Review | It’s five yee-haws for BarbieQ’s Dolly Parton show

A Dolly Parton Spectacular | Connections Nightclub | SOLD OUT | ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

It takes a lot of talent and enthusiasm to get a room full of people clapping and cheering at a 6pm show, but the love local drag star BarbieQ has for Dolly Parton made this show a rollicking, frolicking, and boot-scooting good time.

With a cast of friends, and some very talented and attractive backing dancers BarbieQ presented a tribute to Parton that was cleverly designed and completely engaging from curtain up to encore.

Opening up with Two Doors Down, BarbieQ welcomed the audience and explained how as a small child she always had a love for Parton, and it’s never abated. She’s even followed the singer on tour around Australia flying from city to city.

In 2020 during the lockdown period Barbie started performing from home via live-stream and was surprised at the reaction she got to her homage to Parton, she wondered if a few people might like a fringe show along the same line – they certainly did, the entire season is a sell out.

Cleverly BarbieQ has chosen the perfect mix of well known hits and lesser known but interesting recordings the singer has made. Opting for alternative recordings of well known songs meant the audience was kept on their toes.

Wanting to squeeze as many songs in as possible, there was not too much talk and the focus was solely on having a good time and singing along. BarbieQ and her gang quickly worked through 9 to 5, Baby I’m Burning, Joshua, Have a Little Faith in Me – last year’s dance collaboration with Galantis, and the underappreciated Here You Come Again.   

Alexas Armstrong appeared as Shania Twain, performing a duet version of Coat of Many Colours and then performed Man, I Feel Like a Woman, giving BarbieQ a chance to make a costume change.

While Dolly Parton has famously been a hero to drag performers, I don’t think I can ever recall anyone frocking up to be Linda Ronstadt before. When Delvira Midnight came onto the stage dressed as the 70s icon, not only had she nailed the look of the Blue Bayou singer, she had all her mannerisms perfected too.

After visiting the Trio period of Parton’s career, where she collaborated with Ronstadt and Emmy-Lou Harris, Delvira Midnight dived into a rendition of one of the singer’s best known tunes It’s So Easy. 

The show built up to a climax whipping though Dolly Parton tunes, before wrapping up with a boot-scooting hoe-down to Applejack. It’s a simple premise for a show, but it was a hell of a lot of fun – yeehaw!

A Dolly Parton Spectacular is SOLD OUT. See what else is on at

Graeme Watson is an editor at OUTinPerth. He has a background in journalism, creative writing, dance, theatre, radio and film working as a performer, producer and writer. Graeme writes for a variety of publications and has been working as a reviewer since 1997.

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