Prior to watching the Ukulele Dream Girl Does Amanda Palmer, I hadn't known much about Amanda Palmer, except that she is a musical icon. As the show went on, however, I started realizing how familiar I was with the music, but not with the singer.
The show kicked off with lead vocalist Phi Theodoros walking on stage in a gorgeous red and black corset with sparkly black shorts, pride flag-coloured socks, and black boots with neon laces. Supported by her "coin-operated band" that included Patrick Maher on guitar, Jesse Budel on piano, and Brodie Hewetson on drums, Theodoros was able to hit the heartstrings with the fantastic justice that she did by dedicating her show to Palmer's work in and out of the music industry. There were also a few nods in line with Palmer's ethos that was apparent in Theodoros' show, which included being loud and proud, having the eyebrows tattooed on her fingers for maximum effect, and balancing music with spoken word in a manner that would heavily shed light on the importance of connection and solidarity in an age where isolation and loneliness are at an all-time high.
Theodoros is a storyteller at heart and it was quite obvious from her poignant narrative the vital impact of Amanda Palmer's songs on Theodoros' own personal life goals - just like the perfect piece in a puzzle. Theodoros' eloquent speaking weaved effortlessly into her ability to morph her own rendition of Palmer's classics, with notable ones including Coin Operated Boy to introduce their Coin Operated Band, The Bed Song which was given a soulful and heartfelt makeover and left the audience in absolute awe, and In My Mind to make a strong statement about encouraging people to fully embrace themselves (including the good stuff as well as what may be seen as "flaws") and how being "imperfect" may not such a bad thing after all!
This is a seriously feel-good show that aims to educate, entertain, and exhilarate. It gives anyone and everyone who has ever remotely felt like they don't belong to feel the exact opposite. Theodoros gives off a mother-hen type of vibe, where her show replicates a big, warm, and cozy hug to all those who deserve to be celebrated for being just who they are - no gimmicks, no props, no unwarranted attitudes - just plain ol' simple authenticity and originality to shine right through you!
By sharing the love for and forging a medium of connection and unity through the art of music and coupling it with meaningful stories and singalongs that will make the entire audience feel welcomed in a judgment-free zone, Theodoros and her band create an inviting atmosphere where awesome music from one of the greatest in the industry is not only appreciated but also remastered by one of the finest and talented local gems of South Australia.
Date attended: 29/02/2020 Overall rating: ★★★★★
Ukulele Dream Girl Does Amanda Palmer has wrapped up for this year's Adelaide Fringe season but seeing how Phi Theodoros is highly influential in the performing arts scene here in South Australia, there's no doubt that we will be seeing more impressive performances from her in the (very) near future.