REVIEW: A VERY GAGA VARIETY FUNDRAISING NIGHT

Variety night an exciting preview for new musical

By Scarlett Harris

Last night at their new location on Carson Place in the city, The Butterfly Club hosted a Lady Gaga variety show in an effort to raise funds for the latest creative endeavour of Kin Collaborative’s Melbourne Uni student arm. Kin CoLaboratory’s MUD Festival entry, Gaga & Assange, promises to be a romp of epic pure-pop proportions.

Gaga and Julian Assange both rose to dizzying heights of infamy around the same time: she with her anthem of tolerance, “Born This Way”, and he with the release of U.S. diplomatic cables and apparent “honey-trapping” rape charges.

Gaga & Assange

Gaga & Assange plays on this theme of sex, introducing the two via a sex-tape- and STD-fuelled romp—a “Bad Romance”, if you will—and going on to dissect the egos and dogmas of two of pop culture’s most recognisable names and faces.

But as for last night, it was a riotous tribute to all things Mother Monster, with renditions of “Paparazzi” by Gaga & Assange creator, Will Hannagan; Gaga’s Tony Bennett effort, “The Lady is a Tramp”, with G&A director and MC for the night, Jeremy Russo; and “Bad Romance”, “Alejandro” and “Americano” by Melbourne bluegrass band The Scrimshaw Four.

Alex Frank and Alexia Brinseley had the audience in stitches for “Edge of Glory”, “Hair” and “You & I” (arguably the performances of the night), while Belinda Jenkin remixed “Dance in the Dark” and “Just Dance” into ballads, and James Worsnop and Nicola Guzzardi parodied “Telephone”. The Collaborative topped off the night with a mashup of two original songs from Gaga & Assange, staged by their very own Gaga, Laura Raiti.

After the success of this fundraising event, I’m looking forward to seeing whether the musical deals with our readiness to let certain things about its titular “characters” (because isn’t that what they are—especially Gaga—to an extent?) fly, like Gaga’s alleged cosmetic surgery and Assange’s abovementioned sexual assault, in order to embrace their wider messages of acceptance and freedom of information, respectively. All with a side of Europop club anthems to boot.

A Very Gaga Variety Fundraising Night was performed at The Butterfly Club on Wednesday July 17, 2013

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