Whoa, Joe, How Low Can you Go?

June 22, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | American Politics, POLITICS |

June 2022 How did everything go so wrong, so fast? Former President and current éminence grise, Barack Obama, belled the cat two years ago, telling a journalist: “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f… things up.”  We had severe doubts about President-elect Biden (see here) and shared fears for America’s future (see here), and it gives us no joy to conclude those doubts and fears were valid. Here’s a interim report on President Joe’s legacy, thus far (0 being bad, 10 being excellent): Afghanistan: 0/10 – Withdrawal per se was perfectly plausible, but this became the worst execution of a military…

Continue Reading →

Every Musical Ever

June 19, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | MUSIC, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

'HOW MANY musicals?'

(Adelaide Cabaret Festival, 18 June 2022) Two Disclaimers: (1) The Varnished Culture is not really that much into musicals (bad music, good acting), preferring opera (bad acting, good music). We couldn’t fit a musical in our list of the 20 finest films. However it is a great genre we suppose, and we have previously commented on some of the outstanding examples: Singin’ in the Rain, Cabaret, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.  We have also expressed our disdain for the more toxic entries, such as Cats and The Sound of Music. (2) Musical theatre is exempt from consumer law, so no producer…

Continue Reading →

The Shanghai Mimi Band

June 18, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, MUSIC, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Adelaide Cabaret Festival, 17 June, 2022) Shanghai in the 1920s and 1930s was “The Paris of the East, the New York of the West,” at least in popular myth, and in old Hollywood films: where elegance rubbed shoulders with depravity but always in a well-dressed way: glittering gowns, elegant cheongsams, dinner suits and white mess jackets, accompanied by a range of recreational poisons. And the night clubs along the Bund (the Shanghai waterfront) provided the venue, salted with the haute and the louche, and sugared by the Chinese chanteuses and hot bands playing French torch songs and shidaiqu (時代曲), a…

Continue Reading →

Il Bacaro

June 13, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FOOD, Restaurants, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, TRAVEL |

(168-170 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, 20 May 2022) A Homage to Bacchus This lively, lovely little joint Has been going strong since ’95, It’s tiny, dark and crowded space Is always filled, and comes alive. So you should always be prepared To book, and get there right on time; You may cool heels at the well-stocked bar, But the drinks there are sublime. And after a grand snort or two, You’re deftly guided to your seat: An expert waiter, with no airs, Will help you work out what to eat. *************************************** THIS TIME AROUND WE HAD: Ostriche al naturale (6…

Continue Reading →

‘Nothing Better than the First Attempt’: Cabaret Life Drawing

June 11, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, AUSTRALIANIA, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Cabaret Life Drawing, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, 11 June 2022) A very pleasant hour passed in the Cabaret Festival’s Spiegeltent on the Festival Centre Plaza. This was a life drawing session (not really a lesson, more like a brief taste with a light touch). The assembled throng, their creative impulses enlivened by a glass of wine and some piano and bass versions of songs such as Puttin’ on the Ritz, Tea for Two and All of Me, attempted to depict model Letitia, striking various classy poses in an elegant gown (see below). It was conducted by Adelaide Central School of Art…

Continue Reading →

© Copyright 2014 The Varnished Culture All Rights Reserved. TVC Disclaimer. Site by KWD&D.