Dinner and a Show Reviews Dinner and a Show
If you wander over to 37 George Street in the Rocks this weekend you’ll find that an unassuming terrace house has been given over to a piece of installation and interactive performance. Dinner and a Show, the brainchild of director and theatre maker, Ava Karuso, is a collection of 6 short ten minute plays each occupying a different room of the house. They are all standalone pieces loosely linked by the theme of food.
These are a fun collection of plays, with a little audience participation thrown in there for good measure. The first vignette for the evening was ‘You Can’t Tune a Piano’ performed by Patrick Richards. The piece is a heartfelt story about Richards’ struggle with weight loss. It is a lovely piece to share and Richards performs with natural ease. It is storytelling at its simplest, and it works. Along the way Richards cooks us creamy tuna pasta which, we soon realize, is closely connected to his story. Richards was one of the most worthwhile performances so it was unfortunate that he was forced to compete with the rather boisterous scene in the room next to us. To his credit the young actor never missed a beat, but it would have been nice if he’d been saved the trouble.
Next ‘Morning Breakfast Hello’, takes the format of a morning talk show that has been hijacked by the host Joshua Belinfante and his puppet sidekick Dominica Nicholls (also edible) who can’t stand the thought of flogging one more useless piece of consumer junk. Although the message in this play is a little labored, it’s such a fun romp that it doesn’t detract.
‘N.U.T.S’ features a revolutionary new way of overcoming allergies by recognizing them for what they are: phobias. This play follows in the same vein as the other shows and is just great fun. Through a process of role play, intimidation, projectile candy and group chanting Madeline Clouston and Madeleine Levins can cure any irrational fear, regardless of biological inclination. Also there’s peanut brittle. It is a confident little piece which allows for a lot of laughs and is definitely one of the strongest in the procession.
Finally, ‘Paul Musumeci’s Love Quest: The Quest for Love (the Amazing Quest for Love)’ is a simple piece operating on the premise of finding Paul Musumeci a soul mate. But in order to find said soul mate, Musumeci must go on a date – with an audience member. The piece is largely improvised with several loose storylines, dependent upon who Musumeci is teamed with. Tonight, he grilled his date (one Sydney Abba) about her intellect, rating her on a chalk board as he found out more about her. He then requested that she feed him in an attempt to alleviate his fear of eating in front of people (you had to be there for the story). As a performer Musumeci is wonderfully confident and cool under pressure. He is able to transition seamlessly from one scene to another. The story itself was a fun little piece and definitely a crowd pleaser. Cake was also involved.
One of the plays ‘Cure’ was not playing when we went out to see the show, and because of time restraints we were also unable to see ‘Feed Her’. Dinner and a Show only runs for an hour, but it could easily run it for an extra 20 minutes or so to ensure that everyone gets a chance to see every performance. Although this is not a traditional piece of theatre by any means, it is a very fun night out with a show, some food, and a great troupe of actors.
Dinner and a Show is only running until the 27th of October, so make sure you get in quick if you don’t want to miss out. For more information see: