IT'S MAGIC IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Paul Dabek — Look at me!
German Club, until March 19
He makes a goldfish appear in a wine glass, but Paul Dabek’s more likely to have you crying with laughter than mystified by his illusions.
But that doesn’t mean the magic isn’t good — he ties balloon animals behind his back and his card tricks are first class — it’s just that his irreverent, playful banter is better.
The immaculately tailored Brit combines skilful sleight of hand tricks with acerbic wit; all delivered at breakneck speed.
Fail to laugh at a gag and you’ll get roasted, while Dabek has special treats in store for audience members who make the error of following their laugh up with a groan.
But that half-laugh, half-groan is the instinctive response. Dabek’s direct, confrontational repartee with the audience is sometimes uncomfortable, but always side-splittingly funny.
JOKE - FREE SHOW IS STILL DEAD FUNNY
“I’ve done a lot of interesting things in my life, I’ve got lots of funny stories. There was the time I went to Korea on business years ago and I tried to get interviews with managers,” she said.
“I could not get one person to talk to me and I found out businesswoman translated to prostitute.”
The Lameroo-born former teacher, who rates Dame Edna Everidge as her favourite female comedian, said she decided to try her new profession after surviving a scooter accident in Adelaide about four years ago, where she was pronounced dead on the scene.
Mrs Mayer made a miraculous recovery and said her second chance at life is a “blessing”.
“I’ve had the best part of my life since the accident, I just want to have fun on stage and make people laugh,” said Mrs Mayer, who has been married to husband Rolph for 63 years.
Many of her five grandchildren and two great children will be in the audience on opening night, and Mrs Mayer has vowed to make it a “clean show”.
“So many comedians swear nowadays, I don’t like to hear it,” she said.
“I could probably match anyone in swearing, I grew up in the bush, but they all go overboard now — it’s not funny.”
Proceeds from the show, which will be on from March 11-18, go towards the Plas Prais Foundation, which helps girls in northern Cambodia.
Antimo IannellaThe Advertiser
TONYCOWARDS: DAFT PUN
Likeable UK comedian Tony Cowards' Daft Pun is an hour of puns, gags and one-liners in the Cellar of The German Club. ★★★
Cowards writes jokes for greeting cards, radio, television and major brands such as Nestle and Savanna Dry. In his 2017 stand-up show, he keeps them coming one after another.
The gags can be classified as typical “dad jokes” – they have very little build up and are barely connected, but while some fall flat, others are laugh-out-loud funny.
The cascade of puns take a break when Cowards opens up about his life. He is ruthlessly honest about his relationship, as well as being charming and relatable.
Cowards also makes an effort to get to know his audience, learning each of their names and a bit about their lives. He improvises jokes, taking requests and showing off his quick wit.
Daft Pun has many chuckle-worthy jokes and a few big laughs, but ultimately the show is likely to struggle to compete with the many other comedy offerings during Fringe.
Tony Cowards: Daft Pun is at The GC at The German Club until March 19.
Fringe Review: Miles Davis-Kind of Blue
Reviewed 19th February 2017
Miles Davis is one of the lynch-pins of jazz: he redefined the genre and brought together outstanding musicians, to play some of the seminal works of the contemporary canon. Moving through sub-genres such as “cool jazz” and “orchestral jazz”, his 1959 album Kind of Blue, saw his cross-road collaboration with pianist Bill Evans, and the birth of “modal jazz”. This is still one of the top-selling jazz albums of all time.
Recreating this historic work, on stage, is a huge task. Musical Director and bassist, Shaun Duncan has pulled together some of SA’s leading session musos in order to pull this feat off: David Theak on sax;Tom Pulford on alto sax;John McDermott on drums; Dave McEvoy on piano; and playing Miles’s own instrument-trumpet-Chris Weber.
The guys began their set with three recordings from Davis’s years with Columbia (who also released Kind of Blue): Milestones, Someday My Prince Will Come and Bye, Bye, Blackbird. These numbers got the audience warmed up and set the tone for an evening of musical perfection. They then settled into playing all five numbers from Kind of Blue.
The musicianship was unimpeachable, as was the stage presence. Weber played as though Davis’s ghost had moved into his body, and McEvoy’s exquisite piano work was both redolent of Evans, and clear testament to his own style. They held the audience from the first note and never let go. Throughout the set, photos of Davis, Evans et al were projected on the back wall, aided by perfect, unobtrusive lighting.
A standing ovation saw the boys come back for an encore, and had there not been another show coming in, they may have been forced to play several more.
The German Club is a significant venue this year, with a wealth of fantastic shows. They deserve all praise for this, but they really need to have more bar-staff on. The queue was ludicrous.
There is a distinct lack of jazz in Adelaide, and this audience was hungry for it.
Maybe the undoubted success of this gig might give a long-sighted promoter some ideas!
Reviewed by Tracey Korsten
A Woman on the Edge
Musical theatre, *** ½
Studio at The GC, until March 5
(also at Salisbury Secret Garden @ Salisbury Institute on February 27)
IT all starts with a bang.
And if that’s not enough to get your attention then Claire Dawson’s colourful character SiSi and her powerful set of lungs will surely do it.
The actor and singer brings us the tale of a woman from Liverpool, who is – while clearly musically gifted – drowning in self-doubt.
Despite this, SiSi is not afraid to show us just how crazy she is a through series of skits – performed with the help of her imaginary girl band – that showcase key periods in her life: jobs, travel, love, childhood and family.
Throw in a surprisingly entertaining – and memorable – strangling scene, some clever video aids, a couple of pop diva classics as well as some originals and you’ve got an impressive one-woman show.
Although there may have been a couple too many one-liners for my tastes, there’s no doubt Dawson knew her material and was comfortable wrangling a crowd (shout out to the magnificent bloke who, when dragged up on stage, fully embraced the moment).
We might not all get SiSi’s brand of crazy, but surely most of us can find some common ground – after all, haven’t we all questioned our abilities or felt like we didn’t fit in?
A Woman on the Edge was a funny and, at times, poignant story about a person who was “trapped on a hamster wheel of agony”.
But can SiSi find her way off?