Sunday, April 10, 2011

Some unseen recommendations (also known as 'A show to see at around 9pm to go on a not-really-sure-if-this-is-a-date outing')

Thanks for your inquiry, anonymous friend. 

Things and shows and stuff to consider:
  • Danny Bhoy, although this adorable Scottish comedian may steal your potential date's heart and turn it from a 'maybe date' to a 'let's talk about another man and his positive attributes' sesh. Also this is a long(ish) show at 70 minutes.
  • Mark Watson, you risk running the same fate with the falling for the (this time Welsh) cuteness on stage thing but last time I saw him he talked about his wife (but not in a horrible Jeff Green kind of way) so you should be safe. 
These two are your best bet as they are safe but a little more interesting lots of the other ones who stand up and tell jokes. But if you can push the time back (or forward? which one is it? I always get confused...I'm trying to say the one that makes the time be earlier) you should just go to Pajama Men or Eddie Perfect at 8.30pm. 'Cause then there'd be little to no awkwardness you might encounter with a show called something like 'What women don't want to hear'* but they'd be radtastic and impressive.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Poet Laureate Telia Neville

The idea of writing something about this show makes me want to go an have a shower until I'm wrinkly so I don't have to do it so I never even have a chance to be uneloquent (gulp) and speel shit wrong.* Shit.

Ok. Here goes. Telia Neville is very good at words. In a real way and a funny way. Geddit? This is the type of show that has so much wordyness crammed in that you feel like you missed a whole bunch and maybe should see it again. Ah. Clever trick, Telia Neville. I see what you've done there.

The dear young Poet Laureate is an impressively complex character (which bodes well for the whole 'staying interested for one whole hour of poetry by one person' thing she's got going on). If I had known her in high school (where she is currently living) I would've been simultaneously terrified and dismissive of her. The stupid eloquent, teacher-desiring, threatening, insecure, cold and tall (yes, tall...yuck?) bitch (not really, not at all, in fact I'm not really sure why I called her a bitch there, it just seemed to fit the sentence. Sorry).

I didn't see her 2010 Gibbo-nominated show, While I'm Away, but from the reviews it seems like it had a tad more variety than this year's show. This show is not exactly my thing – I liked it but didn't love it. Or maybe I just didn't understand it. There's always that possibility.

Poet Laureate Telia Neville is playing at the Town Hall at 7.15pm until April 24.

*I'm not really sure how having a shower 'til I'm wrinkly will get me out of writing it. Also the whole idea of 'getting out of it' is stupid as this is a blog which means I can do whatever the eff I want. I'm tired.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Zoe Coombs Marr (also known as 'If she is murdered and someone steals her identity it definitely wasn't me')

This show will definitely win Barry's Golden Age Award for Incoming Pieces of Wood at the Airport*.

It's just...oh...I don't even know. Fucking great. 

She is funny in, like, a trillion different ways. She plays an achingly nerdy high schooler, is an easy, breezy, beautiful (Cover)girl with her standup, is impromptu (or is just genius at convincing the audience she's shooting from the hip) and has an incredible subtlety about her facial region. She'll hold the audience's attention without saying a word then cause an eruption of laughter from a single flick of her left eye. Yes, I noticed which eye it was. Yes, I am in love with her.

She is self-deprecating when exploring the rich and relatable territory of an awkward adolescence – whether or not any of it is true, I couldn't care less. I experienced enough adolescent awkwardness and crushing self-doubt to be enchanted by her tale. But it isn't a typical 'blah blah blah I was bullied and now I'm a swan' coming of age things. It took risks, was inventive and was delightfully bizarre in sections. Also when you enter the room Vitamin C is playing so you already know it's going to be good. 

Zoe Coombs Marr is playing at the Town Hall at 6pm until April 24. 

*She is in the same room that Claudia O'Doherty was in last  year when she won Best Newcomer so it's simple superstition science that Zoe will also yeild the same fortune.

Also, this came up when I YouTubed Zoe Coombs Marr (well acutally this was a suggestion for 'zoe coombs'). It's not her but it's pretty weird. Why would anyone bother to make this? And the music is creepy. 

Little snippets of things I loved

I saw Smart Casual perform a little tidbit at Hifi Bar and I rolly, roollly liked it. But I am a bit annoyed 'cause now I have to find time to see there show. They did a little bit of banter, sang a little bit of songs (injected with delightful pop culture references) and were all understated and beardy slash sunglassesy and guitary.

I also loved the bit when Arj Barker came on 'cause it gave me the chance to go to the toilet without missing anything new then go to the bar and get served tout suite.

Also for anyone that doesn't already know Cal Wilson has had a baby. This is funny apparently.

Doc Brown

Let's be clear: I saw Doc Brown on Saturday night. Not Dr Brown. Doc Brown = hip hop artist. Dr Brown = bearded guy sometimes wearing a sombrero outside town hall and/or riding into walls to get attention. Doc Brown = Zadie Smith's brother (how cool can one family be?! Not fair). Dr Brown =  my future husband. Doc Brown = intimidatingly cool. Dr Brown = intimidatingly cool.

