Banquet Room, Sat 6 Jun
Musical maestro Nigel Ubrihien and his sensational colleagues Gillian Cosgriff and Mitchell Butel star in this witty, fast paced and clever collection of songs ‘restored’ in some cases from the likes of Cyndi Lauper, Katy Perry, Queen and Blondie, along with beautiful arrangements from composers Friedrich Hollaender and Kurt Weil. A little mystery entails in the program as to what this show is about, but as with all decent performances there is more than meets the eye than what you see on the glossy pages. The bear’s head does not resurface, but the running theme of boats, displacement, the history of many refugees and different circumstances all bought neatly together in a show containing beautifully read letters and music, was extremely thought provoking.
You left the room feeling there was more to think about in the world than you may have otherwise understood – and that maybe your own views are able to be challenged and discussed further. This is by no means a politically charged performance, rather a means of presenting different ideas from a musically very sound group in a room that is comfortable, well mixed and easy to watch and listen to. It was a shame when the 70 minutes was up as we grew to love the characters and their often humorous jibes at one another.
The band were outstanding; Vanessa Tametta on the violin, Adelaide’s Alana Dawes and John McDermott on drums were a highlight and the vocals of all three main leads were seamless and beautiful. This is a show for music lovers, those with an expanded sense of humour who can understand that Tasmanians on the ferry may be considered less fortunate than others, and you get points for understanding the difference between a simile and a metaphor – and the sadness when you can only afford a cheap simile in Russia (“Your eyes are beautiful, like a beautiful pair of eyes”).
Excellent stage movement, well written, musically dynamic and intellectually challenging, this is a fabulous show which reminds us in no uncertain terms, whatever your stance – “Some of us have had to give up a lot to cross the sea. Some of us are just already here”.
My Vagabond Boat continues at Banquet Room, Adelaide Festival Centre, from 7.30pm on Sun 7 Jun.
Book at BASS on 131 246 and bass.net.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.