23 June 2011

Review: The Burlesque Hour LOVES Melbourne

The Burlesque Hour LOVES Melbourne
Finucane & Smith
18 June 2011
45downstairs
to 14 August

From obscure subversive cabaret (loved by people like me) to Melbourne cultural institution (loved by people who go to the MTC), what hasn't been said about the insane gorgeousness of Finucane & Smith's The Burlesque Hour?

For all its new found, middle class popularity, TBH retains its subversive soul and it's still impossible not to leave feeling positive and excited about your age, your body and your overall sexiness, even if you sometimes keep it hidden.

The Burlesque Hour LOVES Melbourne nearly as much as Melbourne loves TBH.  It's missing some of the darker elements from past shows (and Azaria and Yumi), but this perfumed pink paper love letter is still written in fresh blood and addressed to the city where this now world famous show started.

This year Moira brings her favourite exquisite grotesque pieces and a new purple number that will leave you wet in all the right places. There's the wonderfully wild (and pro-hair) Sosina Wogayehu, Holly Durant and Harriet Ritchie, and Maude Davey continues to elegantly re-define rock. If you don't know, the correct response is "No way, get fucked, fuck off"

And as a special sparklie gift, there are a collection of weekly OMFG Melbourne special guest legends, including some of my absolute favourites like Die Rotten Punkte (how will Otto cope?), theatre goddess  Pamela Rabe, rock goddess Deborah Conway (please sing "Man Overboard") and Meow Meow, the one burlesque artist who could make Moira seem repressed.

But for the opening weekend, there was Rhonda Burchmore. Now, I would usually consider Rhonda to be the antithesis of everything TBH celebrates about performance, women and sexuality. But, dammit, she made me laugh and I enjoyed the story about Micky Rooney's cock and her troubles with her fanny bird. But how awesome would it have been to see her drop the Rhonda mask and show us something completely unexpected and real. Next time Rhonda...

It's no secret that I think Finucane & Smith are one of the best things in this amazing world ofMelbourne theatre. Their work celebrates all who dare to refuses to conform, as it defies any attempt of genre definition and questions our perceptions and expectations of theatre and burlesque and life.

If you haven't seen it, there is no excuse good enough to miss it again.

This review originally appeared on AussieTheatre.com


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