Saturday, April 3, 2010

Tightarse Tuesday and more Comedy Festival

Tuesday is always a good night during Comedy Festival and last Tuesday was no different. We had tickets for Tom Ballard and Tripod.

Tom Ballard was a surprise. Given the breakfast show on Triple J lacks... in general... we did not expect a lot. Pleasantly surprise to find that Tom is indeed very funny, very quick and did a very solid hour of stand-up with a pretty average audience. The opening to the show has got to be one of the highlights of the festival so far - I wont give it away in case you go to see him (you should) but it possibly involves dancing girls, leotards and some amazing choreographed dance/fight moves. What an opening! Tom shares the story of the worse thing he's ever done, with some great material in between. I would have liked to have seen a bit more audience interaction - such a double standard from me! While I hate being involved, Tom was very quick and very funny when he chatted to the audience. He had a mate sitting in the front row ("I pay him to come") who laughed like nothing I've ever seen (heard?) before. It was hilarious.

My only warning is to be careful who you take to this show. It's not one for the parents, and after seeing it with my brother, I'd suggest that siblings should probably be on that list as well.

After this we headed off to see Tripod, who we've seen many, many times before, as well as owning a few CDs and DVDs. Tripod tell the Tale of Tosswinkle the Pirate is still one of my favorite comedy shows. It's brilliant. It's been a few years since we've seen them and the last show we saw them do at Trades Hall (maybe 2-3 years ago) fell a bit flat. But a combination of a great set at the Gala (they did a song about air guitars that was genius) as well as the promise of this show being about Dungeons and Dragons (don't understand it at all, but I do love a bit of geek) tempted us back to see them this year.

And I am glad I did. Great use of an old school overhead projector led to one of the funniest shows I'd seen in a while. I still don't think it's their best material, but gosh it was funny. They had a fourth member on stage for this year's show - a young lady called Elena Stone who played the role of the Dragon (Tripod were playing Dungeons and Dragons remember?). She was AMAZING. So talented. But unfortunately, not very funny. Guys, you should have written more funny lines for her.

But the show was so great, audience participation was great and at one point I thought my brother was going to wet his pants. He said it was the best Tripod show he's ever seen. I would say second best, although the use of the projector, sheet and cutouts was genius. Great work boys.

It's a true indicator of how much I love Comedy Festival - Wednesday morning, I woke myself up because I was laughing in my sleep. LAUGHING IN MY SLEEP!!! People who know me can confirm I am in no way a morning person. In fact, what is a more common occurrence, is when I yell at someone in my dreams and wake myself up. This has to be a first for me.

Unfortunately, the laughing did not continue when I saw Colin Lane that night. It should be noted that I am a huge Lano and Woodley fan and that they were/still are my favorite comedians. But if I thought Frank's show fell a bit flat, that's nothing to Colin's show. The most disappointing part of all is that I saw his show "I'm not sure about the Music" last year at the Butterfly Club and it was great. I was so excited to see it again. I am not sure what went wrong - I know he did songs last year that he didn't include in his 2010 show, but the show I saw on Wednesday night seem to lack any real meaning or storyline, and yet it wasn't a stand-up show. It required a bit of structure, because for most of it, I was just a bit confused about what he was getting at.

There's no question that he can sing. Really well. But he ended up doing songs that were too long and not funny and I couldn't work out where they fit into his show. He did a bit of audience participation which was great - it showed that he's really clever and quick and can be funny all on his own. But it's the scripted material that fell flat. Some old jokes and material I'd seen before, but that's to be expected. To be fair, the audience were pretty terrible. He was playing at the Hi Fi Bar, which was too big and looked really empty. Tough crowd. But not a show I would recommended. I think the transition from 90 minute comedy show at a small venue, to a large, commercially advertised 60 minute show just did not work. For me, anyway.

We headed off to Justin Hamilton after this. I'd never seen him before and he was a real surprise - he did a great 60 minute set of really solid stand up, with a few really magic moments. His show is called "Idiot Man Child" which I found hilarious to begin with (I'm a bit strange ok?) and he talked generally about his life and adventures. The usual kind of thing. But he did talk pretty openly about his stint on a 'commercial radio station' and the experience of working with a 'quietly racist' colleague... I really want to know who that is and what station it was! But a great show and by the end of it, yes, I did have a bit of a crush on him! His story about social justice on a tram was one of the funniest things I've ever heard and really resonated with me - it made me so happy! I love that silver fox!

So now I am on holidays and having a break from the festival for a week or so. We have tickets for the last week, so will post some more thoughts after that. I wouldn't call these reviews. They would probably be the most shit reviews in the world.

"I'm not being racist, but can you tell me when the next tram to St Kilda leaves?"

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Super Saturday

So it's a Saturday night and I think this is the first Saturday night I've had in for about 6 months. What's more, I spent the whole day yesterday doing NOTHING. That's right, nothing for the WHOLE day, except watching half of season 3 of the West Wing. That makes a nice change from being crazy busy all day every day and only coming home for 5 or 6 hours at a time to sleep. Ah bliss. What a start to my holidays - no work for a whole 12 days. Brilliant.

This morning I started my holidays in style, by using the gift voucher I got for my birthday at Beautyologist. I love their motto - "Bringing a touch of Paris to St Kilda"

I had bought some stuff here before - they sell really amazing soy candles, but had never had treatments here. Not sure why - it's just down the road from my house and its so cute inside. Anyway, I was a very lucky girl this year and got a $200 voucher from some of my favorite people, so I took myself off this morning for a 1 hour facial, 1 hour massage and a manicure. And ended up $5 out of pocket - that's very affordable indeed.

I had two hours upstairs and loved my full body massage - the room was super comfy and the oils smelt amazing. The therapist was lovely and didn't mind that I didn't want to chat, so instead I drifted away in relax-o-land, and listened to the great music that was playing. I loved it. She moved straight onto the facial and the best part about his was that she wasn't super pushy about the products they use. They use the Dermalogica Professional range, and I already use their moisturiser and cleanser, and usually when I have a facial (at Aurora at the Prince Hotel) they really push their products and up sell to the point of a guilt trip. The therapist at Beautyologist just had a general chat with me about products and said she would make a note on my file of what they used should I want to purchase anything in the future. Very nice.

I then went downstairs for my manicure - I probably wouldn't have my nails done there again. The use OPI polishes, which are great and I love their colours, but they had a really limited range. I ended up with a dark, almost black, purple (which is what I always pick) when I really wanted to try something new. There just wasn't that much choice! I also found it a bit strange that they just sat me on a couch and did my nails in the middle of the shop - at one point another girl came in to have her eyebrows waxed and sat down on the couch next to me and they did it out in the open! Kinda cool, but not for me.

But the massage and facial were amazing and I will go back there for sure in the future. What a great start to my holidays :) Bliss.

2010 Comedy Festival Gala

My brother and I generally go to the Gala every year. It supports Oxfam, my favorite charity and I love Comedy Festival, so it's a win-win situation. This year's event was at the Palais in St Kilda (handy) and it was much of a muchness. Loads of comics doing 5 minute spots. Highlights included Andrew O'Neill, Arj Barker, Sam Simmons and Tripod. I love Tripod.

Kitty Flannigan hosted and she was pretty funny. I like her too.

Unfortunately the venue was a massive let down. It was about 35 degrees inside the theatre, so it was unbearably hot. In the TV broadcast the following week you can see the audience fanning themselves during the show - not a good look. The sound quality was also very poor - when guys like Tim Vine came out, you could hardly understand what they were saying, as it was so fuzzy and difficult to understand. A disappointing night. But left us very excited for the rest of the festival!