Lay of the Land
19 January 2014
24 and 25 January 2014
Performance artist Tim Miller is from LA, he lived in New York for a while and spent some recent time at Monash Uni here in Melbourne. He's been performing and writing since the early 80s. His solo performances, published books and workshops explore identity as a gay man and since 1999 his political and creative focus has been on highlighting the inequality and injustices faced by same sex couples in the US.
Lowlights of Tim's story include having his National Endowment for the Arts Solo Performer Fellowship overturned, under political pressure because of the gay themes in his work, and he and his Australian-born partner's 19-year battle facing the US immigration bureaucracy as a same sex couple. Highlights include getting married on the day that same sex marriage became legal in New York City.
The Worst of Scottee
19 January 2014
to 25 January 2014
There's only four more chances to see The Worst of Scottee at Theatre Works this week. Please take one of those chances because it's a show that lets you happily laugh along at its self-effacing dark humour as it sneaks up to punch you in the gut.
There's a rare kind of silence in a theatre. The silence where there's no wiggling or searching for mints in pockets, no sneaky phone checks or whispers. It's a silence that has everyone in the audience so involved with the story on the stage that even breathing is too much of a distraction.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
The Australian Shakespeare Company
17 January 2014
Royal Botanic Gardens
to 15 March 2014
Director Glenn Elston and the Australian Shakespeare Company have been performing in gardens all over the country since 1987. Their first production of A Midsummer Night's Dream was in 1988 and they are celebrating 25 years of Shakespeare Under the Stars with a new production in Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens.
presented by Strut & Fret
15 January 2014
The Greyhound Hotel
to 19 January
The Greyhound Hotel is air conditioned, dark and has a huge bar with cold beer. And it's easy to park. As Melbourne is sweltering in the 40s, there's not much more you need to know except that The Vaudevillians is hotter than a plastic car steering wheel and cooler than a pool bar serving endless frozen margaritas.
The Vaudevillians are Kitty Witless (Jinkx Monsoon) and her husband Dr Dan Von Dandy (Major Scales). In the 1920s, they were a hit in speakeasies and burlesque stages, but on a tour to Antarctica they were frozen in an avalanche until global warming thawed them out. (The irony of opening in Australia during an insane heat wave isn't lost on them.) But on thawing, they discovered that their original songs had been stolen by pop artists and have come back to reclaim their music as it is meant to sound like.
Big Bad Wolf
Windmill Theatre, MTC
11 January 2014
Southbank Theatre, The Lawler
to 25 January
On the way to Big Bad Wolf, five-year-old Ella and I talked about what we thought it was going to be about. She thought there'd be huffing and puffing and little pigs, I thought there'd be nannas and little red hoods, and we were both worried that it might be a little bit scary.
And to read the best reviews, there's a tree in the foyer with lots of blank leaves for little critics to write and draw on. There are drawings of Wolfy and the likes of "thanks for the show", "awesome", "Wolftastic" and "I thingk Wolfy was the best". I thingk so, too.
Thank you for being a friend
Matthew Management and Neil Gooding
9 January 2014
to 18 January
Thank you for being a friend is a loving tribute to the 1980s sitcom The Golden Girls performed with puppets. If you're already singing the theme song and getting your box set off the DVD shelf, you know you have to see this.
John Frost et al
5 January 2013
Her Majesty's Theatre
to 16 March
When I was 10, Grease was my word. I knew the film soundtrack album inside out before I saw the film (at the cinema), my school-friend group called ourselves the Pink Ladies and I still have a crush on John Travolta. Sitting with other 40-something woman with similar memories, the enthusiasm of nostalgia did a lot to up our enjoyment.
First seen in the UK, this production, with its shiny new Australian cast, has been to Brisbane and Sydney on its way to Melbourne.
Touring has left it as slick as Danny's quiff and as tight as Sandy's black cat suit, and the cast seem to love every moment.
With the costumes that joyfully exaggerate the 50s style, a design of posters from the 50s and lots of fluro lights, and an onstage band who are having as much fun as the cast, there's so much that should make this Grease zoom.
But something's missing.