Tag: camp

Review: MADEMOISELLE by Michael Dalley

Behind closed doors is where camp comedy begins

By Myron My

I was not sure what to expect from the world premier season of Mademoiselle, advertised as “a gothic camp music theatre revue” with two satirical manservants singing tunes about what could have been, but I knew I would be in for a treat.

Our two manservants, played by creators Michael Dalley and Paul McCarthy, sneak into their employer’s boudoir and let loose some glitzy musical numbers revolving around fantasy, regret, power and servitude.  The very opening song relaxed the audience and assured us that we were in for a night of cheeky laughs.

Mademoiselle is a very wordy and witty revue with just a few jokes falling flat. However, the characters had such an air of assumed superiority that you had to second-guess yourself when you didn’t laugh – was it because the joke wasn’t that funny or because you were just too lower class to get it?!

The banter and bitchy retorts between the two servants as they try to gain one up on each other was a joy to watch and Dalley and McCarthy have a great rapport together. You can clearly see they are having a ball with this. However, I would have liked to see the pair push themselves more with volume and vocal projection – at times, their speaking voices were louder than their singing ones, as if they were holding back during the songs. Also, there were moments during the duets when the performers were not in time with each other, but they were far and few between.

Composer John Thorn on piano was delightful to hear and played with great precision. Favourite numbers of the night were “The Passive Aggressive Filipino Amway Lady” which had me in stitches when the title character met the articulate call centre operator from Dubai, and “The Nasty Queen From Menswear” made delightfully scarier by the fact that I too was once a victim of such a person in previous employment.

The sets and costume, while minimal, added so much to this revue. The constant presence of the toilet was a constant reminder that despite their airs, these two manservants were just that and nothing more. The single props for their impersonations were well-chosen and clearly distinguished their changing characters: from Indian call-centre workers and Filipino Amway ladies to bitchy sales assistants, they were spot on, which is no surprise given Dalley and McCarthy’s established performance backgrounds in comedy and theatre.

Mademoiselle is certainly cheeky good old-fashioned camp fun that will see you leaving the theatre with many belly laughs having been had.

Venue: fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane
Season: Until 19 August 2012 | Tues to Sat 8:00pm, Sun 5:00pm
Tickets: $35 Full | $28 Conc
Bookings: 03 9662 9966 or http://www.fortyfivevdownstairs.com

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Review: THE GREATEST MEDLEY OF ALL TIME

Gotta love a show that lives up to its title!

By Dean Arcuri

Seasoned Butterfly Club performers Jade Leonard and Trevor Jones combined their musical prowess to create a non-stop cabaret train; having enjoyed their solo works before, I was eagerly anticipating this combination.

With the entire performance being one long medley of camp and classic songs, we were in for a real treat.

Creating The Greatest Medley of All Time is a daunting endeavour but with Jones accompanying their vocals for the full hour of performance as he and Leonard changed tones, styles and tempo with ease, they certainly hit the nail on the head.

Channeling a wide range of musical numbers they opened their mammoth medley with The Lady is a Tramp, but having Trevor sing that the tramp was actually Jade meant we immediately settled in for a night of fun!

Joking they were the best wedding band of all time, the two performers contrasted great jazz, music theatre and diva showstoppers with classic love ballads  like Endless Love and The Mirror Has Two Faces, changing tempo and mood by clever segues into Man in the Mirror and Valerie in tributes to musicians past.

Jade sings with such sweetness you would think her diaphragm is dipped in honey. This is singing with a tone and beauty that seems to surround and engulf the space around you, leaving the listener to be swept up by the sounds of this siren.

Trevor balanced with ease between fine vocals and continuous accompaniment: he never tired and his exuberance and uniquely enigmatic style was intoxicating. Sharing the spotlight we are swept up in the power of their duet ballads as well and the sass and spunk of their solo numbers.

The only problem with a never-ending medley is have to pick when to applaud, but the audience seemed content to wait till the show’s conclusion to cheer and even sing along when we hit the fabulous Grease Mega Mix.

Both performers have a sense of showmanship and musicality that carried through from number to number, keeping me transfixed. Many moments were spent fighting the temptation to just close my eyes and soak in the sounds: for while the staging was simple, closing my eyes would have meant missing the sight of the obvious joy they both brought to the medley

An hour was not enough – we need more! Fingers crossed for return seasons of this vibrant cabaret show in the near future…

 

The Greatest Medley of All Time  was performed at The Butterfly Club from 22-25 March.