Daniel Schlusser invites audiences to ‘soar like an eagle covered in cheese’ this Valentine’s weekend with the production of ‘Schmaltz‘ at the Malthouse Theatre. Clearly this theme struck a chord with Melbourne audiences, as the Tower Theatre was packed to the rafters on opening night. The show was loosely structured as a talk show format, with a string of actors entering to perform bits around the motif of love.
The schmaltz was strong in this production, with self-aware tea metaphors, glitter confetti, an over active smoke machine, and karaoke all employed throughout the night.
Part of the Artist Curated Events series, this production had a more DIY approach compared to the shows on main stage. The back brick wall was covered in Valentine’s inspired graffiti and the set looked like an assortment of kitsch found in prop storage (or perhaps the Malthouse staff lounge room). The costume design evoked the image of actors let loose to have fun in the costume closet, whereas the script was a bit rough around the edges. At times, it also felt like an inside joke with the theatre crowd.
‘Schmaltz’ provided a joking sendup of love. This alternative to traditional chick flick rom-coms was happily embraced by the opening night crowd.
Jenny S. is an event addict. She has participated in arts festivals on three different continents (plus a couple of islands). When she’s not attending live shows, you can find her sampling the latest craft beer or sipping a creative cocktail.
‘Schmaltz’ runs 12-14 February at Malthouse Theatre, 113 Sturt Street, Southbank. Book tickets here. The venue is accessible.