Cabaret Big Top, Bonython Park, Wed 30 Sep
Transgender Ladyboys are a frequent sight throughout Thailand and feature regularly in Thai nightclubs. The Thailand Ladyboy Superstars Cabaret have arrived in Adelaide for an extended season in Bonython Park. Billed as a cabaret show, it draws much of its inspiration from burlesque and the style of the Ziegfield Follies in a luscious display of extravagant costumes and proud sexuality.
It is a feast for the eyes, and within minutes it matters not that they are transgender. The fact is they are all gorgeous and unashamedly flaunt their curves in a series of song and dance routines featuring the music of Beyoncé, Billy Joel, Credence Clearwater Revival (the raunchiest version of Proud Mary you’ll ever see!), Psy (Gangnam Style), Kylie Minogue, Tina Turner and Gloria Gaynor to name a few.
A couple of Thai numbers acknowledged their cultural origins and were delivered in even more exquisite traditional costumes.
Occasional scenes of humour were a welcome change from the drag queen dance routines. The defrocking of a cast member in the early stages of gender transition in a scene that included Catholic nuns was a nice touch of irony, and showed a willingness to poke fun at the whole question of gender bending.
The highlight was a half man/half women character singing Paul Anka’s I’m A One Man Woman to him/herself in a clever double act.
Lip-synced vocals were the order of the day (i.e. no live singing) and the choreography, while entertaining, doesn’t ever really hit the heights. It’s really all about dressing up, having fun and looking fabulous in your own body. And despite the potentially provocative nature of this show it actually stays on pretty safe ground.
Thailand Ladyboy Superstars Cabaret performs at Cabaret Big Top, Bonython Park, at various times until Sat 17 Oct.