‘Cabaret de Paris’ transports you back to yesteryear

Cabaret de Paris | Crown Perth | 15th October 2020 | ★ ★ ★ 

The Crown Theatre has come back to life with a cabaret extravaganza that faithfully recreates classic Parisian entertainment of decades gone by. 

After the COVID-19 outbreak saw most theatres and entertainment venues come to a grinding halt, nightlife is slowly beginning to return. Western Australia’s hard border closure has created opportunities for local performers, as producers turned to locally based dancers to create the show’s chorus.

Many of the dancers appearing in this cabaret spectacular are based locally, and many are former showgirls from world famous cabaret venues. This production, which is heavy on nostalgia, features show girls, singers, a contortionist and an illusionist.

Cabaret traditionally works in crowded, raucous, late night venues. The cavernous theatre at Crown is a long way from that. While there were some tables on the stage up close to the performers, most people in the seats were a long way from the action. The showgirls wore fabulous headdresses and magnificent costumes, but they were lost in the scale of the stage.

The highlights of the show were an enthusiastic can-can, and the classic dance conducted with fans of feathers. In between there were songs, performers with enviable flexibility and the classic ‘girl locked in a box escapes’ routines. While they are classics, we’ve also seen them in shows for decades, watched them on television, and seen many works that have moved beyond these well-worn routines.

While the jokes, chorography, music and styles took us in a time-warp back, I found myself reminiscing about The Saturday Show, wondering what happened to The Natural Seven, and where is Jane Scali?

Singer Marissa Burgess, a former star of the Moulin Rouge in Paris, hosted the night’s entertainment singing classic French songs and delivering the obligatory audience participation segment. Illusionist Michael Boyd also kept our attention with classic tricks and moments of disbelief.

The show does feature topless showgirls, but it’s a small part of the show. The productions three male dancers also took their shirts off for a moment, leaving me wondering about equal opportunity exhibitionism in 2020, and how watching a show firmly rooted in the past presents to a modern audience.

It was fun, I’ve been humming Edith Piaf tunes since I left the theatre, but while it’s a show filled with classic routines, it’s not one that is going to stick in my memory.

Cabaret de Paris takes place at Crown Theatre Perth on October 15, 16 and 17. For more information and tickets go to ticketmaster.com.au.

Graeme Watson

Love OUTinPerth Campaign

Help support the publication of OUTinPerth by contributing to our
GoFundMe campaign.


Tags: , , ,