His motto? “In drag, but not a drag!”
By Kim Edwards
On his opening night for this year’s Melbourne Cabaret Festival, UK cabaret sensation and star of La Clique Le Gateau Chocolat got a standing ovation from his wolf-whistling, foot-stamping and highly delighted audience.
Even the demure middle-aged lady to whom he had given the vigorous and pelvis-thrusting lap dance, the young guy who had earlier made the ‘wrong’ choice of dance over song, and the poor straight man he’d made joyous fun off in the front row were on their feet applauding until their hands were sore.
Melbourne announced emphatically that they loved this plump, pleasurable and piquant performer, and with his grandiose voice and outlandish personality, there is certainly plenty in this performance to enjoy.
Le Gateau Chocolat is everything that’s fabulous about drag, but with his revealing one-piece lycra suit, his beard surmounted by spectacularly beautiful makeup and luscious lashes, and his rich and rumbling bass-baritone voice, this diva is not at all about female impersonation.
His performance, like his ridiculous and glorious wardrobe, is shameless in calling attention to anything and showing off everything. The show exploits all the classic cabaret diva cliches, and his relentless showtune song list is an exemplar of everything cabaret performers should normally avoid – but the wonderful charm of his outrageous character and the fabulous musical arrangements that showcase his beefy and beautiful baritone sound were triumphant crowd-pleasers.
Accompanied by an excellent pianist and cellist, and starring alongside his beloved costume rail Bruce and over-sized suitcases of lycra, Gateau is all dolled up to feed your showtune cabaret and sugary chocolate addictions.
Le Gateau Chocolat’s final solo show is tonight 23 July at 8.30pm in the Grand Hall of South Melbourne Town Hall, but you can also have your cake and hear him too tomorrow night for the festival’s Big Gay Cabaret Sunday Finale! See www.melbournecabaret.com for the details…