LadyNerd – Sydney Fringe Festival 2011

Cabaret is a style that is at its absolute best when it is on-point and on-message, consistent without feeling formulaic, relatable without lecturing, likeable without being overly sentimental. This one hour tribute to badass lady nerds of the past and loving tale of a personal nerd journey – Keira Daley’s LadyNerd – is a shining example of cabaret done right. 

Presented by: Sydney Fringe 2011 and Twisted MelonVenue: Sound Lounge, Seymour Theatre Centre Thursday, 15 September 2011 Keira Daley in Lady NerdCabaret is a style that is at its absolute best when it is on-point and on-message, consistent without feeling formulaic, relatable without lecturing, likeable without being overly sentimental. This one hour tribute to badass lady nerds of the past and loving tale of a personal nerd journey – Keira Daley’s LadyNerd – is a shining example of cabaret done right.  A nerd, Daley says, is someone who is obsessed with ideas, and she has set out to reclaim the good name of nerds from the fashionable ‘geek chic’ hipster cliché and the tragedy of the nerd punching bag. And with LadyNerd as her vessel, she might just succeed.  Despite being directed by the exceedingly talented Jay James-Moody and with musical direction by Mark Chamberlain, LadyNerd truly is a celebration of women: smart women, their historic achievements, and their courageous, hilarious, and oddly touching life stories (from liquid paper invention to the first theoretical computer program to the Curies’ love story and back again). But this show is also about Keira Daley, one of the most exciting, versatile actors in the music theatre scene, and she shares with us, in front of a tetris-themed background, her passion for her old Sega Megadrive, her frustration over incorrect apostrophe use, and her affinity for Venn diagrams.  The music is cleverly arranged and perfect swinging piano bar fare – ‘The Lady is a Tramp’ gets refashioned to fit Daley’s nerd message, but anthemic nerd artist Jonathan Coulton also gets a shoutout with a dazzling rendition of ‘A Laptop Like You’, just to single out a couple of stunning moments. If you’ve ever used a five syllable word or wanted to lay a suffrage smackdown against those who only care what women in pop culture look like, LadyNerd is for you. If you like fun, fresh, laugh-out-loud humor, LadyNerd is for you. If you want strong vocals, an array of accents, and a rollicking, inviting show, then LadyNerd is for you. Go book your tickets now – this is my pick for the best at the Fringe. Book online at www.seymourcentre.com or call 9351 7940Dates: September 29, 30, and October 1 at 7pm. 

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Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and is the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

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