Adulting (Tash York)
Brisbane Powerhouse, Turbine Studio
November 28 – December 1
Tash York may be a #blessed veteran of theestival scene, through shows like “These Things Take Wine”, but that doesn’t make her an adult. This is by her own admission in her latest solo cabaret outing, “Adulting”, which energetically explores the theme of exactly what being an adult entails. As it unfolds annecdotes about relationship fails, parking fine debt and poor dietary choices are woven into hilariously rewritten cover songs from the likes of Destiny’s Child, Ace of Base and a marvellous mashup of Heart’s ‘Alone’ and Whitesnake’s ‘Here I Go Again’.
The comedy continues through reimagined Disney numbers and musical standards, along the way to an ultimately uplifting concluding message about being the best version of adults we can courtesy of ‘Everyone’s Free’. Even nursery rhymes make an appearance in entertaining rapped illustration of the harsh reality of adult life vs the sugar-coated fantasy of childhood happy-endings.
On paper it is an eclectic mix, but in reality it works, elevating “Adulting” to a greatness above standard cabaret fare of the same sort and it is easy to appreciate its Adelaide Fringe Best Cabaret Weekly Award and sold out Edinburgh Fringe season. While York’s charismatic charm, big hair and exuberance may lure us into the show’s casual spontaneity, there is also a real craftedness to its content callbacks working towards the light and shade surprise of a captivating “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”, in tribute to her mother.
York is a talented cabaret comedian with an impressive, powerful voice bigger than the Powerhouse’s intimate Turbine Studio. She is a dynamic entertainer who embraces every opportunity for comedy; her timing and exaggerated facial expressions only make the experience of “Adulting” even more enjoyable.
As original as song interpretations and lyric reimaginings are, it’s also to recognise the sounds of their source material as we are given opportunity to revisit songs such of ‘Cruel to be Kind’ of our “10 Things I Hate About You” memories. And she totally had me from her initial number ‘Ice, Ice, Baby’ re-rap. It is also nice to see the show’s general rather than exclusively-millennial perspective. Indeed, there is an essential relatability to its shared human experiences and celebration of how being adult is the worst.
This is a show for everyone who has ever attempted and failed at adulting in all of its aspects, worthy of a break from busy Facebook-filtered lives and adult expectations of home ownership dreams, costly university education and changeable career ambitions, different from previous generations.