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Bebe’s Room, Fri 23 Feb.
[CABARET – VIC]
The Fringe has been getting bigger and bigger over recent years and now seems to encompass shows that would have been on even if the Fringe wasn’t. I suspect this is not what many might identify as a Fringe event. Far away in style and feel from the Fringe hubs, or the venues for new and experimental theatre, is Bebe’s Room. Bebe’s Room advertise cabaret shows for over 50s and cruises to Noumea. I wouldn’t be surprised if they also organise nursing home gigs.
The place was packed, and Paul Hogan (from Melbourne) is obviously much loved. No one seemed to mind the karaoke backing tracks, and everyone thought his regular references to his non-existent band and chorus girls were hilarious.
Hogan doesn’t have a bad voice. He ploughed his way through standards from Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Sammy Davis Jnr et al to great acclaim. He delivered exactly what his audience wanted – covers of the songs they love with dollops of obvious humour. Personally, it missed the mark with me. The room of people enjoyed it; I was the one in the wrong place.