Left – Vincent Hooper. Photo – Kurt Sneddon
Vincent Hooper is back home in Perth doing a cabaret show he's put together called Stolen Treasures, which bills itself as a foray through forgotten musical theatre and cabaret songs. It wasn't all obscurities, however, and there were plenty of tunes that the uninitiated would recognise: Rocky Horror, Rogers & Hammerstein, Jersey Boys, just to name a few. Hooper gave his loving and appreciative audience a charismatic performance that showcased his boundless energy, strong vocals, and a quirky sense of humour.
Hooper was accompanied by Ben Clarke on the piano, who was a wonderful, low-key foil for many of Hooper's antics. In one number, he played Judy Garland to Hooper's Barbara Streisand in a medley highlighting Babs's appearance on the Judy Garland show. His smooth, velvety baritone was a welcome addition to the set.
Also featured was Hooper's mother, Donna Hooper, and it was readily apparent where Vincent got his sense of humour and showmanship. I had the pleasure of sitting next to her during the show, and at the interval she described having gone to Korea to see Vincent perform in Rocky Horror; she said she was the only Western woman in the audience, but the Koreans she was surrounded by absolutely ate the show up. When I asked her if they already knew how to do the Time Warp, she said they watched the subtitles and managed to make a go of it. "But they wouldn't have done well if they were following me," she added dryly.
Vincent called her up on stage to perform a number using her recently acquired skills on the ukulele; the mother and son duo gave the crowd a sweet, singalong rendition of "The Glory of Love." Other interesting moments came with props: a corkscrew costume that demonstrated just how pleasurable being a corkscrew can be; a puppet who first delivered a scatological monologue sourced from two stand-up bits by Jim Carey and Margaret Cho and who later returned for a stint as puppet doing an impersonation of Bette Midler at her bawdy best.
Hooper will soon be joining the ensemble of the Sydney production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Theatre Royal on October 24. His Perth fans have welcomed him home with open arms, and I'm sure they'll be sending him off with cheers, hearty congratulations and love.
by Vincent Hooper
Director Vincent Hooper
Venue: DownStairs at the Maj | His Majesty’s Theatre, 825 Hay Street, Perth, WA
Dates: 5 – 7 Sep, 2013
Tickets: $42 – $38
Bookings: 1300 795 012 | ticketek.com.au