Adelaide Fringe Review – Bedazzled Burlesque

Look, this revue is a little late in the piece because I had to think long and hard about what I was going to write in light of other burlesque performances on at the Fringe, and how they compare.

I think we have reached the stage in the Burlesque revival where the stock standard burlesque-cabaret song book is no longer “Fringe” – it is so mainstream it is more Adelaide Cabaret Festival. If I am going to review a burlesque show at Fringe I’m going to apply a different criteria to what I might in another festival. I want, nay, I demand something different to get my attention.

Bedazzled Burlesque was too middle of the road for my tastes. It tried to be naughty at the outset with MC Madam Menage a Trois which unfortunately relied on too many clitoris jokes to which I rapidly became desensitised to and began to rub me the wrong way. At times it seemed like I was watching an old episode on ‘Allo ‘Allo.

The performers underwent numerous name changes in the performance based on character – which I thought was unnecessary and played havoc with my review notes frankly.

The good parts involved a white sequined ‘Marian’ singing a jazzy “Why Don’t You Do Right?” which was sultry & sexy, followed by ‘Carly’ with a cute and snappy bump routine to the tunes of “Big Spender”. Later in the proceedings we had ‘Natalia,’ crop in hand, giving a polished and tight burlesque routine to Madonna’s “Hanky Panky” which I thought was maybe a little too tied to the lyrical content – I would have liked to have seen more interpretative and harmonic movement. Probably the highlight was ‘Sapphire’ strutting to Christine Agiulera’s “Nasty Boy” in the sexiest routine of the night, smouldering and excellent eye contact.

The not-so-good parts was a brass & rockabillty version of “Diamonds are Girls Best Friend” by ‘Marilyn’, which to my mind ramped up the raunch too much and lacked the original Marilyn’s suggestiveness and subtlety. There was a lot of overenthusiastic Americana schtick with a lecherous David doing what I presume was Boylesque to “I’m Too Sexy” which was more like the embarrassing friend dancing drunkenly in a nightclub on the impression it is going to impress the laydeez…. I was left feeling a little empty by ‘Candy’ doing Ertha Kitts “I Want To Be Evil” – that song, sung, mimed or performed to, requires a certain personal projection to be convincing – and unfortunately Candy just looks to ‘nice’ and gentle to fulfil the role of a feline femme fatale man eater.

So there we go.

Maybe I could be more forgiving, but frankly I see other performers jumping the high bar by pushing the boundaries of burlesque/cabaret – and fusing the traditional and contemporary with more conviction. Maybe Bedazzled Burlesque works for corporate function entertainment, but at Fringe, I am left wanting more. Much more.

Jonathan Mar 13th 2012 07:41 pm Burlesque,Cabaret,Culture,Events,Music,People,Reviews,Style No Comments yet Trackback URI

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