A Rhapsody in RedWhat A Rhapsody in Red lacks in finesse, it makes up for in enthusiasm, humour and underlying talent. Although evident that one of the three performers (Caitlin Beresford-Ord) was struggling with voice issues, and with some technical hiccups, the performance was enjoyable and the audience on opening night lapped it up, clapping enthusiastically at the conclusion.

With the subtitle ‘A modern girls guide to love, laundry, letter, lipstick and the perfect gun’ the audience knew they were in for an interesting night. The Covergirls - Peggy Sue, Mary Jane and Just Betty (Beresford-Ord, Sharon Wisniewski and Clare Moore) - bopped, giggled and out performed each other through a parade of well known songs from the 1960’s.

Opening with the effervescent ‘Lollipop’ (originally by The Chordettes) the girls’ characters were quickly established; the devious and desperate for love Mary Jane (willing to steal everyone else’s man), the slightly psychotic Just Betty, who provided most of the fodder for the humour, and Peggy Sue who was dedicated to following the ‘how to bible’ to find a man.

Songs such as the ChiffonsHe’s so fine’; Please Mr Postman’; Stop in the name of love’ and ‘Come see about me’ (TheSupremes ) were in the first act. The trio interacted beautifully with the audience, including tables in a hilarious role playing exercise about how men only want stupid women, and using the men as props throughout songs, to abundant laughter from the audience. Choreography suited to the songs was used to great effect, although let down somewhat by a lack of finesse.

All three women are excellent singers, although Beresford-Ord was visibly struggling and failed to reach some notes and long held tones. Unfortunately, it let down the songs where she took lead vocals. Thankfully, Moore and Wisniewski were in fine form; clear, crisp and powerful. They all sang with passion and sparkle - they were enjoying themselves (once the nerves had settled down) and this enthusiasm was seen and picked up by the audience.

The cute little flapper outfits and pink beehives worn by the trio in the first act were replaced by sexy figure hugging black Bond Girl outfits and long wigs for the second act. The brilliant choice of songs continued with hits such as Tina Turner’s ‘River Deep, Mountain High’; Lipstick on your collar’; It’s in his kiss’; ‘Boots are made for walking’; and a very funny version of Shirley Bassey’s ‘Diamonds are forever’. The night was completed with a stunning rendition of Aretha Franklin’sRespect’ (with Wisniewski taking the lead) and a group finale of The Isley Brother’s ‘Shout’.

Overall A Rhapsody in Red is a highly enjoyable show. With a bit more rehearsal and polish this show would be outstanding, but none the less it had the audience clapping, cheering and singing along, and leaving with smiles on their faces.

Cabaret Soiree Carnivale

Venue: DownStairs at the Maj | 825 Hay St, Perth
Dates: 8, 9 & 10 July, 2010
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: Standard $48 Concession $42 Season Ticket $113 (three different shows), Student Rush $17
Bookings: BOCS Ticketing on 9484 1133 | www.bocsticketing.com.au

Most read Perth reviews

A small group of amateur actors, some professionals, no overarching theme for some ten minute...

To this critic, as to many Short+Sweet patrons, this programme of two peformances of 12...

Every one of the eleven short plays were excellent. Their very different topics and...