Club Cabaret Part Deux!
Director: Dan Pengelly
Review Date: 21/09/2019
If you were lucky enough to catch Club Cabaret at Centrepoint Theatre last year, then you will be just as excited as I was to see ‘Part Deux!’ (if you’re scratching your head—it means part two) get brought back along with many of the same lovable characters and a seasoning of fresh ones.
‘Life is a cabaret’ and that is what we get to see at Club Cabaret Part Deux! All the messy and untidy real-life drama between lovable MC ‘Pierre’ played by Dan Pengelly and his wife ‘Darlene’ played by Darlene Mohekey spill out onto the stage. Pierre somehow manages to hold things together and keep ‘Club Cabaret’ moving along in an entertaining yet disintegrating way.
Emulating the low-budget vibe of your average cabaret there was a very similar set to the last Club Cabaret and if I am not mistaken the sign above musician Kane Parsons had been dusted off and put back up in the same old position. Clearly, they wished to be extremely authentic.
Darlene Mohekey graced the stage in a variety of different roles impersonating many cabaret stars. Personally, I think she is bloody great (and I think I am in good company in that opinion). On opening night Mayor Grant Smith was in attendance and that made him a prime candidate for being dragged up on stage by a drunk Shirley Temple impersonating Darlene. How she managed to get his fingers in her mouth shocked both me, the audience, and Grant Smith I suspect, and gave me an absolute belly-laugh. I really hope she washed her mouth out after that.
If my life is a cabaret it is certainly a cabaret with shit costumes. Darlene is an absolute darling and rolled out an exhausting number of costume changes which were all amazing. Apparently, her Mum was in the audience on the night and is responsible for creating her many beautiful outfits, what a legend (I hope I heard that right).
I’m considering changing my wardrobe at home to the ‘costume department’ and stealing the reused ‘Club Cabaret’ sign from Centrepoint Theatre after the show is over so I can hang it above my front door. I’ve also talked to the hubby about installing a trapeze/swing in the front yard so that I can dress up from my ‘wardrobe department’ and swing like Pink and yell feminist rants at the top of my voice. But this is not about me its about Club Cabaret Part Deux!, I was just getting carried away after all the inspiration on the night.
David Ladderman returns to the show with a personality that’s big enough to fill the room and the room next door and the one next to that. He seems like the sort of guy who would be fun at parties but annoying all the rest of the time (I wouldn’t know cos I’ve never met him off-stage but if he brings that much energy to a room on a regular day—no, sit down.) David always enters the stage with a variety of regular looking props and somehow makes them seem like the most interesting thing you’ve ever seen. You won’t need to see the show if I tell you what he gets up to, but I can promise his acts will keep you riveted.
David Heaphy is one of the fresh acts to join Club Cabaret Part Deux! and he gets up to some stuff that is both riveting and sickening. It was a love/hate situation for me. Every time he came onstage, I couldn’t help but wonder what sick shit he’d get up to this time. I think I held my breath the entire time he was on stage, covered my eyes and mouth and squealed ‘no’ or ‘oh my god’ repeatedly. What he could do with a tennis racket was mind-boggling.
Ellyce Bisson was also a new kid on the block at Club Cabaret Part Deux! and wowed everyone with her gravity-defying dance and aerial acts. I’ve never been able to get my legs to do what Ellyce did with hers. Seeing is believing and I believe I can’t.
Indy Henman is also new to Club Cabaret but not to Centrepoint Theatre where she has been involved in a number of excellent shows. Indy plays an intern at Club Cabaret Part Deux! and is delightful to watch as she refuses to be deterred by Pierre from bringing her own act to the stage. As usual Indy’s charming personality is infectious, and her dance skills are impeccable.
Pierre is a lovely, stoopid, sarcastic character. Personally I'd like to hug Pierre with my arms and legs wrapped around him. Unfortunately that's unlikely to happen because Pierre doesn't look like he could hold that kind of weight, and I don't have the strength in my arms to hold myself up. However, if you feel compelled to leap at him and squeeze him hard with your arms and legs I reckon he'd appreciate it.
Maybe you think your life is complete without the sparkle and drama of a good cabaret— it’s probably not. When you go to Club Cabaret Part Deux! you get to laugh and see cool things, and if you don’t want that in your life you should really ask yourself—why not? If you want to live life dangerously, I’d suggest booking one of the VIP tables at the front of the stage but if you’d just like to watch and laugh from a distance then the back row is a nice safe place to reside.
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