Friday, March 25, 2011

"This Ain't No Tea Party," a political cabaret, cleverly skewers the right wing

“This Ain’t No Tea Party,” a political cabaret, cleverly skewers the right wing

By Lucy Komisar

Jamie Jackson’s musical satire is the funniest political skit I’ve heard in years and is a highlight of “This Ain’t No Tea Party!” Jackson, who played one of the multi-characters in the demanding and hilarious “The 39 Steps” Off-Broadway last year, is a compleat actor. He was one of six performers at this political cabaret sponsored by “Laughing Liberally,” which promotes progressive politics.

Jamie Jackson as Lady Margo Barnsely Farnsworth

In a plumy British accent, popping eyes and a beige box suit and pearls, Jackson is Lady Margo Barnsley Farnsworth who has moved to the U.S. from England where she went to a lot of tea parties. She finds herself at the U.S. variety and makes herself popular by playing little ditties, such as “We know that God is on our side/ helping us from heaven/ ‘cause he gave us each a Bible and/ An AK47.”

But my favorite, which will certainly become a classic, is “Guns don’t kill people/ It’s people kill people/ And guns are what stop people/ Shooting people with their guns./ If there weren’t so many guns/ Then more people would shoot people/ Cause they wouldn’t have a gun/ To shoot the people who have guns.”

Lady Margo declares, “It makes so much sense now that Tank [a gun-toting tea-bagger] explained it to me. And I thought, why stop at guns?”

“It’s wonderful logic! So, let’s keep going!” Lady Margo declares, substituting Anthrax and bombs and then, “Wars don’t kill people/ It’s people kill people/ And war is what stops people/ Making more war than you./ If there wasn’t so much war/ Then there’d be a lot more war/ Cause you couldn’t have a war/ To stop the people who have – guns.”

Brilliant logic worthy of a tea-bagger, or most NRA groupies in Congress and out.

Dean Obeidallah

As timely as Jackson (who, alas, is ever timely), was Dean Obeidallah, a very funny laid-back stand-up comedian who does the Arab shtick and has performed extensively on U.S. TV and abroad. With a Palestinian father and Sicilian mother, he has insights into both tribes. For example, the difference between the Mafia and Al Qaeda is that Sicilians will deny responsibility for what they do.

Or “You see four Arabs getting on a plane. You might go to the black guy you used to be afraid of!”

He declares, “I am totally immune to identify theft. I have a friend named Osama. He could leave his credit card in a crack house….” Or, if an Arab gets ripped off, he would complain, “Someone stole my credit card. They’re buying pork and alcohol!”

Jim David

Equally sophisticated was Jim David, who has appeared widely on TV, has a smooth punchy delivery and gives a clever twist to current gripes and attitudes. For example, attacks on immigrants who come to take our jobs: “What jobs?” he inquires. “They have all gone offshore.”

I liked the bit in which he screams at an automated airline agent, who replies in a modulated voice, “I’m sorry I did not quite get that.”

And (the joke’s on us): “Every couple of years ordinary Americans go to the polls to pick who will represent the rich and powerful.”

In between the acts were brief videos, including a good one about Somalia where there is no functioning government. “Libertarian Paradise” shouts the print. And a voice-over declares, “Government isn’t the solution to the problem. Government is the problem. Now you have cholera!”

Ridiculing the right wing ought to be (pardon the metaphor) like shooting ducks in a barrel. There were six performers in the show, but the other three were rather pedestrian. Maybe Jewish and black-based acts have been done so long that they don’t seem fresh. Or maybe the material I heard was just stale to start with. There are 14 rotating comics in the production, and six to eight appear at each performance. With luck and planning, you’ll hit some good ones.

“This Ain’t No Tea Party.” Written and performed by Jamie Jackson, “Guns Don’t Kill People;” Dean ObeidallahJim David and others; directed by Justin Krebs. Midtown Theater, 163 West 46th Street, New York, NY. 212 967-7079. Drinks and snacks. Opened March 24, 2011; closes May 22, 2011. Laughing Liberally, a project of Living Liberally.






Tuesday, March 22, 2011

[Theaterreviews] closing in a month, review American Idiot


“American Idiot” plumbs angst among youths with no politics or vision »

By Lucy Komisar

“American Idiot” plumbs angst among youths with no politics or vision

This vibrant rock production about youthful rebellion in the face of a fraudulent society is in the tradition of "Hair." But it's not "Hair" with the memorable tunes that we still remember decade later; it's more like MTV. Fast, often driving, and the kind of...

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Monday, March 21, 2011




A Musical Comedy

The Australian show that makes ordinary women feel extraordinary

Returns to the UK due to popular demand!



Busting Out! is back! Follow its hugely successful Edinburgh Fringe season and subsequent tour of the UK last year the hilarious Australian show that puts women's assets at centre stage will be baring all again for a major UK tour.


