Adelaide Fringe Festival: Waiting for Botox

Adelaide Fringe Festival's Waiting for Botox sees some talented women performing. Somebody give these chicks (April Berry, Betty Samis, Diane Dixon) a decent venue and script writer, stat!
Adelaide Fringe Festival: Waiting for Botox
Adelaide Fringe Festival: Waiting for Botox Somebody give these chicks (April Berry, Betty Samis, Diane Dixon) a decent venue and script writer, stat! They are talented women and wasted in this venue and format. I wanted to like this show but after a late start, poor seating and lax table service I wasn’t feeling especially generous. But then they opened with The Jackson Five and all was forgiven. In comparison to the dialogue between numbers, the songs were well chosen, well-presented and sparkling with wit, bon mots and even a little bit of philosophy. We particularly liked the parody of a popular Spice Girls tune, a Patsy-esque meditation on the pressure to be thin; and the crowd gave a very warm reception to Dusty Springfield’s Wishin’ and Hopin’, restyled as a bittersweet (or maybe just bitter) paean to the joys of being a home-maker. In fact all the songs selected for parody were sure crowd pleasers and the somewhat risqué lyrics were hysterically funny (tips on pleasing your man, how to hide your tattoos and nicotine habit from your parents, what to do when Things Go South). Unfortunately the format of the show wasn’t quite as smooth as the deliciously biting and scarily accurate lyrics. The acoustics at the Comix Comedy Cellar didn’t come close to doing these ladies justice. Having heard a smattering of what April Berry is capable of, it was disappointing not to experience the full potential of her high-octane vocals. While it was an interesting idea the stage was small and I don’t think the lack of interaction between characters really worked, especially given how well the performers worked together during the numbers. Moving right along, Diane Dixon’s Cougar routine hit all the right buttons and had us in hysterics. It was great to see a bit of crowd interaction. In fact despite the restrictions of the venue the cast were in good voice and played well to the entire audience. On the whole it was an uneven performance. It’s frustrating to see so much unfulfilled potential. I can’t understand how the writer can hit the nail on the head in true Smack the Pony style with the musical numbers and then torture us with awkward, wooden dialogue. It was as though the spark was only alight when they were singing and the in between was an afterthought. Right at the end there was a beautiful segue consisting of one line leading straight into the next number and it worked seamlessly. A little more of that would pull this show up by the socks so these women could show us what they’re really made of – they are all clearly talented performers when they’re ‘on’. With some tightening up or perhaps just omitting the inner monologues, could this be the next Menopause? I’m wishin’, hopin’ and praying some savvy script writing/producing genius will see the potential here and whip this great little basic into something stylish and snappy, because it deserves a wider audience and these songs are crying out for a chance to shine. Waiting for Botox (April Berry, Betty Samis, Diane Dixon), Adelaide Fringe: Showing at the Comix Comedy Cellar, 68 Grenfell St in the middle of town, from March 11-14 Wed – Sat 7.15pm, March 18-21 Wed – Sat 7.15pm. Tickets are $25 conc $22.

Liz Black

Sunday 22 March, 2009

About the author

Liz Black is a freelance writer currently living in Adelaide. She writes food, fiction, farce and, very occasionally, fact. When it comes to Fringe shows, she likes Flavour You Can See and air-conditioning.