06
Sep
13

Cabaret de Paris: A Burlesque Extravaganza

 

Cabaret de Paris: A Burlesque Extravaganza

Michael Boyd

Jupiters Gold Coast

5 September – 11 October 2013

 

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward 

 

Be transported by the atmosphere and excitement of a Parisian-themed revue with a parade of first-class entertainers and the daring beauty of exquisitely bejewelled exotic dancers. This spectacular production, Cabaret De Paris, will open at Jupiters Hotel & Casino on Thursday September 5 for a strictly limited season.

 

Cabaret De Paris is a stage spectacular celebrating old-fashioned showgirl glamour combined with the skill of adagio dancers, aerial pole artistry, comedy circus performers, quick change performers, illusionists and of course the famous French Cancan Dancers!

 

Don’t miss your chance to fall under the charm of former Moulin Rouge star, Marissa Burgess, the legendary showgirl and the toast of Paris. Marissa starred in three multi-million dollar revues; “Femmes, Femmes, Femmes”, “Formidable” and “Feerie”, earning the title of ‘Longest Serving Star’ in the Moulin Rouge’s 120-year history.

 

cabaret de paris_red

 

What a delight! The thought of Paris on the Gold Coast!

 

Managing Director of Jupiters Hotel and Casino, Aaron Gomes, had a dream. Producer, Michael Boyd, must have imagined he could see the same vision, because in Cabaret de Paris we get a mini Vegas version of the famous Moulin Rouge.

 

In a burlesque-hip hop-circus mash-up, we get a glamorous package of exotic dancers, illusionists, adagio performers and a razor-sharp resident clown, Justin Case, the highlight of the show. It’s a very conservative version of the lost art of titillation and tease. It’s not the extravaganza I was hoping for. (There is not even the partial nudity of the evening performances at matinees so that means you can take the kids!). But does this show live up to the original vision? Clearly, the establishment thinks so. They seem pleased. And yet, I don’t feel like I can wrap this one up by saying GO! GO SEE SOME BURLESQUE!

 

There are so many levels of burlesque in this country, and this is a good show for beginners who are happy to splurge on the pre-show dinner, drinks and the VIP cabaret table deal; it’s a first for Jupiters and lets you get up close to the action. Without making a night of it, if you’re a dedicated dance, cabaret or burlesque fan, you may come away wondering what all the fuss is about.

 

cabaretduparis_girls

 

It’s certainly not the movie, Burlesque, and nor should it be, but I’d love to hear a singer take us through the night Cher style. The stunning looking Marissa Burgess, the Longest Serving Star of the Moulin Rouge and now a Gold Coast resident, is given this role and relishing it, she plays the star part beautifully.

 

The pace of the show though is a little slow for my liking, the music seems as if it’s been selected somewhat randomly (the naff 1980s aspect being consistent with most of the Moulin Rouge and Lido clips on YouTube), and the girls, though they may be comfortable on stage in Paris, don’t appear to be here. They are so beautiful but it’s as if they don’t quite believe it! Maybe it was first night jitters, but Kelly Byrne and Morgan Kenny seemed to be the only dancers oozing with the uber confidence we expect from such glamazons.

 

While there is some spectacular choreography by Todd Patrick to be enjoyed, including the strangest incarnation of the traditional can-can I’ve ever seen, the dance element is pretty minimal because the nature of burlesque is to strut elegantly and pose beautifully, in order to draw attention to spectacularly long limbs, flat stomachs, firm breasts, tight buttocks and old-fashioned good posture. Not to mention the fabulous costumes, of which there are many. Designer Cathie Boyd, has created a superb collection, with feathers, sequins, gems and rhinestones. Without an epic set, Michael Buenen’s incredible lighting design is also appreciated.

 

Perhaps Cabaret de Paris is an authentic burlesque show – if you’ve been to Moulin Rouge or le Lido and then you’ve seen Cabaret de Paris you can let me know how it compares – and if that’s the case, let’s look at creating and staging a few new burlesque productions in Australia that honour the art form as much as they do the female form.

 

 

 

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