Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Tim Minchin- Back

Tim Minchin has returned to Australia and is currently on tour with his new show Back, which has been billed as "old songs, new songs, fuck you songs." Belinda, Sally and I met up tonight at the Palais Theatre where he has been doing a huge run of sold out shows. It's been eight years since I last saw Tim live, and his career has skyrocketed mainly due to his work on the play Matilda the Musical.

Tim started his set playing solo on piano and then revealed his full band a few songs in. His voice sounded amazing as he played a wide range of tracks from throughout his career. It was good to see him with his trademark wild hair, black clothes and bare feet. Along with a few rants he also provided explanations for some of his songs and what was happening in his life at the time. There was early material like "Mitsubishi Colt" and "F Sharp," and a bunch of my favorite later 2000s/early 2010s songs such as "Rock n Roll Nerd," "Prejudice," "If I Didn't Have You," "Thank You God" and "Woody Allen Jesus."

The newer songs fit right in with his previous work, which included the new single "15 Minutes," "If This Plane Goes Down," "Leaving L.A." and "Fuck," which was a huge rant against nearly everyone and everything. For the encore he played "When I Grow Up" from Matilda the Musical, and then finished the evening by gathering with the band around a single microphone to sing a brand new song. I'm glad Tim is back playing live and look forward to these new songs being released.

Here's the video for "15 Minutes"

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Rone- Empire

Rone Empire
I was fortunate enough to spend my Easter afternoon in the Dandenong Ranges to check out the latest exhibition by Rone titled Empire. For this installation he and his collaborators spent a year transforming the deserted Art Deco mansion Burnham Beeches into an immersive multi-sensory experience across the ground floor and upper level rooms.

The rooms were themed around different seasons, with the dusty Art Deco furniture and dried plants making it feel like you were walking through a bygone era. Rone painted his trademark female portraits in each room, this time using actor Lily Sullivan as his muse. The whole exhibition was so inspiring as you wandered through and experienced the beautiful rooms. I hope that when the building is turned into a luxury hotel that it retains the majority of its Art Deco charm.

Here's the trailer for the exhibition:

RONE EMPIRE - 4K full edit from Common State on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

MICF- Lazy Susan and Joel Creasey

Tonight were my final two shows of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. I started the evening at ACMI to see the UK sketch comedy duo Lazy Susan (Celeste Dring and Freya Parker) and their show Forgive Me, Mother! The minute they came out and greeted the crowd with, "Good evening, ladies and predators" I knew I would enjoy the show. They started out with a few harmless improvisation games, but woven through the hilarious sketches was the underlying threat that someone would die tonight, and Freya's increasing fear that a male audience member was after them. The threads of the various sketches, including Celeste hitting on an audience member when Freya worked to calm herself down, all culminated in a murder - but you need to see the show to find out who the victim was. This show was very well done and I highly recommend checking them out.

Next I went to the Forum for Joel Creasey's latest festival show Drink. Slay. Repeat. Joel came out onto the stage to some pyro going off at the sides of the stage. You know that Joel is going to give you all the juicy gossip from the past year in his shows, and he did not disappoint. He discussed his latest celebrity feud with the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, his encounter with Kylie Minogue at Sydney Mardi Gras, the controversy around what he said during Australia's Eurovision broadcast, and dealing with a stalker who wasn't happy with one of his tv appearances. He also told personal stories about his friends and family, including officiating a straight friend's wedding, his boyfriend's health scare, and how he dealt with the death of his nan. It was non-stop laughs throughout and Joel even cleverly did a call back to someone at the end of the show where he was able to get his ultimate revenge.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

MICF- Maria Bamford, Rhys Nicholson and Anne Edmonds

I began my Melbourne International Comedy Festival shows this evening at the Forum with Belinda to see the American comedian Maria Bamford and her show The Irrelevant Redundancy. It's been eight years since she was last in Australia, and this was my first time seeing her live. She spoke openly about her mental health issues, but her main bits were focused on her career and relationships with her family and husband as she took on their voices and worked through different scenarios from each person's point of view. The funniest bit was about her and her husband role playing solutions to problems such as having a living wage and gentrification.

Next I headed to the Victoria Hotel to see Rhys Nicholson's show Nice People Nice Things Nice Situations. In this show he talked about being the non-exciting age of 29 and that transition as you move into adulthood and can't really do things you never got around to doing as a younger person. Many of the stories he told were from his day to day life, such as his relationship with his family and fiance, and encounters with people at the dog park (which happens to be the one next to where I live). He crammed a lot into his hour long show with some very funny and inappropriate lines that were well suited to his core audience.

My final show for the evening was Anne Edmonds' What's Wrong With You? at the Melbourne Town Hall. Last year I saw Anne as her character Helen Bidou, but this year she was just herself with a strong command of the late show crowd. She was quite funny dealing with the audience, particularly a guy at the front who decided to rest his foot on the stage. She spoke about her mental health issues, particularly thinking the nearby freeway was poisoning her and what she did to heal herself. She also had a running thread throughout the show around dealing with males who don't think the rules of society apply to them, whether that be a young boy not listening to his indulging mother at a grocery store, a man with road rage about a turn lane out front of a hospital, or a guy deciding to play a ukulele at the end of a yoga class when no one asked him to.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

MICF - Dazza & Keif and Hans

Tonight I ventured down to the Malthouse Theatre for my two Melbourne International Comedy Festival shows this evening. Sean joined me for the first one, which was Dazza and Keif and their show Go Viral. We saw the duo in January at So You Think You Can Drag and were looking forward to seeing them in their own show. Dazza (Keely Windred) and Keif (Danni Ray) are desperate to become YouTube famous for their mad breakdancing skills. However, a staged breakdancing battle in a Bunnings car park doesn't quite go to plan, and they not only get defeated by a girl, but also become inadvertent feminists. The show features some hilarious dance routines to classics such as Bomfunk MC's "Freestyler" and Darude's "Sandstorm." Dazza and Keif are played with some nuance, and you end up feeling real emotion for them as they go through some ups and downs in their friendship.

My second show for the evening was cabaret star Hans with Like A German. Hans (Matt Gilbertson) has done many shows at the Adelaide Fringe and even appeared on America's Got Talent in 2018 (making it to the quarterfinals). Hans talked a bit about his experience in the States, but the majority of the show was him and his band singing songs and having lots of fun with the crowd. He did a hilarious polka style mashup of Australian rock classics on the accordion, and got two guys from the crowd to change into some sequin hot pants and vests to dance and see who was the bigger Hans fan. It was a very entertaining and fun show full of fabulous costumes and music.
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