30 November 2008

Sammy J’s Wagon of Friendship

Sammy J’s Wagon of Friendship
November 29 2008
The Speigeltent


Hail down Sammy J's Wagon of Friendship before it high-tails out of town and Sammy is forced to cut off his limbs in order to please his family for Christmas.

I first saw Sammy J early this year when he sang about shagging Brittney Spears and Germaine Greer (not at the same time). Now, after a journey through the Forest of Dreams, he’s singing about his soon-to-be wife, and not embarrassing her at all.

Every time I see Sammy, I like him more. In the course of a few months, I’ve gone from a (possibly condescending) ho-hum-to-OK to a (genuinely enthusiastic) oh-my-god-don’t-miss Sammy-J.

My cheap rhyme of OK with J was inspired by Sammy’s lyrics. Anyone who rhymes Ingrid with fingered has to be on the road to stardom - or infamy.

From his opening auction of a comic routine (a giggle won’t win, but try a chortle and see what happens) to the metaphor challenge and it’s devastating consequences, Sammy J effortlessly charms with his blend of slightly-naughty cabaret and I’m-trying-to be offensive-but I’m-just-too-nice stand-up. Even the cunt jokes are as welcome as the cute, furry shoulder-sitting mole meditation. (Not sure about the rape joke though. It needed more context to make it funny, rather than just under-grad annoying. Germaine would agree with me.)

We were expecting Sammy-J and his piano to be driving the wagon alone, but Randy (ably assisted by puppeteer Heath McIvor) insisted on a roadside hijack, decked out in a how-can-you-call-this-racists ‘Red Indian’ costume. Randy isn’t as loveable as Terry the squirrel (from the brilliant Sammy J in the Forest of Dreams), but he’s still pretty cool and the unique McIvor/J pairing is as endearing as Bert and Ernie – but with more swearing and less homoerotic undertones.

Along the way, Sammy’s wagon found Ali McGregor hitching hiking along Swanston St and offered her the guest-spot of the night (this time I loved the dress Ali), got the audience pushing when the road was a bit muddy, but failed to entice Geoffrey Rush into the cabin.

Sammy-J's Wagon of Friendship is parked at The Speigeltent until Saturday. You’ll only be disappointed if you decide not to go.

This review origianlly appeared on AussieTheatre.com.

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