Adelaide Fringe Review – Berlin Cabaret

The Promethean Theatre, an Edwardian era Church, one time Liquor Trade Union Hall, now a gothic grey and plush velvet performance venue, is an excellent and intimate location for a witty night of bad German accents and cabaret.

Supported by the virtuosic Berlin Cabaret Micro Orchestra (read three piece jazz ensemble), Gerhardt, Lux and Rudi play up to every hokey hun caricature straddling the Weimar era and period of Nazi ascension.

Gerhardt was the charming, crooning Master of Ceremonies for the evening, with plenty of bad-but-good puns and blue banter. Lux is the resident alcoholic lush, strutting the stage in fishnets, corsetry and wine bottle belting out her particular penchant for American jazz numbers. Overplayed to the max, but then I think this is a necessity (even if her German accent seemed to be sliding at times into Slavic territories like all so many invasions of the era).  Supporting act, the Tin Can Alley, are an extremely talented and ageing decadent duo who specialise in catchy cabaret – from well known standard such as “Non, je ne regrette rien”, or more obscure Indian show tunes about oversized tomatoes (in Hindi!)

The gangly, shy and awkward Rudi, however, steals the show.  One minute delivering operatic overtures with Wagnerian largesse, next (un)dressed as ol’ Adolf himself in a fetching negligee.  His voice is either angelic or infernal as the tune and context demands. Glorious stuff.

I’m not sure what it is about this particular company of performers, but the average age of the audience was closer to 60, which I found curious – but maybe the “classic” form of Weimer cabaret holds an appeal for the older set that differentiates them from the new generation of neo-cabaret. At the very least it demonstrates that the cabaret and vaudeville arts still hold a broad appeal across many generations, and that the Fringe is not just for the young and tragically Boho.

The Berlin Cabaret have two more performances this Fringe – alas all sold out. But keep an eye out for them at other events such as the Adelaide Cabart Festival.

Jonathan Mar 4th 2010 10:48 pm Cabaret,Culture,Events,Music,People,Reviews No Comments yet Trackback URI

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