By Joana Simmons
This year’s Melbourne Cabaret Festival features a program with artists from all corners of the cabaret genre and all corners of the globe. New Yorker Amy G’s one-woman slapstick-song-dance-and-skating show Entershamement is a prime example of the host of talent dished up for the tasting. She explores some personal truths about shame, and #noshame, throws stones at her haters and commands the stage to do anything and everything to entertain her audience. She ain’t chicken. Except in the act where she is a chicken.
Belting out a range of diva staples (“I’ll put a Spell on You”, “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman”, “It’s Not Easy Being Green”) there were moments where her notes floated into the air and tickled our ears like the smoky stage she was standing on. However, there were also many moments where her voice sounded strained for the power-house notes and didn’t do the song or her justice. Her range of skills though, is as vast as her homeland: moments that had me guffawing and gasping for air were fantastic physical comedy on rollerskates, her Spanglish flamenco senorita with a fire in her belly, a glimpse into her dressing room at intermission and the amazing way she can play a kazoo with her hoo-hoo. The latter is one party trick one will never forget, and finishes the show with a rousing applause. These moments aside, the rest didn’t land for me. She touched on the concept of shame and judgment as a performer but it felt skin deep, and this shameful reviewer wants to see the rock bottom of the deepest pools of her real truths.
For a show in a festival program that has multiple events in the same venue in the one night, the production and tech is seamless. The lighting is well-set, well-timed, and adds magic to her marvelous acts. Similarly, the sound – quite simply – is great, standing strong through multiple costume and mic changes. Amy G’s costumes are as delightfully showy and theatrical as the way she got changed into them: my favourite was spinning on skates as she spun into a dress- a tornado of glamour and grace.
If you have never seen cabaret before, but kind of have an idea of what it is, this is a show for you- with a few wonderful surprises and moments you won’t forget. If you have seen cabaret before, enjoy feathers, sequins, songs, skates and jokes– a woman whose talent is varied and stories are true, this is a show for you.
Season: Until June 19
Venue: Chapel Off Chapel