely talented in their own right. The B Boy name Anthony Lawang was a stand out with break-dance moves that were amazing.

Simon O’Brien who was the BMX rider showed why he was one of Australia’s number one Flatland riders. His moves and manoeuvres on his bike were well received by the audience and received extra cheers.

The singer (Diva) Inga Liljestrom had a wonderful unique yet raw voice as she sang haunting songs to create the atmosphere of the show.

The three remaining performers Peter Hona (skateboarder), Alexandra Harrison (Acrobat), and Kathryn Puie (dancer) each equally showed their talent in their field and contributed to create a different yet sensual performance.

As for the story line of the performance, well it was a little hard to nail it down to one particular story line. At first I thought it was a story about the Diva, she appeared to be conflicted and seemingly troubled with reality. I thought the other performers were highlighting the conflict in her head, demonstrating on different occasions the battle of the sexes, challenges in sexuality and general confusion.

However I spoke to the Director ‘Lee Wilson’ after the performance during Q & A, and told him my interpretation to see if I was on the correct track. He said that there was not really a set story line to the performance, and that it was a piece to outline the street awareness of performing arts. To highlight the beauty in skateboarding, BMX and b boxing etc.

I think with a ‘busy’ performance such is this one, that maybe one should not over analyse what the point of it is, that maybe one should just sit back and watch something not normally watched, and soak in the unique street culture that has engulfed our generations X, Y and Z.
To view a clip for this performance, check out youtube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=drAQiLA3Y04

Because this performance opened the inSPACE program for 2008, patrons were treated to free drinks and nibbles in the foyer of the Space Theatre after the show. The advertiser was there taking photos for the Adelaide social pages, and the performers from the show made their self’s available for questions and comments.

02 March 2008

Hughesy Goes Bananas
Thebarton Theatre
29 February 2008 - 7:30pm

Well for around $40 I got the opportunity to see one of the more well known acts of the Fringe Festival, comedian Dave Hughes. When buying these tickets I wasn't quite sure what to expect, I mean I have seen his work on television on 'The Glass House' and 'Before the Game', but I really had no idea how his stand up comedy would go in front of a usually harsh Adelaide crowd.

A lot of Dave Hughes material consisted about jokes about his marriage and things his wife has said and done - it was all very funny at her expense, hopefully she sees it all light heartedly.

He also joked about other celebrities and even bought up the media feud between himself and 'Kyle Sanderlands', he once again proclaimed that Kyle was a massive dick head and that the only thing he was sorry for was letting everyone else know that!

He outlined his TV Week Logie award for best comedy DVD, where he mentioned that he got up to make a speech and then realised that his award was presented during the advert break and that he didn't even get to do his speech on live TV. He said that after his speech he heard 'James Matherson' (presenter on Australian Idol) announce that he had won after the advert break was over. He amusingly went on to call him a "Google eyed, bug head freak". (hope that my quoting him does not create another media argument!)

Dave Hughes was amusing and often had to pause to stop him self from laughing, which kept the audience laughing with him. I did find that a few times he may have crossed the comedy line a few times, with references made to hot topics such as Heath Ledger, Christianity and the Muslim religions. When he started to make light of the death of Health Ledger, I wanted to somehow stop him and put the words back in his mouth because I think he may have lost a few of the audience members there.

Obviously when a comedy act comes to another state to perform, they research the state and areas to ensure that their material fits. In this instance, Hughesy made a lot of reference to what he perceived as the worse areas in Adelaide and made a lot of 'Elizabeth' and 'Salisbury' jokes. I kind of find all that a bit old and tiresome - I am not defending the Northern Suburbs of Adelaide, but I just find those kind of jokes a little boring.

In summary, besides those few jokes that didn't work for me, Dave Hughes was entertaining and funny and performed to what seemed a sell out crowd that all seemed to enjoy the evening.

Just to note also, warming up the crowd before Dave Hughes came on was 'Adam Rozenbachs', he is a writer for the ABC show 'Spicks and Specks'. I found him very funny and entertaining. His material consisted of jokes regarding the Olympics and general funny day to day activities.
I did a search of the fringe guide to see if he had his own Fringe show and could not find one listed. He was very funny and I personally would definately go to see him perform.

From my point of view Adam could have easily stolen the limelight as the main act if he was given more time to perform.

