1. It’s the only festival show featuring Melbourne musical comedy legend Rusty Berther from the Scared Weird Little Guys.
2. Diversity. The show features an eclectic mix of guys and girls, musical instruments and musical styles.
3. It’s the only festival show where you can see Elena Gabrielle from The Shuffle Show, Darren Freak, 6ft Fairy aka Melinda King, Raw Comedy state finalist Rohan Windle and Stew Walker.
4. It’s another chance to enjoy fantastic acts you may have already seen during the festival such as Claire Healy and Andy Moratis.
5. Chapel Off Chapel is a sensational venue renowned for presenting top-flight entertainment. It’s just a minute away from Chapel Street’s dining and nightlife options so you can make a night of it, and a short tram ride away from the city.
1 Night Stand: A Musical Comedy Showcase is on at Chapel off Chapel on April 2
For more Information go to the MICF Website
By Lisa Clark
Sometimes it does a Squirrel good to slip out of the Comedy section in a Fringe Festival programme. This year’s Cabaret section of Fringe boasts such wildly talented and hilarious women as Geraldine Quinn and Yanna Alana. Cabaret requires a lot of skills in a performer, who needs to be adept at all that they choose to present. Elena Gabrielle’s show Sure Sign of Love required, singing, storytelling, character work and a passion for its subject matter. Unfortunately despite her winning personality and confidence, Elena didn’t quite have the skills to pull it all off.
There were positive signs that this was going to be a show that would shamelessly celebrate astrology and have a bit of fun. Elena was wearing a fabulous dress made from bedazzled fabric covered in zodiac signs. She had spoken of her mum’s love of Astrology and described Sure Sign of Love as “A universal guide to dating the Zodiac” but somehow the show turns out to be something quite different. I got the impression that she had become disillusioned about astrology since she planned the show and it had taken a more negative turn.
The structure of the show itself was a bit of an endurance test for the audience. The bulk of the show is a warning list of all the worst traits in (specifically) males born under each star sign which she blames for her unsuccessful love life. The only interest in the list was that she did the star signs out of order, so the audience did not know which would be next. The only relief was a sudden break out in to a game show, where she changed characters briefly into a sleazy ocker game show host which went against the usual slick and smarmy type but the aim of the game was not made very clear. Was it a kind of perfect match? No, because the man and woman were asked about their own respective partners. What were the stakes and how did it fit in with the rest of the show? These were not explained, there was a sense that this was here because it was the sort of thing traditionally expected in a cabaret show.
The list itself lacks any astrological jargon that would suggest she’s done more research than looking up one shallow website and each description sort peters out instead of ending on a snappy punchline. Each starsign is accompanied by an annoying monotone voiceover guy who can only do one voice and a song from Elena (often lip-synched rather than sung) that sometimes only bears a passing connection to her description. Her closing number is a badly sung version of Age of Aquarius, which showed her weak high register. Surprisingly her strongest moment in the show is belting out a snippet of ‘Pants Around Your Feet’ by Nickelback. The performance is topped and tailed by a muddled and dismissive intro and conclusion suggesting that it is all rubbish and that Astrology only exists to screw money out of you. That’s fine but is somewhat confusing, considering all the other stuff in the show. If her plan is for the show to debunk Astrology, then more focus should have gone into it.
The thing Elena should have asked herself before planning this show was “Who is this show for?” If you are a sceptic or uninterested in Astrology then let’s face it, you are not likely to fork out money to go see it as advertised. If you do see it as a skeptic then you are going to be bored and confused with the main body of the piece that goes through aspects of every sign of the Zodiac as if it is real, and its limp half-hearted mockery at the start and at the end. If you are into Astrology you are more likely to go along but also likely to be insulted by her disparaging attitude and lack of knowledge. If you are a fan of slick, or even daggy musical comedy you’re not going to be exactly bowled over either. Sadly I can’t recommend this to comedy fans at all.
By Colin Flaherty
“1000 songs in an hour” exclaims the blurb for The Shuffle Show. I wasn’t keeping count but Elena Gabrielle and Grant Busé certainly packed a hell of a lot of popular songs into their medleys. Wrapped in a story about a visit to the Apple Store Genius Bar, with two incredibly perky sales assistants, this was Jukebox Theatre for the Attention Deficit age.
Similar to the “4 Chord Songs” gimmick, they instead cleverly tied the songs together by topic (or a passing mention of that topic) so the basic tune wasn’t necessarily the same. Our Apple Geniuses used the idea of shuffled playlists to introduce the long medleys, which for the most part were sung straight with a little bit of mugging and slapstick. They relied on the recognition factor of the numerous songs to do the the comedic heavy lifting so this was not a demonstration of musical comedy in the funny song sense.
The majority of the humour in this show came from the story surrounding the songs which included wonderfully lame puns and some gentle social satire. The characters themselves were brilliantly up-themselves to add a nice bite to the jokes but they also lapsed into some amusingly embarrassing scenarios which gave them a little more depth than just being infallible Apple Robots. There were a few moments of audience interaction but sadly these were variations of bumping and grinding against an embarrassed punter while everyone else giggled and thanked the heavens that it wasn’t them.
Gabrielle and Busé were both awesome musical performers who sold the living hell out of the songs. Busé sang and provided guitar backing using various parts of the instrument while Gabrielle belted out her vocals with gusto. They later kicked things up a notch by ditching the guitar and going to a backing track, freeing them up to get more physical. Their comic timing got the job done and both revealed that they were both unafraid to shed some clothing to look silly.
With so much music packed into this show to fulfil the 1000 songs challenge it was quite a draining experience. The pair managed to keep the energy at 11 for the whole performance which kept the audience going on the leftover adrenaline. This was a fun show for all music fans that will have you tapping your toes and chuckling in equal measure.
The Shuffle Show is on at The 86 at 7:30pm until October 4.