Doc Brown (who I am not cool enough to have known in his musician guise) does a pretty good job of mixing excellent (phat?) rhymes with stories of a geeky childhood and unruly misspent days of indulgent fame. He drops loads of beats and dope raps (sigh, I'm sorry*) about intrinsically hilarious subject-matter such as overhead projectors and David Attenborough.

He charmed the pants off his two chosen audience interaction subjects (I presume, I'm not one of them nor did I speak to either of them. Actually, yes, I probably shouldn't have written that as though it were fact. Wait on). He seemed to charm the pants off his two chosen audience interaction subjects. No mean feat given they were women in their 50s (usually the type who seem to sit quietly and 'appreciate' the comedy. Just be a bit more vocal with your appreciation please). He is easy to watch yet not boring (at no point do I recall him making a joke about the difference between men and women). His interesting, if not always ROFLMAO worthy, tales are touchingly honest about his flaws as a human being. Which only makes him cooler.

Doc Brown is playing at the Town Hall at 9.45pm until 24 April.

*Speaking of worlds I know nothing about here is a video I find amusing.

Archibald Wheeler Whets His Whistle

Patrick Miller* of Vigilantelope fame (is fame the wrong word here? Whatever, they won a Golden Gibbo so that's a thing, right? Update: LIES! I lied to you! Sorry. The were nominated, not winning, but nom is still pretty fantastic) has been left to his own devices. The result is...astonishing. 

It starts off accessible enough with geriatric Archie (Patrick does the best old guy end-of-sentence whistle ever) singing about his tiresome wife, Mavis. Then it keeps going. Patrick transforms from Archie to Archie's son, (then to) Archie's grandson, (and) Archie's son's best mate (but don't forgot) Archie's grandson's best mate etc. etc. etc. I'm tired (but also flippin' enthralled) just watching. 

A testament to Patrick's clearly marvellous brain, the narrative somehow traverses through Fred Hollow's brother's surgery then an industrial freezer with a yak (or maybe llama, I forget), to a farcical The Castle-esque court room sequence, and finally, like any good comedy show, to a hospital for a self-embrace. Patrick deserves that hug, he is clearly giving it his all up there. 

I think that if Patrick could've some how cloned himself and played all the characters (well, he already does play them know what I mean, play them all at once kind of thing, like at the same time standing next to each other) then he would've made his director's** life more sleep-based and less awake-always-doing-comedy-things-based. But they get around this 'there only being one of Pat in the world' problem pretty smoothly. But maybe someone should give him a TV show and lots of money to make CGI versions of himself. Yes? Hello? Producer willing to take risks are you out there?

This show about one of my favourite topics of all time: intergenerational male relationships. As such I was not only laughing at the silly but also wishing to squash Archie's face with my bare hands. Oh! Also! He plays really rad songs and is totes talented on the piano and with singing and dancing even a bit too. 

Archie is playing at Trades Hall at 7pm until 10 April. 

Just to clarify, it's not this guy or this guy but this guy that I'm talking about. 
** PLUG PLUG PLUG PLUG! His director is Al Newstead of Al's Music Rant.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Santoni Cabaretoni at the Tuxedo Cat

Gah! In the words of Rebecca Black "we so excited, we we we so excited". Last night I found my Mecca. And I will fulfil God's will twice by running back there this evening.

I think the Tuxedo Cat just might become my favourite thing of the festival. It's an independent, underground (literally) and mighty fun venue. The first time I took someone there last year their comment as we were walking down the stairs was: "We're going to a show, right? You're not about to kill me...?". You can see why this thought came into their head:

But once you get inside you are welcomed into a place which celebrates innovative, independent and daring comedy. Like I said, Mecca.

Santoni Cabaretoni  is organised by the prodigious Stephanie Brotchie of Slow Clap (and possibly other people – probably Dr Brown – I'm sure you're great too). It runs every Friday and Saturday of the festival (I think). Dr Brown* hosted the laid back event which included bite-sized segments of artists including:
  • Wing Attack! – deliciously wordy, dry two man sketches
  • Zoe Coombs Marr – I am 54% jealous that I'm not her, 46% looking forward to seeing her show and 100% wanting to be her best friend
  • Sexytime! – accents, 70's costumes, brilliant characters and dance, yep, it's got it all 
  • Steve Sheehan – the girl next to me actually thought an audience member had jumped on stage and was just being hilarious.
Other acts that I don't have time to write a sentence about but were totally bodacious include Dr Professor Neal PortenzaJohn Conway and Poet Laureate Telia Neville. The 1.5 hour show had a willing, open audience and was like a mini Gala showcasing those who haven't been paid thousands of dollars to come here by the Festival Office and are doing this comedy thing for the pure love of it. And it shows. 

I gather this thing will be different every night so no guarantees on who will be on and what will happen – but that's when the funniest stuff happens, right? 

*Update: I shook hands with him. He looked me in the eye. But he didn't say "I love you". Yet. If you don't know what I'm talking about you haven't read my earlier posts so just don't even worry about it or anything. 

Jeff Green (also known as 'A show to take your Dad to')

When I asked my Dad what he wanted to see at this year's festival he said "Somebody I know". 


