Reviewed Saturday, February 20th 2010 (continues until February 27th)
Upstage Theatre present Kaos Kabaret
Venue: Irish Club, 13-15 Carrington Street, Adelaide
Season: February20, 26 & 27 at 8pm
Tickets: $15-$20 (plus booking fees) available through FringeTix
Bookings: FringeTix 1300-FRINGE (374 643) or www.adelaidefringe.com.au
It is difficult not to sing along to the ultimate retro party playlist that makes up the Kaos Kabaret.
Local troupe, Upstage Theatre, have pieced together two 60-minute acts that feel more like a celebration than a performance.
The chronological placement of songs is a musical excursion through countless sing-a-long sensations from Puttin’ On The Ritz to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
The show is based on an earlier review arranged by Susan Oldknow under the title Let Us Entertain You, which earned two popular seasons at the Noarlunga Theatre Company. With a smaller cast, better costumes, and a bit of tweaking, Kaos Kabaret is now a tighter and funnier fare.
Violet Rowe’s outstanding costumes and wigs almost steal the show, ranging from a Wizard of Oz tribute to medieval kings and free loving hippies. The changes are so fast and so frequent that the revue is like a costume parade in itself. Oldknow’s direction ensures the show flows smoothly and without pauses however.
Oldknow and Rowe both appear on stage with John Martin, Deirdre Quinn, Mark Hallam, Julie Oldknow, Shelley Pontiac, and audience favourite Luke Baldock, whose comic timing is exquisite. Their range is extraordinary and sure to suit all tastes. Numbers include Fever, Minnie the Moocher, Greased Lightnin’ , Shake a Tail Feather, Time Warp, Viva Los Vegas, Downtown, Dancing Queen and Born to be Wild, to name but a few.
An occasional short skit pays homage to Get Smart, The Blues Brothers, Pink Panther and Batman, each segueing nicely into a song. There’s even a dancing Dalek in an amusing Doctor Who tribute.
Paul Hallam’s simple lighting design is well suited to the small venue, and Alisha Thompson on sound ensures the performers are easily heard over Mark Hallam’s full bodied music sequences.
Kaos Kabaret is one of those rare shows that you can’t help but smile at when you aren’t laughing out loud. However with interval, the lampoonery runs two and a half hours, which is slightly on the long side, particularly for a Fringe show. But with such a great line up of upbeat tunes and comedy, its biggest fault is that you can’t get up and dance while you sing along.
Review by Rod Lewis, GLAM Adelaide Arts Critic.