Tag: chanteuse

REVIEW: Sarah-Louise Young in CABARET WHORE

Lady is a vamp!

By Bradley Storer

The audience members were met at the door of the Loft at Chapel off Chapel by a flamboyantly friendly woman named Sammy Mavis Jnr., a country diva with a racy sense of humour, who happily helped seat people all the while introducing herself to everyone and chatting away like old friends.

Finally she took to the stage and welcomed us all to Cabaret Whore, before launching into Dolly Parton-style songs about her childhood sex-capades and her current career as a porn star. While understandably shocked, the audience laughed uproariously.

 British cabaret star Sarah-Louise Young brings five personas to life in this character-based cabaret. Aside from Sammy Mavis, the show includes a washed up wannabe West End diva, a Bjork-style Russian performance artist (allowing Young to show off her amazing range) and a dramatically masochistic French chanteuse.

Young has crafted incredibly individuated and distinct personalities for each character, and her remarkably versatile vocals allow her to glide from country to Broadway to French chanson worthy of Piaf with ease.

One of the highlights of this performance was watching the enthusiasm with which Young interacted with the audience members – not a member of the front row left unspoken to (or in one section, called upon to repair a microphone stand) but the warmth which she radiates at every moment makes this a joy.

Young is truly a star, with outstanding vocal and comedic abilities. At the end of the evening, Young emerged from behind her changing screen in only a dressing gown and charming self-deprecation before encoring with a number from her recent tenure in Fascinating Aida, reinforcing her sheer stage presence without trappings.

All this makes a show not to be missed, so see her before she leaves!

Dates: 22-24 June 9.00pm

Venue: Chapel off Chapel                                               

Tickets: $40 Full, $35 Concession

Booking: www.chapeloffchapel.com.au

Phone: 03 8290 7000

REVIEW: April Albert is DIE KNEF

A tribute to a legend misses the triumph

By Adam Tonking

Die Knef, a cabaret written and performed by April Albert, traces the life of Hildegard Knef, a chanteuse whose survival of World War II coloured the rest of her career as a performer, but never held her back from her ambition.

Albert’s show is a brief insight into a relatively unknown figure in Australia, and showcases songs in a language that is too seldom celebrated outside of opera here.

Hildegard Knef, referred to by Albert as “the Edith Piaf of Germany”, was an actress and singer who enjoyed a long career spanning from the 1940s through to the 1970s. With Albert as Knef, Die Knef is at its most simple the story of one woman’s life, featuring the songs that made her famous.

But Albert presents it as a kind of nostalgia concert from a faded artiste you can imagine touring RSLs and pokies venues, and so Knef comes onstage with all of the pizzazz and charisma of a star, but gets distracted reminiscing about the many tragedies of her life.

Watching Knef unravel under the weight of her memories makes for fascinating viewing.

I had thought that a show containing entirely foreign language songs might present a challenge, but the audience quickly accepted the change and Albert seemed most comfortable when singing or speaking in German.

Although her commitment to the character is admirable, she rarely seemed to connect with the unimaginable horrors that Knef describes experiencing during World War II.

The script appears meticulously researched, peppered with pithy quotes for which Knef was well-known, but then focuses too heavily on these bad times, not on the successes that made her so famous and hence a character worth getting to know.

April Albert’s Die Knef was on at The Butterfly Club in South Melbourne from the 1st till the 4th of December at 7pm

For details of other upcoming shows, visit www.thebutterflyclub.com.

ANA-LUCIA AND THE BARON: Episode One (Again!)

Our favourite French glamour girl and con-woman extraordinaire is wrecking havoc and hilarity at The Butterfly Club once again!

Dear Friends,

You are cordially invited to Ana-Lucia’s return season Welcome Home Party (after sell-out audiences gate-crashed zee last one). It’s at The Butterfly Club, every night from Thurs 24 at 7pm to Sunday 27 March at 6pm, for an outrageous evening of fun, frolics and intrigue – wiz me! 

You see, friends – I ‘ave lost my memory, but I do know I am being  ‘unted down by zee Evil Baron – oo may or may not be my one true, mon amour love – just because of some silly diamonds zat I am sure I ‘ave  certainly and absolutely NOT stolen from ‘im….

Alas, mes amis, I can’t remember oo you all are, or more importantly oo I am – but ‘opefully with your ‘elp I, Ana-Lucia, can unravel my mysterious and fabulous past…!

‘Zis one will be… ‘ow you say?? … a ‘oot!’

RSVP YES to The Butterfly Club!

You should never say no to a lady, ladies and gentlemen (especially when she has a gun…) So lock up your diamonds, pack up your pistols, and get down to The Butterfly Club THIS WEEK for the most sparkling and sensational Parisian party of the season!

Written by Lisa Nightingale
Directed by Kim Edwards
Accompanied by Trevor Jones as the enigmatic Juan Pablo…
Ticket price: $22 full / $19 concession, $18 for groups of 8 or more
Bookings: www.thebutterflyclub.com

(Pst! See Episode One NOW because it is already selling out, and rumour has it that Episode Two – and the Baron – are not far away…!)