[CABARET ~ ADELAIDE PREMIERE ~ AUS]
Her Majesty’s Theatre, Sat 17 Jun.
I was aware that Meow Meow has performed in Adelaide many times to consistent acclaim, but had never managed to see her shows before. Tonight’s performance accompanied by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra led by Nicholas Buc does not disappoint. Meow Meow’s cabaret sensibilities and eminent skills are on full display, spanning some outstanding vocal performances, clowning antics, dancing, acting, and wonderful comic wit and timing.
As the title suggests there is the constant danger of imminent pandemonium threatening to undo the show. A running joke pervades around having to do everything herself, including bringing her own congratulatory flowers, is used to great effect. Meow Meow’s schtick of audience participation with a weary Prima Donna is tightly controlled but there is just enough risk underpinning it to keep both performer and audience on their toes.
Meow Meow has an evocative and powerful voice and she inhabits her songs brilliantly. The song selection ranges across genres with French and German 1920’s era cabaret being a feature. Tonight her interpretation of Patty Griffin’s All The Girls Be Careful is exceptional. Another awesome song choice is Radiohead’s Fake Plastic Trees. There is a nod to Amanda Palmer, and, of course, there are a number of songs she was ‘forced’ to write herself!
We are treated to many more cheeky, somewhat bawdy song routines scattered throughout – to add to the craziness. Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini sung in a range of styles culminating in Avant Garde is particularly magnificent when the orchestra gets involved in the antics.
The ASO is outstanding, adding beauty, texture, verve and freshness to the whole event. Opening the second act with a parade of all orchestra members across the front of stage to greet the audience is a wonderful inclusion, giving us a chance to meet all of the talented people behind the instruments and soundscapes.
This is a dazzling night of entertainment and fun and Meow Meow shows she is a treasure trove of talent wrapped in a beautiful silk of controlled chaos.
Image courtesy of Claudio Raschella