Left – Ginger and Tonic. Photo – James Penlidis Photography
An ambitious programme of Fringe Festival will be held in the intimate, glamorous club-like venue Downstairs at the Maj.
The season is presented by The Perth Theatre Trust in association with ACE (Melbourne Cabaret Festival). Altogether there will be 12 shows representing an exciting variety of styles.
The performances include ACES’s Cabaret Launch Party, Ginger & Tonic; For Love or Money, Kollision, Dream Girls: The Sensational 60’s, A Case of You (Joni Mitchell), Comma Sutra, Mysteries at The Maj, You’re My World (Cilla Black), Dolly Diamond; The Lady is a Tramp, Nigella Love Bites, Tel La Novela and One Hit Wanda.
A special bonus will be late night piano shows by Trevor Jones from Saturday 21 to Saturday 28 January. Artist and show information can be found in your trusty Fringe World Festival Guide.
The ACE”s Cabaret Launch Party talent line up is a closely guarded secret. But a Perth Theatre Trust spokesperson assured me it would be a delicious and surprising mix of acts. She was absolutely correct and the packed room had a ball, singing along with gusto and seemingly loving the audience/artist interaction.
Host Trevor Jones entered playing the hammiest piano accordion tunes ever. However he soon redeemed himself with really clever piano skills. ”You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman” had the audience in full throat and who knew the Les Miserables theme could segue so brilliantly with an Aretha Franklin number?
Whip crack pace lead us into the delightful Danielle O’ Malley who after a slightly shaky start won the audience over completely with gorgeous versions of Cilla Black classics “You’re My World” and “Anyone who had a Heart”.
One Hit Wanda (aka Cinzia Lee of Jersey Boys and Grease) held the audience in the palm of her hand as she introduced a willing audience into the dubious charms of karaoke. Clad in shimmering 80’s lime sequins she even persuaded a front row gentleman to get her something sparkling from the bar and draped herself over him as she quaffed it. Helpfully all the karaoke lyrics were screened on stage so we could all participate in full voice.
Tel La Novela had us in stitches as he recounted his childhood growing up behind his parents’ Mexican restaurant in Broome. This eventually led him to performing in Los Angeles singing highly recognizable songs a la Latino. The John Farnham pastiche was particularly amusing.
Finally Ginger & Tonic brought the cavalcade to a rousing finale. The 4 hot a capella songstress were hugely popular at last year’s Fringe and they did not disappoint tonight. Glittery gold jackets over minimal black shorts and 1 a provocative mini skirt. They soon stripped down to some strong feminist messages, such as the importance of loving yourself, “If I Were You I’d Want To Be Me” and the vital importance of money however it is acquired.
Tightly choreographed moves and wonderful a capella blends and tones made them a stunning finale to what was a brilliant evening’s entertainment as well as an excellent marketing exercise for the Downstairs at the Maj Fringe season.
Australian Cabaret Enterprises
ACE’S Cabaret Launch Party
Venue: Downstairs at the Maj | Hay Street Perth WA
Date: 21 January 2017
Bookings: www.fringeworld.com.au | 1300 795 012
Part of the 2017 Perth Fringe Festival