Presented by Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker
Reviewed 23 October 2019
Bright colours, flashing lights, flying balloons, bouncing cheerleading pom-poms, large soft toys, outrageous makeup and more! Totes Adorbs ❤ Hurricane is a vibrant, in-your-face theatrical experience that brings the zaniness of Japan to the very lap of Adelaide audiences, but be prepared – you will get wet!
After removing their footwear and hesitantly popping on a large plastic poncho, audience members are ushered into what looks like the behind-the-scenes of a Japanese game show. With giant screens behind the stage covered in whizzing colourful moving images and Japanese characters, guests await the beginning of the hurricane that is Totes Adorbs.
Attending Totes Adorbs ❤ Hurricane is like stepping into the colourful, zany, loud (and apparently wet) world of Japanese television/gameshows that would normally only be observed at a distance through a TV screen. The 25 performers, who somehow manage to not fall over each other among the chaos, enter the stage dressed in outfits including school uniforms reminiscent of Sailor Moon, Chewbacca costumes, large rugby helmets, rainbow knee-hi socks and black clothes covered in flashing neon lights.
As J-pop booms in the background, almost straight away actors invade the seats of the audience while water, tofu, confetti, glitter, wakame and glue sticks are all projected from the stage into the crowd in what is outrageously ridiculous fun. While the music transforms from songs like Macho Man by The Village People to indiscriminate sounds (there are over 50 remixed songs in the one music track) the 25 actors get together on stage to perform impressively choreographed chaotic dances as the audience bounces around in their seats. The energy of the cast is overwhelmingly contagious.
Although there is no prominent narrative that appears to guide the show, the themes of super fandoms, J-pop and celebrity worship (known as Otaku fan culture) are noticeable. At some points actors put on large masks of what is presumed to be popular Japanese celebrities while those on stage cheer them on. Behind this action, the screens present images of manga characters and other presumed celebrities which fly across the screen.
Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker comes from Tokyo’s well-known underground scene of the famous Harajuku district (which explains a lot) and this is their second time in Adelaide after previously performing in 2015. The group is orchestrated by Tokyo-based pop-idol and artist, Toco Nikaido, who demonstrates the easy over-consumption of today’s society, overloaded with disposable items, which, quite like the images and words on the screens, are there one second and gone the next.
Although probably not for those who tend to steer clear of interactive theatre, Totes Adorbs ❤ Hurricane is a true hurricane of exciting Harajuku chaos that will delight and excite audience members who will leave the show feeling like they’ve been hit in the face with a high-volume explosion of colourful Japanese craziness (in a good way).
Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Rating out of 5: 4
Venue: Nexus Arts, Lion Arts Centre, North Terrace, Adelaide, 5000
Season: 23 – 27 October 2019
Duration: 45 mins
Tickets: $30 – $45