Tag: Crown Casino

REVIEW: THE ULTIMATE VEGAS SHOW

Plenty of glitz

By Myron My

The Ultimate Vegas Show is a night of magic, illusion, circus, songs, dancing and music. It’s got all the ingredients for a brilliant and captivating show, yet, sadly this experience left me feeling underwhelmed and wanting to head back to ‘Melbourne’.

The Ultimate Vegas Show.jpg

Host/MC David Cotter did pleasantly well with his Dean Martin impersonation, but that’s all there was to it. Cotter’s Martin did not possess enough dynamic stage presence or charisma to keep the audience strongly entertained and generate excitement about the upcoming acts, although perhaps in a more intimate setting as opposed to the expansive space of The Palms, he might have had more of an effect.

Among the performances themselves however, producer Michael Boyd‘s magic and illusion act was definitely a showstopper, with some of his tricks defying logic and eliciting a lot of delighted “How did that just happen?” from the audience, especially the charming one involving his loyal sidekick, Thurston the Duck. Similarly Spain’s Duponte Nicole with his clowning and mime act was perfectly timed and his finale had everyone gasping with amazement and laughter at the same time.

The inherent problem with this show was filling all the space between these two mentioned acts. While the vastness and glitz you expect from a Vegas experience was present, I felt it lacked the heart and real sparkle to really draw the spectators in and take them along for the ride (although many of the older women in the audience would disagree with me judging by their enthused and emotional reactions to Elvis impersonator Marcus Jackson‘s vocal numbers). Furthermore, the dance numbers had relatively uninspiring choreography that left me feeling like I was watching a lot of the same routines just with different costumes on.

The Ultimate Vegas Show had potential to be a captivating spectacle on a grand scale. Unfortunately, in its focus to capture the “Vegas vibe”, it seems to have forgotten about capturing all its audience. Maybe it is an iconic example of the showy grandeur of the productions in Vegas – I confess I’ve never seen one so I don’t know – but in this case and for me, I felt what happens in Vegas really should have stayed in Vegas.

The Ultimate Vegas Show was performed at The Palms at Crown Melbourne between 15 – 16 January 2016.

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REVIEW: Spiegelworld Presents ABSINTHE

High energy, high drama and high expectations

By Myron My

In 2013, I had the good fortune to be working front-of-house when Spiegelworld brought its show Empire to Melbourne’s Crown Casino. I was able to watch repeatedly a troupe of world-class artists performing in highly skillful and often death-defying acts, which also proved to be an exhilarating experience for audience members. Fast-forward two years, and Spiegelworld have returned their Spiegeltent to the Crown Casino rooftop with their new show Absinthe.

Absinthe

Inspired by cabarets of late 19th-century Europe, Absinthe is a spectacular and intimate performance of burlesque, circus, song and dance with enough variety to appeal to everyone. However, given the theme of the show and the physique and strengths of the performers, there is also quite a bit of flesh on display and plenty of sexual innuendo and some not-so-subtle sexual humour by the hosts, The Gazillionaire and his sidekick Penny Pibbets.

Now I understand that, given the nature of the show, there is a need to be cheeky and funny and even controversial but for me these hosts lacked the warmth and the familiarity that was accomplished so well by the hosts in Empire. This led to some highly awkward moments, such as the performers pulling two males out of the audience and having them give a lap dance to a female audience member. It was extremely uncomfortable to watch as these men took off their clothes, touched her, and shook their ass in the woman’s face. Fortunately for everyone involved, it went relatively smoothly the night I attended, but looking around the audience there were clearly a number of people who did not find this funny in the slightest.

The acts themselves however were both mesmerising and frightening at the same time. Los Dos Tacos (Belarus duo Aliasandra Yurkavets and Andrei Sizonenka) and their dramatic parallel bars act was by far the highlight of the evening, with the artists performing extraordinary tricks where landing even a centimeter off would have proved disastrous for them and quite possibly for the audience. Another personal favourite was the Duo Strap dance routine by Americans Jacob Oberman and Maika Isogawa, which may have allowed our hearts to stop racing, but then displayed some beautiful moments on stage with aerial ballet.

Sadly, for me the high-wire finale by The Frat Pack lacked the suspense and ‘wow’ factor required to end the night on a high. There were stronger, more thrilling acts that were performed earlier in the evening that I feel would have been more suited for the finale spot.

Although it’s no Empire, Absinthe still manages to amaze, excite, and leave you with your mouth hanging open in astonishment. These are performers who are at the top of their game and it is probably one of the few chances you’ll ever get to see them perform. Despite its flaws, Absinthe is still a theatrical highlight of my year so far.

Venue: Rooftop at Crown Casino, Southbank, 3006.

Season: Until 17 May

Tickets: From $56.07 to $157

Bookings: Spiegelworld

Image by Mark Turner