Archive for June, 2010

Shoshana In Excelsis

Posted in Review, Theatre with tags , , on June 24, 2010 by darthtanion

Guten Tag!
It’s 5:30am but I just really wanted to write something on my blog.  Fortunately I have something to write about.  OK, so a few years back I was flicking around & I hear about how this new Elphaba had taken to the stage in Wicked & she had the coolest name: Shoshana.  Without ever hearing her I decided then & there that I must love her simply so I could talk to people about her & say her name repeatedly.  A few YouTube videos later I realised that this woman is regarded as one of the best Elphabas to ever grace the role, so imagine my excitement when Harvest Rain Theatre Company announced that they were bringing her out to have a bit of a sing!  Well last night was the night.  After a couple of months of waiting I was finally able to actually see her live &, in my usual way, I’m going to bundle up my opinions about the experience in blog form & launch them at your head through the Interwebs.  This is…

Shoshana Bean: The Review


Review: I have to admit, as a singer I find the idea of me reviewing someone of Shoshana Bean’s level of talent & fame completely ridiculous.  I find all of my reviews ridiculous but this one especially so.  This is a woman who needed a little help when auditioning for Elphaba so what did she do?  She called Stephanie J. Block, the original Elphaba, (yes she is the original, look it up) & got her to sing to her down the phone!  When you have people like that willing to help you I don’t think you’re siting there waiting to hear what The Ninja Chicken has to say of you but never the less I’m going to say what I think anyway & damn the torpedos.  (You aren’t really going to shoot me with torpedos are you?)

As you may have guessed by my intro, I’m a bit of a Bean fan.  That should probably be a good indicator that there isn’t going to be a lot of negative stuff to say in this review.  Be that as it may, every reviewer knows that you won’t be treated as a legitimate reviewer unless you can always find fault with the subject of your review, even if that fault isn’t really there.  With that in mind, here are the things I didn’t like about the show:

  1. I wore too much cologne
  2. My suit coat felt a little scratchy
  3. Shoshana didn’t have a six-foot Maltese guy with a blog about martially trained poultry standing next to her staring at her dreamily/creepily while she sang to just him for the entire concert.  (I really feel this would have made the whole night awesome.)

Sorry to complain so much but I had to say it otherwise I’ll never be taken seriously as a reviewer.  Now, on to the good stuff.


I don’t mean the “Hey, I won $250 on a scratchy. Freaking awesome!” level of freaking awesome.  I mean the “Chuck Norris & Christopher Walken walked into my living room & started playing Stairway to Heaven just as Wolverine finished baking me sugar cookies.” kind of awesome.  She seriously blew my mind.  The Powerhouse was the perfect venue for the evening’s entertainment.  If you’ve been there then you know it’s distinct, graffiti look & feel.  Combine that with some very simple, dusty lighting & it was almost like sitting in a jazz bar somewhere in down town New York which suited her style perfectly.  The great thing about the Powerhouse is that it only seats about 500 so every seat is a great seat.  I was somewhere around the middle of the audience but I think the only way my seat could have been any better was if they had placed a La-Z-Boy on stage at the feet of her amazing accompanist James Sampliner & let me watch her from there.  I do think this is a concert that needs to be seen up close & personal at least once however.  Don’t get me wrong, Shoshana Bean is a true performer.  If she was performing to a packed 15 000 seat theatre I have no doubt every person in the back row would have gotten a great show but being as close as I was meant I could see all of the little things she did as well.  Especially for the quieter numbers.  It just added an extra layer of enjoyment & if Shrek taught us anything, it’s that layers are important.

In all honesty I do not know how she does the things she does with her voice.  She can go from absolutely belting her hair off to the most beautiful, gentle rendition of My Funny Valentine in a heart beat seemingly without any effort at all.

Finally, perhaps my favourite part of the night & something that I thought really showed off what an awesome woman she truly is, Shoshana Bean stuck around to sign autographs.

I am possibly the only straight man to own one of these.

I know a lot of you might be thinking “she only did that so people would buy her CDs to get them signed” but you would be wrong.  While speaking with Harvest Rain‘s CEO, Tim O’Conner (i.e. the guy who brought Shoshana Bean to Australia) I learned that Shoshana didn’t think she would have anything like the following she does here so she only brought 50 CDs with her for her whole tour.  They were sold in about half a second.  (I managed to get one but only because I was willing to punch out an old lady & ride off on my horse.)  She must have signed at least 300 autographs on little Shoshana Bean cards she handed out for free.  Plus she posed for a photo with me so if you say anything nasty about her I’ll punch you.

Just hanging out with Shoshana.  As you do.

Yes, she did say she liked my shirt.

In conclusion, this was a fantastic night.  The best thing about seeing stars like Shoshana Bean is that she brings out the real music theatre buffs so you know everybody was just as excited to be there as I was.  She now moves on to Adelaide & Sydney so if you happen to be in the area don’t miss this show.  Details can be found on so check them out.

Did you see the concert?  Let everyone what you think in the comments section below.

Unless there is a next time,
Goodbye forever.

