Varla Jean Merman Is Anatomically Incorrect!

Varla Jean MermanNot Nicole Kidman on anatomic steroids, but the love child of Ethel Merman and Ernest Borgnine, diva extraordinare Varla Jean Merman brassily boasts a treasure chest of cabaret mayhem. Packaged with a special health warning this New Orleans' Fortune Queen has turned body - pc.  Advising us of “what not to put in your body,” she mocks plastic surgery and podophilia (foot fetishism), extols the virtues of garlic and takes counsel from a disease-ridden chicken, Sally Salmonella.

“Tonight's show is about my body and everybody's else's body that I can get my hands on. Fasten your seat belts, hide your children under your chair, you're invited on a fantastic voyage. Tonight everyone is coming inside me.” As in most Merman productions, Varla Jean delights the audience with spoofs of sight and sound on this journey of constitutional discovery. Highlights include a John Wateresque music video version of Cher's Dark lady; a  Doctor Doolitle style tune - Talk To The Genitals; a Pussycat Dolls 'Aria' and the Broadway Musical Hair with a 'Feet' rewrite.  Heard to be believed, all renditions are powerfully belted out in her trained alto-soprano voice with Donald Duck and Alvin Chimpmunk FX.

Varla Jean's buxom brand of anatomy class is true 'gumbo – ya – ya '– a little bit of everything. From topics of child sclerosis to graphic before and after shots of Hollywood celebrities - we are told “Catherine Zeta Jones used to be an Indian woman.” An assortment of wacky outfits from a 'Bin Laden Burka' with water gun-squirting camel hand puppet; see-through bra complete with fake breasts: a giant squirrel costume and a naked body suit with a glow-in-the-dark anatomy map, all confirm Anatomically Incorrect literally does what it says on the packet.

A self confessed top-heavy tree in yoga Varla Jean Merman is a character originated and portrayed by is Jeffrey Roberson, an American actor, singer and drag performer. Varla is perhaps best known for her role in the 2003 film Girls Will Be Girls. Now back at his second season at the Studio credit for the show's success also belongs to his longtime director Michael Schiralli. 

Like the classic New Orleans cocktail – a Hurricane - at first calm but get stormy towards the end, this cinnamon locked dame may act like Doris Day but is a Russ Meyer ultra-vixen in disguise.


The Studio at Sydney Opera House presents
Varla Jean Merman Is Anatomically Incorrect!

Venue: The Studio | Sydney Opera House
Dates/Times: Tuesday 24 to Friday 27 April @ 8.15pm; Saturday 28 April @ 7.30pm & 9.30pm
Tickets: $30/$20
Bookings: (02) 9250 7777 or www.sydneyoperahouse.com/thestudio

Most read Sydney reviews

Baby Doll | Ensemble Theatre

 

Baby Doll is an effective, if imperfect, re-adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ lesser-renowned...


Much Ado About Nothing | Bell Shakespeare

There’s much ado about many things in Bell Shakespeare's current season of Much Ado About Nothing.


Calamity Jane | Bangalow Theatre Company

Every performer is a star of their own making (tremendous effort by everyone) with classic...


The Glad Tomorrow | Katie Noonan and the Australian String Quartet

For those of us who were there, down to every man, woman and child, this was a performance that...


First Love is the Revolution | Griffin Theatre Company

Rita Kalnejais’ play First Love is the Revolution sounds like a love story set in social tumult...


Sign up for our newsletter

* indicates required