You can see the show in all its glory when it comes toStoke-on-Trent's Victoria Hall on Tuesday 12 April at 7.30pm.


Already seen by over 300,000 people in Australia, New Zealand and the UK this is the show that'..celebrates women's bodies and more specifically, boobs; in all their glory, with creativity, warmth, and in-your-face cheeky humour.' (Edinburgh Spotlight). 


Writer and performer Emma Powell plus comedian Bev Killick are returning for a second UK tour and this time they are bringing a bosom buddy, the hugely talented Yorkshire lass,Mandi Lodge

But the audience also play a vital role in the proceedings (by appearing on a large on-stage screen and often actually on stage) which threatens, on occasions, to turn the entire theatre into an utterly disorderly house! The up-front and out-there breast-based contortions are intercut with rousing song and dance sequences, hilarious sketches, a shadow play and brilliant stand-up comedy.

Emma's career has been a glittering one in Musical Theatre (she played Rosie in the Australasian Tour of Mamma Mia) and Bev is one of Australia's most celebrated female stand-ups. 

Mandi originally from a small Northern village near Huddersfield left these shores 10 years ago for Down Under and has since made a name for herself in numerous musical theatre shows, concerts, films and TV, including starring as Mrs Lovett opposite the late musical theatre legend Rob Guest in 'Sweeny Todd'.  It was following a halter neck dress malfunction at a party that her greatest attributes were spotted by Emma and Bev, so they cast her in the show and the rest, as they say, is history!

So all that remains is to say ladies put your hands together and men, keep your hands where we can see them, and welcome back the show with more front than Brighton and enough excess baggage to keep Ryanair in profits for yet another year, it's undeniably, the most original feel good show of the year, BUSTING OUT!


For tickets visit 

Macbeth by William Shakespeare



William Shakespeare



Both CandyKing Productions and Celtic Kiss Productions are delighted to return to Greenwich Playhouse to present Macbeth.


Eamon McDonnell's adaptation moves the action to the Ancient African civilization that is the Benin Empire –giving this famous tale an original and engaging twist.   This production delivers, both visually and culturally, a very exciting performance, fusing the original violent tale with a new setting and context – bringing the vibrancy of Africa to the stage.


Macbeth is Shakespeare's most dramatic tragedy – a brilliant combination of murder, spiritualism and violence – a play so brutal many believe it to be cursed.

 Macbeth is a frightening, heady mix of betrayal, desire and murder all fueled by excessive ambition.


CandyKing and Celtic Kiss productions have staged four plays previously at the Greenwich Playhouse – all to excellent reviews and sell-out audiences.  In this fifth production, they have joined together to create an exciting vision of a favourite classic.




Listings Information


Greenwich Playhouse

Greenwich Station Forecourt, 189 Greenwich High Road, London, SE10 8JA

05.04.11 – 01.05.11

020 8858 9256

£12, £10 concessions

Press Night 07.04.11 at 7:30pm

Tues – Sat 7:30pm, Sunday 4pm

Running Time 2hr (approx.) inc. interval


Shakespeare's famous tale aboutbetrayal, desire and murder all fueled by excessive ambition is set in Ancient Africa in this new rendering of the classic tragedy.




Produced by:  Maria Chiorando

                        Eamon McDonnell


Directed by:    Scott Le Crass:


Scott Le Crass is an exciting young director whose previous credits include Bardathon, The Laramie Project and Pericles.  He was a finalist in the Offcut Festival in 2010 as well as taking part in the Scoop Festival.


He says, "The key themes that ignite so much passion and intrigue for Macbeth will be at the heart of this production, but they will be framed in visually and contextually innovative ways."         




Olusegun Akingbola, Elizabeth Prince, Mark Menelik, Tommy Coleman, Michael Quartey, Tok Laju, Alec Todd, Linda Mathis, Sabina Cameron, Caleb Frederick, Kike Brimah, Ray Sesay, Lenn Blasse


Reviews of our previous work at the Greenwich Playhouse:


"This production from CandyKing theatre is wonderful, with superb performances throughout…A must see show with stunning costumes and great direction."

Pinkwire on An Ideal Husband


"A compelling piece of theatre." on A Doll's House


"An emotional and professional rendering of a classic British Masterpiece."

Theatre World on Look Back in Anger


"There is excellent chemistry among the four characters and between them they provide a good rhythm and pace to the performance."