Luke Venables
Left Handed Alien Salesman


Bomb Testing vs The Ninja Chicken

Posted in Random, The Life & Times Of Me on June 4, 2010 by darthtanion
Howdy doody y’all.
OK so I just got home after picking my girlfriend’s mum up from the airport.  While I was there I got bomb tested.  The act of getting bomb tested doesn’t really bother me but I do find the whole process a little stupid & pointless for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, if I were a terrorist planning to bomb a plane, I would pick a busy flight during a busy time.  During busy times they can maybe test 1 in 10 people if they are lucky.  That means on a flight of 100 people, 10 of them have been tested for bombs.  Put another way, 90% of people on the flight did NOT get bomb tested.  So in other words, the only way a terrorist is going to get caught is if he is a crazy kind of unlucky or he rides the short plane to school.  However, the thing that really gets my goat up (is that a saying?) is the fact that they have actually placed a ban on jokes while you’re getting tested.  I mean really… jokes?  I am yet to hear of anyone laughing to death except maybe in that one Monty Python sketch & while, yes, it is a very funny sketch, I think the details have been slightly exaggerated.  So, as a minor rebellion, I would like to present a very small act of defiance.  Ladies & gentle-not-ladies, please enjoy:

50 Jokes I’ve Always Wanted To Make While Getting Bomb Tested

  1. Your Mum’s the bomb.  (There I got it out of the way early.  Happy?)
  2. Could we hurry this along my shoes are starting to heat up.
  3. Of course you can test me, I’ve changed out of the clothes I was wearing when I made it anyway.
  4. Those things can’t detect Adamantium Nitrate can they?
  5. It’s fine, I left the real bomb on the plane that brought me here.
  7. You don’t have any friends on flight 915 do you?
  8. Just out of curiosity, do you think a bomb would be most effective if I sat at the front or the back of the plane?
  9. Are you adverse to all forms of killing passengers or just bombs specifically?
  10. BANG!
  11. How much do I look like a terrorist? I mean on a scale of one to Muslim.
  12. What do you mean I’m “free to go”?  AH CRAP!  I must have left it at home.
  13. I’m sorry, my eyesight isn’t so good.  Is there still fertiliser on my foot?
  14. Man I hope I set the timer on this thing right.
  15. It’s been nice knowing you.
  16. Ah bomb tests.  I think I’m going to miss these most of all.
  17. Do you smell napalm too?
  18. Wow, you’re lucky that came up negative because I was either going to set this thing off on the plane or here.
  19. Oh don’t even bother, mate, those things never catch me.
  20. 72 virgins here I come!
  21. Just how hard is it to break through the cabin door?
  22. How about if I just keep one bomb?
  23. I like my explosives like I like my women.  In my underwear.
  24. Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.
  25. Oh but you’ve got to let me on.  We haven’t had a good terrorist attack for AGES!
  26. Your infidel technology intrigues me.
  27. Hi.  How ya doing?  My name’s Theodore Kaczynski but everyone just calls me “Ted”.
  28. So I’m guessing your life insurance will take care of your wife & kids for a while right?
  29. No sir, all of my explosives are in my checked baggage.
  30. Pull my finger.
  31. OK but once I’ve actually gotten on the plane there’s no more security, right?  Promise?
  32. So, have you ever met a real terrorist before now?
  33. Thank you & a happy day of reckoning to you, sir.
  34. Yeah that’s fine just don’t test my left hand.
  35. Why no I’m not carrying any explosives.  (But if you’re looking for some I know a guy.)
  36. “Sex bomb, sex bomb.  You’re my sex bomb.”
  37. Have you caught any terrorists today?  Well then how do you know that magic wand is even working?
  38. So anyway, I was speaking with him just the other day & I said “You’re always so serious, Osama…”
  39. So, did you fail the exam to become a real cop or have you always just aimed low?
  40. Let me get this straight, you search everyone for nail clippers but just randomly select people to see if they’re carrying bombs?
  41. You don’t need to test me.  I’m wearing a condom.
  42. Yes actually, I am a terrorist but I’m on vacation.
  43. Could you hold this suitcase for me?
  45. If I just shot a guy would the gun powder set this thing off?
  46. If I’d known there was going to be a test I would have studied.
  47. Oh! Oh! Oh!  Pick me!  Pick me!  I’ve never seen a positive result before.
  48. Wow!  So glad I handed my backpack to that guy.
  49. Oh no I don’t use bombs, I just sell them.
  50. If you catch a terrorist do you arrest them or just point that stick at them & yell “Expelliarmus!”

OK, so if you’re still reading at this point you either skipped to the end or weren’t so offended by me making jokes about global terrorism that you decided the only rational course of action was to burn your computer down.  I’m hoping it was the latter.  Anyway, if you think I missed any feel free to let me know in the comments section below but if you decide to try any of these out at the airport, leave me out of it.  I will not be held responsible if they stick their magic wand anywhere that could be considered against regulation.

Unless there is a next time.
Goodbye forever.

Luke Venables
Future Waterboarding Victim