Truth is stranger than cabaret
By Myron My
Living up to its name, True Story begins with just that. Projected on the wall in the performance space are numerous headlines of strange events that have actually happened. Some are pop-culture references, some seem a little weird, and some are just plain bizarre, such as the man who jumped in a puddle and died (I really need to google this to find out how exactly)…
Cabaret performer and songwriter Ruth Wilkin is highly personable on stage and possesses a natural presence that garners your attention. She does very well with the different vocal demands of each song and really pushes the various emotions required from them, from sadness to joy and all the ones in between. However, I feel the lyrics to some songs are a letdown at times and seem a little awkward, including her piece about Tokyo Disneyland support for marriage equality.
Accompanying Wilkin on piano is Barney Reiter (Short + Sweet Cabaret 2012 and Suitcases, Baggage and Other Synonyms) and yet again, he does not disappoint. The blending in of some better-known tunes into the original music is seamless and the ease with which Reiter plays is always impressive to watch.
Wilkin does well to keep the pace interesting and fun throughout True Story. Between songs, she shares some anecdotes from her life or other interesting true stories, some of which are a little spooky. Wilkin also includes a few hilarious real customer review segments on random household items, such as a banana slicer that changes lives and a male hair-removal cream that should not be used on just any part of the body…
Yet, I would have liked to see some more linking within the show as a whole. The tales did not seem to flow from one to the other with some stories mentioned and then immediately forgotten abou,t and in other cases, a song being performed with the story behind it not being very clear.
I really like the concept of Wilkin’s show and she has a strong appealing voice and the skill and charisma to create entertaining shows. Despite its small flaws, True Story is an enjoyable hour of lighthearted cabaret fun.
Venue: The Butterfly Club, 256 Collins St (entry via Carson Place), Melbourne
Season: Until 27 October | Sat 7:00pm, Sun 6:00pm
Tickets: $23 Full | $20 Conc