Sydney, Sydney Fringe Festival 2014

Alexander Vanderboom, SFF 2014

0 Comments 21 September 2014

Alexander Vanderboom is a show, a Vaudevillian event, made up of music, a little theatre, comedy, burlesque and poetry. Hosts Jim and Declan, in their purple suits and tall hats, appeared to take on a role similar to circus ringmasters, organising everyone – performers and audience members alike – and filling time between sets with their own material. It was a cosy space and Jim was a hospitable host, introducing himself to each indivudal audience member, and in turn introducing them to each other.

The first performance was instantly dramatic: Cruelo DeVil appeared in a black corsage with fishnets under ripped jeans, sporting a quiff with a silver streak. He opened with a pop song mash up, announcing this was his first world tour. Despite a series of fun numbers including ‘Colours of the Wind’, from Diney’s Pocahontas, DeVil ended on a more serious note with ‘All the Things You Are’. The success with which he carried off these songs was a testament to his great talent as a singer, and strength as an entertainer.

Carlo Ritchie’s skit built from a line provided by an audience member, “buy more potatoes.” His first few jokes were a bit of a flop, but once he had a few laughs, he really gained momentum. His story of a failed potato farm developed into a vendetta against weevils, and proceeded to educate the audience on the constitutional monarchy of potato weevils – apparently a serious threat to the human race – delivered with deadpan hilarity.

A definite highlight, music duo Scarratt Patch, both members of harmony group The Acappelicans, announced they would be playing a cover of the Dixie Chicks song ‘Sin Wagon’. They played an excerpt of ‘Sin Wagon’ from an iPhone before telling everyone they were disappointed in how the song didn’t concentrate enough on the wagon. The guys struck a good balance between comedy and music, and quickly found a good momentum. Their rendition maintained the integrity of the melody while the lyrics focused on a wagon that feasted on sinner’s souls.

Other performers of the night included James Van Wilson, postmodern striptease performer Irene Nicola, poet Tom Fishwick, and Rubee Sookee. This strange event brought together a weird and unrelated variety of performers, but the craziness worked, primarily because the group felt like a family. Alexander Vanderboom certainly is a circus.
Reviewed by Lily Mei

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This post was written by who has written 4 posts on Buzzcuts.

Lily is an editor of Vertigo Magazine and a volunteer at the Sydney Story Factory. You can find her stories on Stilts, Scum-Mag and New Matilda.

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