‘Cabaret de Paris’ was indulgent.
In a time where overseas travel is not an option, the cast of ‘Cabaret de Paris’ transformed Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s (QPAC) Playhouse into Brisbane’s very own Moulin Rouge through reimagined and old-school showgirl glamour.
‘Cabaret de Paris’ was a sequin-filled evening of burlesque meets Cirque du Soleil. It was a cabaret complete with Parisian showgirls, contortionists, aerial pole artistry, illusionists and the iconic French cancan dancers, all tied together by the Moulin Rouge’s longest-serving performer in its 120-year history, Aussie sensation Marissa Burgess.
As soon as the ensemble of showgirls opened the show covered in feathers and rhinestones (and some not covered very much at all…) it was clear that this was going to be a burlesque extravaganza. The showgirls, along with the male dancers, were able to achieve sultry burlesque dancing, vibrant modern dance and a joyful ultra-high-energy cancan, which made even the seated audience members feel exhausted!
The contortionist gave a captivating, gravity-defying performance. Her level of flexibility was so astounding that her body seemed to be completely boneless. At times she appeared to have such control that she moved in slow motion.
Doubling as producer and illusionist, Michael Boyd cast a spell on audiences with his illusions and suitable showmanship.
A more traditional aspect of the show was the pole artist who floated weightless in the air.
Rounding out the cast, the MC of the night and star of the show was Burgess, who oozed glamour and was the epitome of charm. Her sultry vocals acted as interludes between every act and her medley of Edith Piaf songs was enchanting.
The synchronicity in Todd Patrick’s choreography was stunning. At times, the mix between modern and old-school seemed to be slightly incongruous, but overall the blend was entertaining. The iconic high kicks and cancan dancing had an infectious energy and was a joy to see realised on stage.
The costumes were sparkling! All were decked out in feathers, rhinestones and sequins; they never seemed too gaudy and paid homage to the traditional old-school cabarets. Even the particularly skimpy costumes still held a level of class.
Compared to the extravagant sequined costumes, the stage and lighting were incredibly simple. Perhaps some elegant pieces to frame the stage would have enhanced the performance. Even staged lighting such as fairy lights or lamps would have further immersed the audience into the world of the Moulin Rouge. Whilst the performers transported the audience to Paris, the set could have done more.
‘Cabaret de Paris’ was a glamorous night out and a true celebration of the much-romanticised ideals of the classic Parisian cabaret. The polished line-up offered something for everyone, enthralling the audience within the magical world of rhinestones and glitter.