A loveable and laughable performance
By Kate Boston-Smith
Queenie van de Zandt is a vocal powerhouse filled with warmth and goodwill who knows how to laugh, especially at herself. Her 2011 Melbourne Cabaret Festival show The Best (and Worst) of Queenie van de Zandt is a fantastic stroll down memory lane.
Though we, the audience, don’t know these memories firsthand, van de Zandt acknowledges her non-celebrity and celebrates it with gusto and humor using photos, promotional material and personal keepsakes.
With 22 years in the business she has a kaleidoscope of stories to share. That said, this is not a show written to gloat or big-note (though she has the vocal strength do so should she wish). No, this is a story about her journey; her ups, downs, mistakes and ultimately her passion for singing and performing. It is like she takes the audience by the hand into the living room for a cup of tea at an intimate family gathering, where she shares pictures, hilarious horror stories and laughter.
Van de Zandt is welcoming and generous, playful and cheeky. Her song choice displays her incredible, self-taught, vocal ability. Her inspiring song choices include the likes of ABBA, Olivia Newton-John and Joni Mitchell to name a few.
She commands the stage, yet allows for interaction, sharing the spotlight with her adoring audience.
As she playfully poked fun at her lack of notoriety, I couldn’t help but empathise. Not knowing much about her before I walked into the show, I can honestly say I left feeling like an old-friend; such is the connection she has with us.
If you are looking for a beautiful, honest show about joy, heartache and renewal all told with warmth and humor then this is the cabaret for you.
Performed by Queenie van de Zandt with Lucy Bermingham accompanying.
Tonight & Sunday 24 July, 8.15pm
$40 / $37
The Incubator, Auspicious Arts,
228 Bank Street, South Melbourne