What to see on the weekend? Here's Friday, Saturday and Sunday night covered.
The Von Muiznieks Family Hoedown
The Butterfly Club
Last show tonight
The Melbourne Cabaret Festival is in it's second week and The Butterfly Club is always a favourite place for a show and a drink at the hoarders-dream bar; clutter can be art.
Karin, Simon and Emma (von) Muiznieks are from Essendon, the heart of bluegrass. And as Lativan sibling bluegrass and country pop-cover bands go, there's no one like them.
If you missed that, they're a Lativan sibling bluegrass and country pop-cover band from Essendon. For reals. Beat that von Trapps, Osmonds, Jacksons and von Brady Bunch singers, who aren't real siblings so they don't count.
Singing bluegrass and country classics by the likes of Lorde, Brittney, Adele, Rhianna and Tom (Jones) with mandolin, autoharp and bass ukulele, their hoedown is so much more fun than prancing around a fountain in clothes made from curtains. Yee-ha!
The von Muiznieks have created a niche that only they can fill and are filling it with great singing, terrific playing and stories that I'd never imagined.
There's development to go but the von Muiznieks are on their way to being something that will sell out Spiegeltents. I loved them so much that I'm ready to chew me some hay, call myself a hoe and wear gingham.
Q44 theatre in Burnley
Last show on Sunday
Q44 are a new company working in an amazing converted warehouse in Richmond, which is also home to visual artists and a very old white cat.
Like Red Stitch the early years, they are an ensemble of actors working to produce the plays they want to perform.
Their second production is the 1983 play Orphans by American playwright/director/actor Lyle Kessler. The orphans are adult brothers, Phillip and Treat, living in an abandoned council flat in Philadelphia. Treat is a petty criminal and Phillip is housebound due to allergies and trusting that his brother. The fairy Godfather is Harold, a drunk with a briefcase full of stocks and bonds, who's kidnapped by Treat.
It's a bit Freud 101, but the three characters make up for any obviousness in the plot. And see it for the exceptional performances.
With a realism technique that fits the work, Ashley McKenzie (Treat), Mark Davis (Phillip) and Gareth Reeves (Harold) immerse themselves so deeply in the characters that the technique all but disappears. Engaging and real, they each create genuine fear for their character and overcome the awareness of being watched.
Keep an eye on this company.
Kevin Turner's review.
On the grace of officials
Thank you, thank you love
The Tuxedo Cat
last shows on Saturday
Maverick favourites MKA have taken over the Tuxedo Cat in the city and four new shows finish on Saturday.
All are a bit angry and are preaching to the converted, but if you're not angry about how we're treating refugees, how women are portrayed on stage and screen, and how young women can't see their own beauty then you need to see more theatre made by people who are.
I haven't seen Thank you, thank you yet, but will take an hour off from a party on Saturday night to see it.
James Jackson's reviews.