The Adelaide Fringe
February to March 2008
All over Adelaide!!!!

Well just to be brief, I wish I had so much more money because there are so many Adelaide Fringe Shows that I want to see, but just don't have the cash (or babysitters!) to get there! Before I start on show reviews, I just wanted to point out how amazing it is to live in Adelaide this time of year. The atmosphere on every street corner in the city is electric.

As I make my way to all the events and free shows I will add some photos just to show how alive Adelaide can be. We seem to get a bit of a bad rap from the the eastern states, but the month of March shows the rest of Australia and the World just how fun us Adelaidians can be!

For you tourists that have decided to come to our lovely state - A very big welcome to you!

26 February 2008

Clipsal 500 After party - Adelaide
22 February 2008

Well alleluia Adelaide is Alive and buzzing with festivals and car racing! It is so good to be a part of the crazy time at this time of the year.

OK I admit I am not a car racing fan and I hold no allegiance to either Ford or Holden, but I do love the fact that a V8 car race can bring 4 nights of constant concerts to my lovely state! While there were shows on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday - Friday night was the one that grabbed my attention. Powderfinger, Kiss Chasey and Expatriate were the headline acts. I unfortunately missed Powderfinger when they did the 'Across the Great Divide' concerts with Silverchair so thought that the Clipsal 500 concert was the perfect way to rectify that!

The show started just after 7pm with an Adelaide Band named 'Special Patrol' I have not heard of them before, but they have apparently been doing the band scene around Adelaide for a few years. What a great opportunity for them to be a support band and to perform and get noticed by the people of Adelaide.
Next Expatriate came on, I have seen these guys around usually as a back up but admittedly not taken too much interest. They seemed to have a genuine fan base in the crowd and performed impressively. I did not know too many of their songs but nether less was entertained by their performance.

Kiss Chasey were next up, and were great performers. They kept the growing crowds attention and sang their songs with passion and and enthusiasm that you would expect at a live out door show. Kiss Chasey I guess had the advantage of coming on just before Powderfinger - most of the audience had arrived from their spots on the track, the alcohol had kicked in and people were there for a party atmosphere and everyone really wanted to see Powderfinger.

When Powderfinger finally walked on stage you could feel the electricity in the air. These guys have a number of hit songs and they treated the audience to all of them. They encouraged the audience to participate in singing 'My Happiness' and the noise from the audience was amazing. I was near the front of the stage but wonder how far away the crowd could be heard.

The show was threatened by the rain that decided it could not hold out any longer, and seriously I did not see a single person move - a few umbrellas went up (which is a crazy thing to do with people jammed in so tight at a concert) but Bernard Fanning and his boys just kept on singing and performing as if they were playing on a summers day.

They sang all of their hits such as 'Lost and running', 'These Days', 'Love Your Way' and the climax was the encore with '(Baby Ive got you) On My Mind'. I was truly entertained by Powderfinger as was the thousands of others that got to witness a truly fantastic all Australian act. I walked away from the concert with a husky voice from too much singing and screaming but continued on till the wee hours with the fringe opening party which was also being held in the cities east end!

04 February 2008

The Other Woman
Adelaide Town Hall
Sunday 3 February 2008 - 7:30pm

Well Jazz Jazz Jazz give me lots of lovely Jazz!

Set in the back drop of the beautiful pipe organ of Adelaide Town Hall, we were presented with Deni Hines, James Morrison and their wonderfully talented big brass band.

When I heard that Deni Hines was performing Jazz, I kind of thought ok, she might also pipe out some of her pop as well, you remember hits like '(That word) L.O.V.E', I really couldnt picture her being able to pull off some Jazz songs. Not that I am much of a Jazz critic, because this was probably my first official Jazz gig.

Combined Deni and James Morrison performed songs such as 'Only Have Eyes For You', 'The Very Thought Of You', 'Its Just Too Damn Hot' and 'Someone to Watch Over Me'. All performed lovely and with such enthusiastic facial expressions from Deni.

One song that Deni and James performed that touched me was called 'Strange Fruit' by Billie Holliday. James introduced the song by proclaiming that it was a poem originally written by a Jewish teacher, who was so emotinally affected by a photo of linching of black man, penned the words to this haunting but captuvating song. Billie Holliday independantly recorded the song because no record company would allow it on their label, mostly due to the controversial nature of the lyrics. I have never heard the original version of this song, but was definatly moved by the words and emotion that Deni put into it.

