La Mama Theatre - The Feast of Argentina Gina Catalina

The La Mama Theatre: The Feast of Argentina Gina Catalina is another outrageous production by Finucane and Smith. It brings together the senses and the sensual and takes the audience on a whirlwind journey across the seasons and into the depths of passion, purity and saucy outfits.
La Mama Theatre - The Feast of Argentina Gina Catalina
Another outrageous production by Finucane and Smith, The Feast of Argentina Gina Catalina brings together the senses and the sensual and takes the audience on a whirlwind journey across the seasons and into the depths of passion, purity and saucy outfits. Upon walking in the doors at La Mama you are not only plied with freshly made sangria, but as With Salon De Dance, the other Finucane and Smith production presently taking place at La Mama, the audience is seated at little round tables with candles, reminiscent of a 1930’s cabaret venue. However this time there are also little round dishes of oil and vinegar and large green olives to snack on until suddenly the lights dim and Argentina, played by Moira Finucane, enters the theatre via the staircase in a sexy black slip with wild hair and the story begins. Firstly it is a hot and steamy summer in Madrid and Argentina, with her wonderful Spanish accent, sizzles as she wanders the streets and roofs of this searing city telling us of her yearnings and desires as she goes. Then we are alone in a dark alleyway with a pack of hungry dogs and their bloodthirsty owner surrounding us, closer and closer until we are devoured by their need to feed. Then it is our turn to feed. Served by waiters in suits and ties, we are offered bread and cured meats, and while we sit at our tables devouring the goodness, the diva herself re-enters for the next part of the journey. If you love stories of marauding pirates then you will love the next tale that Argentina has up her ballooned sleeve. Dressed in a red gown that looks like it was once owned by Carmen Miranda, Argentina, aided by her beloved ‘Virgin’, somehow overpowers a ship of pirates and becomes the captain of the ship. It doesn’t seem to matter whether the story makes sense or not, because the audience is lapping up every outrageous and subtle movement Finucane makes. While I believe seafood was to be the next course, it didn’t quite make it to the tables so we were placated with a smooth white wine instead. Then a spring gift was given to both Argentina and the audience as we were taken for a detailed stroll into the markets where bloodied meat, luscious fruits and other delicacies all lived side by side. While Argentina was given wings to fly, we were given a delicious piece of chocolate brownie to eat. Finally in the icy coolness of winter and dressed in a gorgeous white bustier, frilled skirt and studded white wristbands, Argentina took us on an ‘unbelievable’ journey full of circus performers, crucifixes, wild wolves, banditos, whales and bears. This wonderful story was completed with ice-cream drizzled with a delicious raspberry sauce, served in individual spoons and accompanied by dessert wine. After much applause from the audience, we made our way out the door only to find several bowls of cooked pippis and mussels with onion waiting for us to eat as a final course. Better late than never I say. I just wish there were shows like this more often at La Mama theatre, and for that matter theatre’s everywhere. A final word, don’t eat before you see this show as the food alone is worth waiting for let alone the wonderful performance by Moira Finucane. The Feast of Argentina Gina Catalina Venue: La Mama, 205 Faraday Street, Carlton 14 – 29 March, 2009 Saturdays and Sundays only, all at 4.00pm Tickets: $35 / $25 Duration: 70 minutes approx. Bookings: 9347 6142

Melynda von Derksen

Monday 16 March, 2009

About the author

Melynda is a Melbourne based freelance photographer, arts manager and fashion stylist who enjoys creating her own projects and reinventing herself on a continual basis. Graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1996 where she majored in technical production in theatre, she has worked as a lighting designer, stage manager and theatre all rounder for many of Melbourne's best known creative companies. Eager to expand on her professional career, in 2004 she undertook a post graduate degree in arts management at the University of Melbourne. Since then she has worked in the area of arts administration and has used her skills to coordinate many successful cabaret events around town. As well as being part of the La Mama family for almost a decade, she continues to stick her finger in every type of creative pie that life has to offer. She is currently researching and writing a photographic book based on the history of the Melbourne Punk scene (1977 - onwards), which she hopes will be published in the next few years.