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Review: Cabaret De Paris at State Theatre

Review by Charlotte Leamon

Ooh la la! A night of glamour and burlesque only describes some of the entertainment that Cabaret De Paris had to offer. Featuring Australian icon Rhonda Burchmore as the leading lady, other entertainers included— illusionists, showgirls, a contortionist and an aerial pole artist. The night promised to be a true and traditional night of cabaret.

Feather boas, sparkles and heels filled the stage as the showgirls opened the show. Seven women who have all danced in Moulin Rouge were accompanied by two male dancers. The opening number was mistimed and synchronisation was slightly impaired. Nonetheless, the flexibility of the performers and the overall pizzazz was exciting. As Rhonda entered the stage, her voice whisked the audience away into a dream-like state with her deep, sultry voice. At 63, Rhonda is proving to be as talented as ever. Stunning the audience with renditions of “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”, “I am what I am”, “La Cage aux Folley” and more, Rhonda was the star of the night.

The entertainers gave their all, despite the quiet audience. Cheers and applause was absent where necessary, leaving the performers (I can only imagine) quite disheartened. It was no reflection of their talent, the audience just needed some encouragement! Luckily, Rhonda’s conversational moments where she interacted with the audience was exactly the encouragement in which the audience needed. Rhonda talked about her obsession with France — her French poodles, love of baguettes and talking walks along the Seine, which of course seamlessly led into another musical number. My favourite moment of Rhonda’s was when she sang “If I Can’t Sell It, I’ll Keep Sittin’ On it”. A hilarious rendition of Ruth Brown’s song, sung with flair and sass.

Costume changes between scenes was of true, old-fashioned Parisian revue. Toplessness, cheekiness and sexiness were all part of the Parisian charm. The magic acts were quite extraordinary. Producer and illusionist Michael Boyd entered amongst dramatic music and lights, creating tension and suspension. As his beautiful assistant clambered into floating boxes, she disappeared and reappeared time and time again. It doesn’t matter how hard you look, she’s not going through the floor! His illusions had the audience transfixed and cheering.

Another act which was as similarly as odd and confusing, but in a very different way… was the contortionist of the night. Adjusting into positions which shouldn’t be possible, and proving her insane flexibility made the audience grimace with awe. Her pole-dancing was equally as mesmerising, especially the giant heels she performed in.

The showgirls and two men assisted Rhonda in her musical numbers. However, their Can-Can is what wowed the audience. With their traditional red dresses and spandex, they were cheeky in flashing the audience and miming the words. A spectacularly choreographed number which resulted in the ever-speeding Can-Can and a dramatic ending as each girl jumped and landed in the splits in a canon effect.

The show proved to be an extravaganza. A night full of classic cabaret entertainment and glamour, what more could you ask for? Merci Cabaret De Paris!

Image Supplied

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