This was my first performance seeing James Morrison live - I have seen him plenty of times on television, but have never really witnessed his personality. On stage he seemed like a very fun and down to earth person, he did tell a few shocker jokes but in all was very entertaining. He is obviously well known for his brilliant trumpet playing, but he proved that he is so much more than a man behind a brass instrument! He wrote the song for the show "Tired of Being the Other Woman" which was an entertaining piece, but he also gave the audience an insight into some of the technoligical advances in music. He performed on a digital trumpet, which was played like a trumpet but could make the sound of any other instrument, and he showed a keyboard that was voice activated (sorry I dont remember the technical names for these gadgets!)

James told the audience that he was an ambassador for a foundation named 'Hear the World' which was an organisation set up to raise awareness of hearing. I guess too often our senses are ignored and it is great when a celebrity gets behind these initiatives. I did what James suggested to the audience and I 'Googled' to find out more information and found the following website: http://www.hear-the-world.com/ it outlines that artists like Bryan Adams, Joss Stone, Moby and many others are also Ambassadors.
Taken from the website is this quote:
"Hear the World is an initiative by Phonak that aims to raise awareness of the topic of hearing and hearing loss and to promote good hearing all over the world. The goal of the Hear the World Initiative is to educate the general public about the importance of hearing, the social and emotional impacts and the benefits of available solutions for those with hearing loss."
Anyway to summarise the performance of "The Other Woman" it was very entertaining, and was great to see the performers all relaxed and on stage just enjoying them selves in doing what they do best. It was a lovely entertaining way to spend a Sunday evening.

21 January 2008

Miss Saigon
Adelaide Festival Theatre
5 January 2008

Well firstly I would like to point out that it is fantastic that one of the big shows has come to Adelaide. I know it is a big deal for production to decided to make the trip south, particularly when the Adelaide audience is always going to be an unpredictable audience number.
I believe that the show is still running, and I just hope that it is filling a decent number of seats for each show so that more 'big budget' shows make the decision to come to South Australia.
For this show, I bought my tickets early in the hope of securing good seats, I normally sit in the stalls at the Festival Theatre for shows, but this time I thought I would take a risk and sit in the front row of the grand circle seats, thinking that a higher position would make the effects better. This risk did not pay off, I found looking down onto the stage a little distracting, I wanted to see the expressions on the faces of the actors but really could not make it out - granted my eyesight is not perfect, but I thought B reserve tickets might be a little better. Next time I will stick to the A reserve because you certainly do get what you pay for.
As for Miss Saigon I walked into the show not having any expectations because I did not know what the story was about. I knew it was a war love story, but did not know it was about a soldier that falls in love with a Vietnam prostitute during the war. It was a lovely story, and the actors did a wonderful job at making the audience feel the pain and emotion.
Laurie Cadevida who played the lead female role of Kim had a wonderful voice and sang with true emotion that towards the end made you want to cry (in fact I did have some tears!).
Also worth a mention was Leo Tavarro Valdez - playing The Engineer, he was so entertaining - his character was funny, energetic, and enabled the audience to laugh through sections of what was a rather serious and sad story line.
David Harris who played the lead male of Chris was equally very good - and excuse me for making a comment about his looks, but how buff and handsome did he look in that army uniform!
In this production there was no skimping on set design, it was amazing how it jumped from the war scenes to bar dancing scenes in no time at all. My highlight - The helicopter, wow it really looked like the soldiers were being picked up and taken away, and with the surround sound, you could almost feel the wind of the propellers as it appeared to fly over the top of the audience.
The stage is one thing I think most people would have walked away and commented on almost immediately.
Miss Saigon was a highlight to my new year, and if I had the dollars I would go again in an instant, sit closer and see if from a new perspective. As mentioned this show is playing until 10 February 2008 and I would urge all South Australians to embrace this wonderful performance.

It is not too late to buy tickets and lots of good seats are still available (go for the Stalls or the Dress Circle - avoid the Grand Circle seats) go to http://www.bass.net.au/events/database/MISSSAIGON2007/ for more information.