A Piece of Cake
Why not pop your 2019 Fringe cherry by seeing Le Gateau Chocolat and Jonny Woo’s sumptuous tribute to musical theatre, Another Night at the Musicals. (The Garden of Unearthly Delights, dates vary, 8:15pm). We recommend pairing it with the Fox Creek Wines Vixen. This award-winning sparkling Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc is described as a black forest cherry gateau in a glass, which seems only fitting, no?
When Sparks Fly
In Queen of the F*cking World (La Bohème, dates and times vary), Marysia Trembecka takes to the stage armed with a guitar, sky-high heels and a shiny sequinned mini dress to present a masterful one-woman cabaret show. This scintillating stage piece about sexual politics draws on world literature and Trembecka’s extensive interviews with sex workers and members of the LGBTQI+ community. We recommend a wine which, like Trembecka’s show, is not only sparkly and a whole lot of fun, but one which has depth too. The Louis Buillot, sold by the bottle, is the logical choice, because why do things by the glass?
Some Like It Hot
Step right up to see The Marvelous Mechanical Musical Maiden (La Bohème, 15-24 Feb, times vary), a steampunk spectacular created by seasoned vaudevillian Carmel Clavin. Sit back and enjoy as the titular maiden, an animatronic songwriter, regales you with tales of love, loss and her life-changing run-in with conman Thomas Edison. Grease your gears and pair this show with an equally theatrical cocktail: The Schnapple Pie. One of La Bohème’s signature Absolut cocktails, it is flavoured with vanilla, apple, and get this: flamed cinnamon. That means they actually set the cinnamon on fire in front of you. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching something burn.
Umbrella Man (The National Wine Centre, dates vary, 10pm), is the brainchild of poet, musician and comedian Colin Bramwell. The show is a surrealistic slice of tragicomedy with a raw throbbing heart, which tells the story of a grieving man who makes sandwiches for a living. The man also happens to be a defiant flat Earther. Such a one-of-a-kind show deserves an equally unique tipple. Try the 2017 Jim Barry Assyrtiko. Clare Valley winery Jim Barry Wines are at present the only Australian purveyors of wine made from the Greek Assyrtiko grape, which just adores a harsh Mediterranean climate like ours.
Pat McCaffrie returns to the Adelaide Fringe this year with Politics and Polar Bears (There Will Be No Polar Bears) (Rhino Room, dates vary, 7:15pm). The standup originally hails from Adelaide and is now, among other things, a staff writer for Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell. Consider pairing McCaffrie’s whip-smart political comedy with another Adelaide great now big in Melbourne – the peerless Cooper's Pale Ale.
Loud and Clear
Last year, Maddie HW (The Howling Owl/Live from Tandanya, dates and times vary) was selected as a Sydney Comedy Fest Fresh Pick. Her stand-up show Let’s Get Loud should be riotously fun, with a high chance of the entire audience belting out hammy 80s ballads. If you are in the mood for a drink as bracing as this new voice in comedy, might we suggest quaffing down one of the Howling Owl’s Sipsmith London Dry gin pitchers?
All That Jazz
Hugh Sheridan of Packed to the Rafters fame leads the California Crooners Club (Gluttony, 15-17 Feb, times vary) ensemble through a set peppered with jazz standards and pop hits – think Frank Sinatra and Beyoncé hurled into a musical blender. This sophisticated show calls for a wine displaying similar levels of brio and panache. A good option would be the Fickle Mistress Pinot Noir, so named for the capricious nature of the Pinot Noir grape. This wine, as with all Pinot Noirs, is best consumed after swirling. Take care not to spill any of it on yourselves as you either swirl or bop along to the music though, as this will completely ruin the illusion you will be attempting to cultivate by drinking this wine – the illusion that you are sophisticated.