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OzAsia Festival Presents Totes Adorbs: Review

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by Tema (subscribe)
Write because you want to, not because you have to.
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Supplied by Adelaide Festival Centre


It's been just over 12 hours since I went along to what has possibly been the most overwhelming show that I've ever seen, but I am still trying to put together my thoughts on a show that literally left me speechless for all the right reasons.

Held at the Nexus Arts venue along North Terrace, my friend and I had read up a bit about the show and we expected a small form of audience participation - something that neither of us were super flash on. However, together, we walked in with the intention of watching and experiencing this show in the form that would be semi-adventurous and fun.

Oh boy, did we underestimate those two components by a stretch!

Totes Adorbs: Hurricane is one heck of a show, with senses of overstimulation and hyperactivity hitting its peak. Set up as a karaoke session that, I imagine, would pan out by ingesting every possible drug ever, the audience members face the stage in a tiered setting whilst being dressed in a clear poncho, minimal personal belongings, and bare feet. Trust me - it's better this way!

By attending this show, I feel like I went to the heart of Japan (or at least got introduced to its vibrant culture), thanks to Japan's Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker, who has put together a form of performing arts that pays homage to the youth culture of this stunning nation and proves itself to be a wild ride from start to finish. The only disappointment? The show ended! 45 minutes is really not a long time to bask in the glory of this beautiful culture and their beautiful people, who shower us in everything from confetti to tofu to glitter to buckets of water.

Bringing together a team of 25 performers from underground Tokyo's famous Harajuku district, we are treated to a crew with the biggest smiles on their faces that could almost be deemed unbelievable, and every possible color of the rainbow thrown into our view with the help of strobe light effects and props that will make you feel like you're in a disco that screams of being extra A.F..

Throughout the show, we are welcomed by troops of performers who invade your personal space in the best manner possible. I was intrigued to the point where I temporarily lost my ability to comprehend anything and everything that was happening before my eyes, because I was so entranced by how much was going on all around me and I simply could not control my jaw from dropping every couple of seconds. There is a very high level of lights, sound, and movement that occurs in every possible corner of the room, so while it may be a tad (read: very) overwhelming to follow everything within the 360-degree view, I can assure you that you will be having the best time of your life! The level of enthusiasm on every single performer's face is inspiring - how you can manage to function in such a fast-paced and high-energy environment and be able to engage your audience in this madness is beyond me and yet, it's a work of performance art! I would personally love to commend choreographer Toco Nikaido, who has effortlessly trained their performers to demonstrate precision, structure, and skill in a show where organized chaos flourishes at its prime.

Supplied by Adelaide Festival Centre


There are lightning-quick costume changes that occur on and off stage, with the performers consistently donning school uniform-style outfits that come in every shade of the rainbow. We are graced with a routine that involves everything from glow sticks to water pistols to pom poms (and so much more), as they get our hearts racing with their synchronized movements and surprise visits to our seats, while strutting it and shaking it to a pumping soundtrack with over 50 songs that are remixed to create one epic music track. Oh, and to heighten all the craziness that unfolds on stage, we are also blessed with a hypnotizing visual projection of Manga cartoons, song lyrics, and J-Pop that runs in the background.

No matter where you sit in the audience, be expected to be given the role (not by choice) to be a spectator and a performer. As someone who thoroughly detests audience participation, I can only wish I was brought to the stage much sooner (minus the slipping from all the water across the floors), because I would have given anything to be part of this kaleidoscopic world of absolute nuttiness where the limit does not exist from start to finish.

I've been to stranger shows in the past, but I don't think I've ever come out of a show with such a scary amount of an adrenaline rush as I did with Totes Adorbs: Hurricane. It's bizarre, it's eccentric, and it's unlike anything that you may have ever experienced in your life (obviously excepting if you've already travelled to Japan, in which case, it would be a great trip down memory lane). Every time someone tried talking to me post-show about it, I would stammer, because there is so much to take in, during the 45 minutes, that I wouldn't really know where to begin. I was clueless because there was very little talk (in English) and a lot of singing, yelling and screaming with joy and couldn't really figure out what the hell was unfolding in front of me, but I enjoyed the maximum heck of out it!

All I can say is - go! If you're looking for something truly exciting and has a ton of unadulterated fun injected in a span of just under an hour (that I guarantee you will leave you wanting more), go to this show. It has undoubtedly become the highlight of my OzAsia Festival experience this year. I know it's only been a week since the festivities kicked off, but I really don't think I am going to be able to find something that tops this adventurous roller coaster of an experience show.

Pro tip: It gets loud. Really loud. So, be prepared for an hour of blasting music and karaoke the way it should be done. Also, don't wear anything fancy and try to bring as little as you can. You will be going in bare-footed, just a heads up! Ponchos and storage facilities for your belongings will be available free of charge outside by the Venue. There are a lot of strobe light effects, so if you suffer from epilepsy, unfortunately, this is not a show for you. Lastly, take your phone - but at your own risk. I wish I had mine on me to take some photos and videos. However, I am also kind of glad I didn't, because you will be drenched in water, tofu, confetti, and glitter (to name a few) and the poncho will only superficially cover you.

Date attended: 23/10/2019
Overall rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★★


Totes Adorbs will be performing at Nexus Arts, as part of the annual OzAsia Festival till October 27, 2019.

Book your tix to Totes Adorbs's shows here.

With thanks to the Adelaide Festival Centre.
Tema was invited as a guest.


Supplied by Adelaide Festival Centre
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When: OzAsia Festival: Oct 23 - 27
Where: Nexus Arts
Cost: $30 - $45
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