Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Fringe Review: The Amazing Cromoli Brothers

The Amazing And Impermeable Cromoli Brothers

Reviewed by Lorraine Ward

The Amazing and Impermeable Cromoli Brothers
No Frills Theatre Co (Canada)
23 - 25 February
8pm (60 minutes)
Blue Note Café (Bookings 048015007)
Full $12 Concession $10 Addict $8

It's 7.45pm and I wander into Blue Note on Cuba St. There's not a lot of people there, about 20, but they all seem relaxed and happy. They're mainly sitting around café style tables or getting drinks at the bar. I ask the man sitting on the couch to the right of me why he'd come to this show.

"My friend and I wanted somewhere to go," he says, "and we read about it in Capital Times."

To my left someone says, "Have you ever tried those party pills?"

"I did," someone replies, "and couldn't sleep for 40 hours."

I decide to stick to strong coffee.

There is an overhead fan whirring, and long red paper lampshades. There is a small stage with two bar stools on which are a suitcase and a ukulele. On the back curtain is pinned a list. A sound technician is playing with the equipment to the left of the stage. He comes forward to say that the show will start in three minutes. Would we please turn off anything that might bleep? He is sorry, but we are waiting for a latecomer.

The lights go down, and we are an audience, anticipating.

The sound technician comes back on, dressed now in a black suit and white shirt. He is St John Cromoli, on the phone to his brother Hasbro. Hasbro has to get here. To the Blue Note. In Wellington. New Zealand. Appalled, St John realises that he will have to do this double act alone until his brother turns up.

The list, it appears, is a list of fifteen scenes. St John will ask for an audience volunteer to choose a scene. He will perform it, and bow when the scene is ended. Who would like to see which scene first?

The scenes we were treated to (I could list the whole fifteen, but I won't) had titles such as The Rich, Nude Beach, Karaoke, Heaven's Gate Webcam, Cover Song, The Advertisement.

Classics, such as Nude Beach, involve full frontal sock puppets (and a toy dog). Cover Song, David Bowies "Ground Control to Major Tom", is sung accompanied by ukulele and melodica and has a toy astronaut floating in a (you guessed it) tin can.

Heaven's Gate Webcam is based on the premises that there is a webcam at the entrance to heaven and that to get into heaven you have to sing a song, tell a story, or recite a poem about yourself which must be true. These stories, poems, songs are judged by a host of angels (the audience) who shout "Hell, yeah!" if they deem the offering worthy.

We then heard the poignant song of John, a quiet, self-effacing chap with herpes, who died of a chill on the patio. We were so moved by his sad and sorry life that it took us a few seconds to remember to shout "Hell, yeah" and let him through the Pearly Gates.

A particular favorite - it was asked for twice - was "I - heart - Peter Jackson" (that's how it's pronounced) a ballad singing the praises of our local hero.

Maybe the audience was a little cowardly. We didn't sing the Karaoke. We didn't buy the "Cum Clothes" that were beguilingly advertised (only $2 each). But we did vote John into heaven, we did play the musical instruments that Hasbro wasn't there to play, we had our photos taken and we floated Major Tom in his tin can above our heads.

The Cromoli Brother(s) described themselves as impermeable, impractical, impressionable, inconceivable, immobile, inviolate and intractable. I'd like to add idiosyncratic and inspired.

They are the brainchildren of Lucas Myers, a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada.


Cromoli Brothers press release
Scoop Full Coverage: Festival 2006

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news