22 July 2011

Review: Meow Meow at TBH

Meow Meow at The Burlesque Hour LOVES Melbourne
Finucane & Smith
21 July 2011
45 downstairs
Meow to 31 July
TBH to 14 August

With my new (unconsciously) Meow Meow inspired hair, I felt a bit fan-girly at last night's The Burlesque Hour LOVES Melbourne. So if you see me wearing too much glitter eyeshadow, you'll know who I'm honouring, but if you see me dancing semi-naked by the water wall at the National Gallery, it's a homage to Moria.

Finucane & Smith's Burlesque Hour  is the blissful, if fit-inducing, antidote to any winter blues. Damn it, it's the antidote to pretty much anything negative and should be compulsory for teenagers and anyone who still thinks that having a body like a Photoshopped model is a way to happiness, and for anyone who has leered at a woman.

With a list of Melbourne-legend special guests that makes choosing which night to go almost impossible, the only solution is to go more than once. If you go before July 31, there's Meow Meow.

The magnificent and obsessive Meow Meow was performing at the Apollo Theatre in London a month ago. For the next two weeks, Melbourne gets lucky as she's purring, hissing and shedding sequins in Flinders Lane.

David Bowie has declared that he never misses Meow. And there's a long line of us ready to push the divine starman aside for a blinding glimpse of this Weimar alley cat.

Like a prowling feral, you know that Meow wants to curl up on a loving lap in front of fire, but the only thing she knows is that sharp claws and loud noise keep her safe. Behind her drag-queen glitter and sequins is a woman so determined to find perfect love that she'll demand a hug from a stranger, but will probably poke out their eye because they dare to be less than perfect and will want to disappoint her like everyone does.

With clear logic that wanting to kiss her means that you think she's pretty, which means that you want to fuck her, which means that you'll never leave, Meow wins endless hearts, but she will never let anyone close enough to realise that she's loved. Neither will she ever let her exquisite voice (or Melissa Madden Gray) get in the way or distract from the singular focus of Meow's deliciously distorted need for love.

Meow is the type of cabaret artist who makes up for any night of theatrical dullness we've endured. Not that there's a moment of dullness with Moira, Maude, Harriet, Holly and Sosina at The Burlesque Hour.

A version of this review appeared on AussieTheatre.com

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