The Lounge Set | Isabel HertaegRecent graduate of the Ballarat Academy of Performing Arts, Isabel Hertaeg is well on her way to becoming one strong cabaret diva. In a brief return season of her self-devised show, The Lounge Set, she unabashedly displays her vocal range – from Puccini to Tom Waits. It’s a punchy one hour performance that runs the gamut from naughty to nice.

A 7pm start time on a hot Melbourne summer night is a tricky gig. Somehow walking into The Butterfly Club in broad daylight doesn’t have quite the same magic as a late evening affair, but Hertaeg quickly set a sultry mood. Warming up with some Eartha Kitt, initial nerves built into a strong and fearless performance, accompanied by Winnie Sim on piano.

Playing the role of society woman Lady Cordelia Weatherbottom, Hertaeg strung together her musical acts. In red dress and long string of pearls, the snooty Ms. Weatherbottom shared her many tips on etiquette, garnered from 1950’s manuals and a few too many copies of outdated Vogue magazines. Prim and proper on the surface, but underneath a selfish and sexed up woman, Ms. Weatherbottom had plenty to say on finding and later disposing of a sugar daddy, what not to say to your lover in the bedroom and how to make the most of your Mexican holiday. All of this paved the way for her segues into an eclectic mix of songs such as Hernando’s Hideway, Masochism Tango and In Old Mexico (to name her Latin collection). Hertaeg managed a tango with a clothes rack, many sips of delicious tea (that we suspect were laced with something stronger than anything Lipton has to offer) and several readings from her bibles of manners.

Using the Weatherbottom caricature was a fairly standard formula to unite the diverse musical elements. It wasn’t unique, but certainly did the trick in creating a nice flow through the material and engaged with the enthusiastic audience well.

This was the third outing for The Lounge Set, but before Hertaeg, aka Weatherbottom, retires the parasol and ditches her charity benefits, she may want to consider not saying goodbye to this snappy offering just yet. There seems to be further for it to go and it would appeal to larger audiences.

Whatever, she decides to do, Hertaeg is a cabaret up and comer to watch. Keep your eyes out, folks…

Isabel Hertaeg    

Venue: The Butterfly Club | 204 Bank Street, South Melbourne
Dates: Friday 8 and Saturday 9 February
Times: 7.00 pm
Tickets: $20 full / $15 concession and for groups of 8 or more
Duration: one hour approx

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