The Kransky Sisters Piece of Cake
The Kransky Sisters @ Royalty Theatre
7:20pm, Sun 16 Mar 2014
As I’ve written before, I first discovered The Kransky Sisters through the otherwise-lamentable In Siberia Tonight; and, coincidentally, I last saw them perform the same year (2006) as The Umbilical Brothers… though I thought much more highly of their show at the time.
But, despite my initial glee at being able to schedule a Royalty double-header, it turns out that the venue is not able to handle a twenty-minute changeover; the “doors open 7:10pm” note on the ticket seems laughably optimistic, in retrospect. And, quite honestly, it was a bit of a relief that this show started about twenty minutes late; there had been an outside chance, if everything ran to schedule, that I could’ve caught an 8:30pm show at Gluttony, but the lengthy changeover meant that The Kransky Sisters would be my final show of the Fringe. And, with my I’m Over It malaise settling in, that was probably for the best… it just allowed me to sink a little deeper into my chair, and feel that My Work was done.
And, quite honestly, this show was a decent send-off for the year.
Familiar, funny, and full of their trademark dryness and tension, the three sisters – Mourne, Eve, and Dawn – cycled through their quirky renditions of songs (including my favourite Pop Muzik, with Dawn performing a perfect tuba bass-line). Some of the other crowd favourites included AC/DC and Queen; Eve’s musical saw (and a cheap Casio keyboard) starred in their occasionally bizarre instrumentations, accompanied by tight vocal lines and deadpan expressions.
The banter between the Sisters was as expected, with Mourne shouldering most of the load (and Eve’s habit of repeating key words acting as gloriously silly – and well timed – punctuation), and Dawn remaining mute throughout. Eve – as usual – gets a few moments to shine as she slips out from under Mourne’s puritanical shadow in some delightfully awkward idolatry of the male form, triggering those delicious moments of stony-faced tension onstage. And, once again, there was an audience interaction segment, with two men being plucked from the audience to become honorary Sisters (complete with matching blouses and wigs).
It had been eight years since I last saw The Kransky Sisters, and not much has changed in their act in that time (except for the increase in audience interaction numbers). But what has happened in the meantime is that Eve Kransky (or, rather, Christine Johnston) brought the Rramp to the Cabaret Festival in 2013… and that was, by far, the show that impressed me most that year. And, unfortunately, it seems like The Kransky Sisters will be living in the shadow of that incredible show for some time to come… Piece of Cake was fun, and a nice way to round off my Fringe, but it lacks the creativity of Rramp… at least, for this veteran. Maybe a Kransky-newbie would have found it to be more of a standout.
— Pete Muller (@festivalfreakAU) March 16, 2014