"Charlie Pickering?", I suggested. 


Shit. Head slap. I'd just chosen one of the most bearable visible comedians (aka someone from TV) and Dad doesn't know him. 

"What Quantock?" 

"Last time we went to him he made fun of my cardigan."

It's true. Rod did make fun of Dad's cardigan and Dad hasn't worn it since then (2008). It's a shame really 'cause I think he was rockin' the look quite well. 

So I perused the guide and made the executive decision we'd see Jeff Green. It was a full house at the Swiss Club (I really do wonder what goes on there outside of the Comedy Festival – just a whole lot of fence-sitters meeting precisely at the prearranged time to calmly eat fondue and be generally inoffensive?). 

The audience went absolutely OFF for Jeff Green. I liked the intro and outro voiceovers. He did have loads of energy though and provides good bang for your buck in terms of punchlines per second. 

If you like punchlines about the difference between men and women and parochial gags about Australians and Englishmen. There were a few moments when I got the feeling if he strayed from the aforementioned material he might be more to my taste – like when he was talking about getting stoned when his wife and son were away and how annoying kids are. This guy is clearly making lots of money though so each to their own. 

I consider it a successful outing 'cause Dad thought the show was "excellent". And Dad paid so I didn't waste my own money (on anything other the dumplings). 

Jeff Green and cheese fondue are playing at the Swiss Club at 8.15pm until April 24. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Watching Percy Fagan Sleep

If my Nonna was to make the soup of this show the ingredients would be something like this:
  • 2 cups of melodrama, roughly chopped
  • 3 litres of character-based skits*
  • 3 good looking, tall, long-haired men, finely sliced
  • a dash of dance
  • sixteen inches of narrative
  • one metric slug of  the most amazing slow motion sequence I have ever seen (reader please note: I’ve never seen the Matrix)

Think younger Pajama Men with less Pajamas, but (interestingly) more beds. These three guys impressed me heaps ‘cause their surreal jaunt had that slick, well-rehearsed feel and their commitment was undying. I laughed hardest when stuff got chaotic and messy and slightly yelly. But maybe I’m just a fan of destruction, I did, after all, pay to see 2012 at the actual cinema.

Watching Percy Fagan Sleep is playing at Eurotrash Tue–Thur, Sat and Sun at 7pm until April 10.
*I don’t think I could even count the number of characters these guys tackle. It’s like one of those jars at a school fete except imagine instead of all jelly beans every lolly is a different lolly. That’s a lot of lollies. Favourites included Ming the patronising, Oprah-loving American, mopey English backpackers and a professional performer at Sovereign Hill.

Al’s Music Rant

Watching this show made me totally jelly of Al’s obviously impressive (and totally obsessive) musical knowledge. He just has it all. Up there. I imagine all the little chunks of his knowledge (music and otherwise) swimming around in his head and every now and then two of them crash into each other. Then suddenly he’s figured out who has stolen something from other artists to create every song in their repertoire, what the Pancake parlor has to do with music and how classic songs would sound if they were abused by some of today’s “artists”.

Al is just so darned likeable and his show is a living, breathing, repeatable example of what happens when you let people do what they love. This show could have so easily have been a snarky rant (it does have 'Rant' in the title, afterall). Instead Al blesses us with characters, song, dance and isn’t afraid of embarrassing himself (particularly evidenced by one moment in the show that is car-crash can’t look away amazing).  Even though Al and I clearly have very different taste in music (I’ll have you know I love Ke$ha, Al) I still loved his show and so did the guy up the back who emphatically agreed with all of Al's music nerd commentary.

Someone I was at this show with last night said afterwards “You know it’s a good show when you can’t pick out your favourite bit ‘cause there are too many”. Hear hear!

Al’s Music Rant is playing at Eurotrash Tue–Thur, Sat and Sun at 9pm until 10 April. 

Also here is Al's blog from whence the show came.

Night one of my festival (also known as 'Reasons why you should see David O’Doherty’s show')

Last night, I saw three great shows and ate 72 great dumplings. This reads as a successful night in my opinion. Over said dumplings and pumpkin cakes one of my friends told me about her morning. This is what happened.

Being the good Brunswick-dwelller she is, she was riding to work. Seeing a red light up ahead she began to slow down and continued to do so until a turning car helped her to come to a complete stop by knocking her over. Feeling pretty shocked she looked up and got another shock when she saw David O’Dohety standing above her. David O’Doherty had run her over! As would be expected of someone who plays a miniature keyboard, he was gentle and apologetic. So much so that he insisted he drive her the rest of the way. The bike didn’t fit in the car. So David O’Doherty made my friend ride in the car with his publicist and he rode her bike to work for her. Then offered her tickets to his show.

Now if you’re not already convinced of how lovely he is, know this: the reason the car was turning is that they had seen a girl standing on a street corner looking upset and were pulling over to see if she needed help. I guess that’s what you get for trying to help people: physically harming others and an annoying uphill ride.

We should all go and see David O’Doherty’s show now. That or try to get hit by him when riding our bikes and he’ll give us free tickets.