Posts tagged REview
Posts tagged REview
Ben Hurley presented a night of new talent from New Zealand last night at the Loft at Q Theatre.
Unfortunately the room was not full but those of us that were there were up for a laugh, and for supporting up and coming comedy.
Ben Hurley is a seasoned performer so he is at ease both on the stage, and with chatting to the audience, which included a chat with with me! After a short warm up he introduced the first new act of the night.
There were four comedians on, the first of which was Sanjay Patel whose dead pan delivery had everyone giggling. Unfortunately as a newbie to NZ I missed some of the pop culture references but I enjoyed his on stage persona and slightly surreal subject matter. Sanjay has a show at the festival called At Last The 2011 Show on until 5 May at Brooklyn Bar.
Next up was the youngest comedian I think I have ever seen, just turned 18 Lewis Dean was confident and had some good material and stage demeanour. I am sure he will go from stretch to strength and get over the stigma of being a comedian who likes Hamilton.
Following Lewis was Pax, a naturally comedic person who used his body movements and physicalities in his act to make us laugh which included some tips on how to get out of a fight by looking a bit ‘rapey’.
Finally Guy Williams, our last comedian, was on stage. He worked his slightly geeky image well and was my favourite of the night. I found him to be clever and original mixing excellently delivered jokes with more random visual ones.
He is confident on stage and of his material, which came effortlessly from his lacklustre attempt at audience interaction, comments on moving to Auckland and understanding the global financial crises through the extortionate price of cheese. I definitely wanted to see more from him.
Luckily for me, and everyone else, Guy also has his own show at the festival called On the Verge of Nothing 14 - 19 May at The Classic.
Ben Hurley will be presenting another New Faces on Sat 5 May and will also be performing in a show with 7 Days co-star Steve Wrigley - Live & Unleashed 15 - 19 May at Q Theatre.
This show was part of the NZ International Comedy Festival.
Jersey Boys, the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, has landed in Auckland. This Tony Award winning musical is currently running at The Civic Theatre and is a must see.
I was so excited about watching this show not only as a fan of the music but also as it’s such a hugely acclaimed production. One of the reasons Jersey Boys has been so successful was the lack of general knowledge around the group, and their lives, so it is a fresh tale for all, as well as having the authenticity of a real story with all the twists and turns that life brings.
The story is dramatised through a documentary style of character narration, and of course their well-known hits, from the formation, rise and indeed fall of the original four members of The Four Seasons - Tommy DeVito (Anthony Harkin), Bob Gaudi (Declan Egan), Nick Massi (Glaston Toft) and Frankie Valli (in this performance played by Graham Foote).
The show kicks off with New Zealand’s own Vince Harder performing “Ces soirées-là” the adapted French Version of ‘Oh What a Night’ released in 2000, which became one of France’s bestselling singles of all time.
Our first narrator for the night is Tommy DeVito (Anthony Harkin) and he is a loveable Jersey bad boy who discovers Frankie and takes him under his wing beginning the Jersey Boys journey. Each of the members of the group gets their turn to narrate and all add their own perspective and personality in to the piece. I definitely had a soft spot for Tommy , the man who Nick Massi later refers to as ‘not properly socialised’, Anthony’s performance is fantastic and full of energy and emotion.
This show is incredibly funny and quick witted and the colourful language aids this but is never offensive or gratuitous. Some other adult themes are shown which is why this show is advised for 12 years and over. There are some great comedy moments from producer Bob Crew, played by Michael Griffiths, and many quotable one liners too.
Glaston Toft, Graham Foote, Declan Egan and Anthony Harkin
The hits are used to both experience a live Four Seasons performance and to help narrate and express the emotions of the story, which was especially notable for ‘My Eyes Adored You’ and ‘Bye Bye Baby’. You will be in awe of how many great songs these guys had and all the big hits feature including; ‘Who Loves You’ ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ ‘Sherry’ and ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ to name a few.
The first thing you will notice off stage is the audience will sing, clap and foot tap throughout the show, in fact I dare you not to. If you think you don’t know the music of the Four Seasons then this show will prove you wrong. This show is also a great one for people who may not normally go to the theatre.
The pace of the show is phenomenal and is made possible by the simple, but effective set. The clever scene changes are so smooth and swift that you are never distracted from the action, as they are done while the spotlight is on the character narrating. I loved the use of big bright signs and large pop art screens as the changing backdrop of the set.
My favourite set changes where when we were transported to the Four Seasons live gigs or Television performances, it’s just amazing how much atmosphere they can create resulting in woops and cheers from the audience. The dance routines were spot on and perfectly synced.
Declan Egan, Graham Foote, Anthony Harkin and Glaston Toft
Of course I must mention the singing. There is not enough praise for how great these guys are as performers. Graham Foote as Frankie did an extraordinary job throughout and especially in the second half where he has number after number and all note perfect, not to mention his perfect mimicry of Frankie’s unique voice. This is an extremely demanding show for all so the cast deserve the many rounds of applause, whistles and cheers that we gave them. You will live, breath and sing along with this story.
As I left the theatre singing and smiling I really could find no fault in this show. The fact that it’s around the true life stories of these four blue-collar men from Jersey and the sex, drugs and rock n’ roll of their amazing journey to success, with authentic Jersey language too, really makes it the ‘Goodfellas’ of Musical Theatre (especially with Joe Pesci as one of its producers!).
For more information and to book tickets go to http://www.jerseyboysnz.co.nz/index.html
Ugly Duckling are a 3 piece Hip Hop act from Long Beach California who have been together for almost 20 years. Last night they landed in Nottingham at the intimate venue The Bodega Social Club to perform their crowd pleasing live set!
Ugly Duckling are Dizzy Dustin, Andy Cooper and Young Einstein who have fantastic stage presence and can charm their audience with ease.
This European Tour is in support of their new Album release ‘Moving at Breakneck Speed’
The venue is relatively small but has a great sound system and well stocked selection of cider! The ‘opening act’ (UD in joke) were the Austin Francis Connection another 3 piece, but this one’s British, so British they rap about cups of tea, Marmite and Ginger Pride!
They describe their music as acoustic Hip Hop which is provided by Jack ‘Hobbit’ Hobbs human beatbox, Edi Johnston, Vocals and Mike Finney on guitar. They were able to win over the audience easily with their talent and showmanship demonstrating great audience interaction allowing for laughs, dancing and the chance to shout ‘Ginger’ at strangers. The perfect warm up act for Ugly Duckling.
Ugly Duckling took to the stage at around 9pm to a packed out venue playing a set of both new and old favourites to a loyal audience who hung on their every word. You don’t just watch this group you have to participate to which the audience did with gusto.(I did worry for the safety of the punters below) If you have been to a Ugly Duckling gig before you will expect certain events to happen, as some reading this may not know these I won’t spoil the surprise here, but suffice it to say you wont be disappointed.
The best thing about Ugly Duckling is that although they have a strong and loyal fan base, you can go to their gig never having heard one of their tracks and leave the gig singing their lyrics.
For more information in their tour go to www.uglyduckling.us