Extra Extra on The Gift


Theatre Ad Infinitum tours Edinburgh hit, The Big Smoke

'This play is excellent... something special' The Observer
'This performance left me transfixed, overwhelmed and weeping.  Utterly stunning'What's On Stage
'Incredibly dark, intense, disturbing, but also beautiful... a remarkable piece of theatre'Three Weeks
'Completely breathtaking, beautiful and accomplished'Fringe Review (Edinburgh)
 'Theatre Ad Infinitum have moved to the front of the pack'The Guardian
Theatre Ad Infinitum tours Edinburgh hit,
The Big Smoke
-         Nationwide dates to June 2011
Multi award-winning Theatre Ad Infinitum will be touring its poignant production, The Big Smoke, to venues nationwide from 28th March to 30th June 2011.    Inspired by the lives and works of Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath and American poet Anne Sexton, The Big Smoketakes the company away from its traditional Lecoq style and presents a one-woman show using the voice as the main medium of the production.  The Big Smoke is sunga cappella throughout and tells the tragic story of a young woman whose mental state rapidly deteriorates.
A dark and searing piece of theatre performed by Canadian actor Amy Nostbakken and directed by Nir Paldi, The Big Smoke revolves around brilliant young artist Nathalie, whose search for identity results in a descent into madness and suicide.  Through this new approach to storytelling the audience shares Nathalie's journey and meets the – often very funny – characters she encounters along the way. However, Nathalie's honesty is no protection against a world that demands we 'fit in'.
Says actor Amy Nostbakken, "Nathalie's experience is one that people everywhere can relate to.  This play deals with issues we all face: feeling lost, confused, depressed, indecisive, 'not right'.  We lead the audience down that familiar lonely path, but then we keep going, all the way down, into the depths of madness where Nathalie's story turns into heartbreaking tragedy." 
Explaining how the subject matter came about, director, Nir Paldi adds, "Exploring confessional writing and its effect on identity led us on to the female psyche and, more specifically that of Sexton, Plath and Woolf.  The subtleties of music and the voice seemed highly appropriate as a means of expressing deep emotion, obsession, imagination."
Theatre Ad Infinitum has won plaudits and awards at the Edinburgh Fringe and elsewhere, and a growing reputation as one of the most exciting young theatre companies around.   The Big Smoke begins touring on 30thMarch at the Edge Hill University in Lancashire and continues until the end of June with a variety of dates including Oxford, 5 days at the Brighton Festival in May, the Theatre Royal, Bath and the Lowry, Manchester.  For more information, tour dates and Theatre Ad Infinitum go to  
The Big Smoke will be touring throughout the spring and early summer of 2011. 

Friday, March 18, 2011











The West End and Broadway sensation and winner of Best New Musical in this year's prestigious Olivier Awards Legally Blonde The Musical hits the road for its first ever UK tour making it's Scottish Premiere at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow from Tue 23rdAugust – Sat 3rd September. Tickets are on sale today to Friends and Groups and then on general sale from Thursday 24thMarch.



Legally Blonde The Musical won Best New Musical in Awards 2011 and was nominated for 5 Olivier Awards, going on to win Best New Musical, Best New Actress for Sheridan Smith and Best Supporting Role in a Musical for co-star Jill Halfpenny.  

Now our fabulous heroine Elle Woods is headed for Glasgow and set to take the city by storm before wowing the rest of the UK!


Based on the hit movie starring Reese Witherspoon, this critically acclaimed new musical is created by a top-of-their-class creative team, led by Tony Award-winning director and Olivier Award-nominated choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray).


College sweetheart and homecoming queen Elle Woods doesn't take no for an answer. So when her boyfriend, Warner, dumps her for someone serious, Elle puts down the credit card, hits the books, and heads for Harvard Law School accompanied by her loveable Chihuahua, Bruiser.


This all singing, all dancing, feel-good musical comedy will be the must-see theatrical event in Glasgow this autumn and the most fashionable ticket in town.


Howard Panter, joint Chief Executive of Ambassador Theatre Group said:

"Ambassador Theatre Group's co-production of Legally Blonde The Musical is enjoying great success on the West End and we have now decided to take it out on its first ever UK tour so regional audiences who can't make it to London can experience this fantastic show. The Theatre Royal is one of ATG's largest regional houses and this grand venue will make a fitting home for the premiere of a tour which is set to replicate the success of the West End run. I am sure Glaswegians will take Elle Woods to their hearts and give her the warm welcome that the city is so famous for."


James Haworth, General Manager at the Theatre Royal said:
"I am extremely proud that the Theatre Royal has been chosen to host the Scottish premiere of the tour of Legally Blonde The Musical.  The theatre can't wait to welcome the show to the city and kick off the Scottish leg of the tour in spectacular style – it will be a highlight of Glasgow's cultural offering this autumn and one of the hottest tickets in 2011."  


The verdict? This much fun shouldn't be legal!


Casting to be announced.







Tue 23 August – Sat 3 Sep

Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm

Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm

Tickets:£18.50 - £39.50

Box Office: 08448 717 647 (bkg fee) (bkg fee)