Thursday, March 31, 2011

Review - Ryan Coffey

Ryan Coffey likens his appearance to that of a gay Ned Kelly, but do not let that deter you. Ryan is the next wave of great Australian musical comedy. Ryan owns the stage and has complete control of his material, using a loop machine perfectly to create his own backing tracks and harmonising vocals. He has a great vocal range and moves easily from cabaret to falsetto to rock.

The material is more than just politically incorrect, it is wrong, all delivered with incredible timing and his ironic tongue planted firmly in his cheek.

Before your brain has had the chance to tell you not to laugh it is all too little too late as the laughter has already escaped your lips and your hands are clapping.

Two things let Ryan down during this show. 1. It finished all too soon, the “encore” is an absolute highlight but if the chanting of the way too small audience is anything to go by he could have easily entertained for longer. 2. The audience members (and there were more than one of them tonight) who not only offered their own commentary to Ryan’s jokes but also felt compelled to tell their own stories. Proving that his material hit the mark and was relatable I often found it hard to hear two jokes in a row. The second joke often drowned out by a rambling anecdote of the audience’s co-workers and neighbours.

A must see, his tickets will not remain so cheap or easy to obtain for long. Expect him to be selling out bigger venues in future festivals.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

MICF Review - Scared Weird Little Guys

The Scared Weird Little Guys are retiring this year so are no longer look for positive reviewer quotes to use in future promotions. Thank god, now I can say what I really think…

They say that all good things come to an end, and apparently this is also a truism for great things as The Scaredies undertake their farewell tour Enough Already. One of Australia’s best musical comedy acts call it a day. Unfortunately there farewell tour is not as long as John Farnham’s.

Regardless whether the songs are lyrically simple or musically complex they are comedically timed to perfection. This show is mainly a “greatest hits” tour with one or two new songs/variations thrown in for good measure. Fans of the duo will not be disappointed, people who are seeing them for the first time will be – because they did not discover John and Rusty earlier in life.

If it is not annoying enough that the Scaredies are great musicians and hilarious comedians they are two of the nicest guys to boot. Audiences are sure to enjoy watching (and maybe participating in) the show as much as John and Rusty appear to enjoy performing.

Do not miss the chance to say goodbye to the boys.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Oh When The Saints

Despite popular belief St Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland, not Guinness and all things green, in the same way St Valentine is remembered for marrying Christian couples when it was considered helping Christians in pagan Rome. Surprisingly he is not the Saint of slutty lingerie and overpriced heart-shaped stuffed toys.

*Spoiler alert* Children may be shocked to learn that he is not the saint of shiny wrapped gifts without batteries and clothes that do not fit. Instead he is the saint of children, sailors, fishermen, merchants, broadcasters, the falsely accused, prostitutes and repentant thieves.

Prostitutes that might explain why we all hang stockings out on Christmas eve. We all learn from our first year of life that the things inside stockings are fun to play with. Some people like Nicolas Sarkozy and Ricky Nixon will readily attest to that, which is where all of the mum’s around the world will quote Shakespeare to their children “too much of a good thing.”

St George is patron saint or the British Monarchy he is not bank. Actually considering the wealth of the royal family at a time when the English public are facing record cuts in public spending and increases in taxes, maybe St George has stayed true to his patronage throughout history.

There are hundreds of saints recognized by the Roman Catholic, Anglican and orthodox churches and each has spiritual significance to the believers as a whole and of the specific groups of which they are patron.

Not that you would guess at their significance, religious or otherwise, or their place in history by the way we celebrate. Costumes, fried food and alcohol. A reclamation of dress in one’s Sunday best to receive Holy Communion.

What is most unusual is that within the Communion of Saints there are a number of saints for whom this type of festivities would indeed be a right and proper celebration of their patronage:

Saint Adrian is the Saint of beer

Saint Amand is the Saint of brewers, barkeepers and wine makers

Saint Matthias and Martin of Tours are the Saint of alcoholism

Arnold of Soinssons is the Saint of hop-pickers and Belgium brewers

For each of these Saints drinking until one is no longer capable of remaining in an upright position would be the perfect celebration.

At this point one’s friends can then pray to the Saint of taxi drivers, Fiacre of Breuil to get them home safely using the most direct route and to not take up more in the collection plate than is duly tythed, in accordance with thy holy meter.

Talking of beer, enjoy one or two of them in the audience of my 2011 Melbourne International Comedy Festival show Freakuent Flyer