An enlightened, charming and empowered look at aging and growing up too fast, Amity Dry brings her 39 Forever show back to Chapel off Chapel for her comedy festival debut. We loved it last year (https://www.theatrepeople.com.au/39-forever-amity-dry-review/) and this year is no different: it’s still a sparkling, enthralling, fun, laugh out loud night of cabaret and song.
Why does the name Amity Dry sound familiar? Well she’s an Australian singer and songwriter, but she gained mainstream fame after appearing on The Block on Channel Nine in 2003, and again 10 years later on The Block: All Stars. She’s been writing original songs since she was 12, she’s had a top 10 Aria charting album, performed at Carols By Candlelight, has a huge following in Adelaide and multiple sell out runs at the Fringe Festival, is a fantastic mother of two and she’s quite possibly Australia’s most underrated musical theatre writer.
Her original musical, Mother, Wife and the Complicated Life, has been staged in Norway, at the United Nations in New York, toured Australia and was part of the New York Musical Theatre festival, work-shopped and performed on 42nd Street, and even had a concert at New York’s premier cabaret club 54 Below. The show has gone on to be work-shopped again in London, and debuted on the West End under the new name The (M)Other Life. Who knows where this show will go next, but it will be back for a full season on West End again this year!
Dry’s performance in 39 Forever is a mash up of songs from her life, across the 80s and 90s, reflecting on her life, her reaction to ageing, and the stereotypes and challenges women face as they go through life, from her teenage years to marriage, motherhood and discovering what life is really about. She has the audience roaring with laughter from her anecdotes and witty observations, which she combines with her strong and enchanting voice, and her own versions of classics like ‘You’re So Vain’, ‘The Circle of Life’, ‘All By Myself’ and more. But it’s her original songs where she truly comes into her own, soaring above the beautiful words and melodies and bringing so much heart, charm and passion to her songs.
As the incognito 25 year old in the room, Dry’s show, wise words and advice still completely ring true (and I understood 95% of the references in the show, except what a Punky Brewster is …). Her reflections on vanity and the impact that a woman’s treatment of herself, her body and mind is reflected in the way we do, or may treat our daughters in the future. She reflects on her wish to look maybe a little younger (having technically now turned 39 + 1), but how would that make her daughter feel and what lesson would it teach her if she was to not accept herself for who she is? Her life has been busy, tumultuous and full of change but she remembers it all fondly and with such positive energy, enlightenment and charm that you will leave the show feeling uplifted and empowered. She’s a real role model for all women, for her passion, acceptance, positive outlook and her sense of humour.
Get down and boogie at the end with her and fantastic accompanist and music director Jamie Burgess, and enjoy Dry’s 39 Forever. Your last two chance to catch this fantastic show on closing weekend of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tickets and more info: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/amity-dry-s-39-forever