By Carly Fisher
If you ever dreamed about running away to the circus, this is nothing like what you would have ever imagined! Sexy, larger than life and just that little bit naughty, from the moment you enter Deluxe Deluxe at Wollongong’s Spiegeltent you are catapulted into the vivacious world of Amy G and her team. Part Burlesque, part circus, part cabaret, this family of misfits welcomes us with opens arms and straps us in for a wild ride, telling us from the outset that “too much is never enough.”
From the moment the lights rise, the show shines – quite literally with the inclusion of more sequins and sparkle than you can imagine ever being used within 100 minutes of entertainment. There are confetti guns, pyrotechnics, an array of dazzling lights, and sparkly costume after sparkly costume. Even the ‘palate cleanser’ performances in between the major shows (taken all too literally – giant mouths strutted down the aisles licking audience members before shimmying out again) were dripping in glitter and glamour. The stage management team for this production must be seriously commended – there are SO many props in this show and not a single one comes on or goes off a second late. Deluxe Deluxe is a well-oiled, glitter machine and the jokes land and the tricks amaze because of it.
Each cast member brings a unique skill to the table – some shine whilst others blend into the crowd, but all in all we are captured from start to finish. Amy G, our emcee, is without question the star of the show. With the exception of one vagina-trumpet skit that should be simply cut in my opinion, her performance was flawless. Amy’s voice is sublime and I hope to hear her perform soon in Australia in any capacity just to hear her sing again – wow! Her comedic timing is perfect and is second only to her unbelievably impressive roller skating ability. I have never seen anyone with such control on a set of wheels like that – truly amazing! Amy is a consummate professional and I cannot imagine a better emcee for this performance. Although originally a last minute change, casting her was the production’s finest choice in a series of clever decisions.
Other highlights included Penelope Elena and Zoe Marshall’s incredible aerial and contortionist work – Marshall even hangs vertically from the aerial by a clip at the top of her head, a trick I have certainly not seen done before. I believe both have plenty more tricks to offer and I’d love to see what else they can do as both are wonderfully talented and certainly stole the stage. Englishman, Busola’s sexy choreography certainly brought down the house too as he strutted with sensational confidence and delivered the best of Burlesque on that stage!
Hula-hooper, Ailona, performed one very entertaining opener but with the skill demonstrated, it was a shame to see her utilized only to that capacity. A second Hula Hoop routine added in to Act 2 would certainly be welcome and would allow Ailona to demonstrate her full potential. Whilst J’aiMime, newest to the group, delivered two entertaining routines – one involving a very cool, very large bubble – her numbers are currently positioned to feel like fillers within the production and I feel she was under-utilized and certainly has more to offer the show that should be programmed into future adaptations of Deluxe Deluxe. Anthony Rodriguez, otherwise known as ‘invertebrate’ made for a wonderful support star to many routines and this is where we were best able to appreciate his superior comedic timing.
Deluxe Deluxe may not have been the best circus/Burlesque cabaret I have personally ever seen but it was truly entertaining and I am very glad that I didn’t miss it. For Wollongong audiences, it would be a crime to rob yourself of a very entertaining 100 minutes of glitter and pizzazz! For audiences from around the area, make the drive into the Gong and enjoy – we did and we were certainly glad we had!
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.