The audience gasped as Chiciquita and Fernando mounted the stage. He resplendent in white flares and a silvery sequined top, she in a “barely there” red hot sequinned number, both platinum bewigged. Their towering white patent platform footwear did nothing to inhibit their stylish stage moves.
Chiquitita and Fernando are “Sweden’s hottest musical export” along with their friends, ABBA, Europe, Roxette and Ace of Base. They constantly tour world-wide. How fortunate we were to be able to see them in the intimacy of the cabaret room Downstairs @ The Maj.
I cannot name the artists involved. They remain anonymous in publicity material but they were fabulously funny. Fernando impeccable at the piano and providing backing vocals for the inimitable Chiquitita. He was the perfect foil to her theatrical gestures and absolutely accurate 80’s dance moves.
A sad tale (but with a happy ending) involved a Finnish ski instructor Johannes which lead to a string of familiar tunes: Voulez Vous, All that She Wants (is another baby) and a hilarious version of It Must Have Been Love. The latter sung to Sven (I don’t think that was his real name!) and Heather.
Chiquitita is not averse to close audience interaction, mostly towards males, but she later engaged a well-known WA female theatre personality in a tragic rendition of the lovelorn ballad The Winner Takes it All. The subject gamely complied, wiping away mock tears while waving flirtatiously at Fernando.
The mood was fun, the audience adored the show and sang along with gusto. There’s a lot of choral repetition in ABBA songs and Chiquitita and Fernando worked the room remorselessly. Very occasionally one got a glimpse of what this couple could achieve in a true cabaret-style show. I Know Him So Well was simply superb.
The show finished on a high with back to back energetic hits I Do, I Do, I Do, Dancing Queen and Waterloo.
I’m quoting Molly Meldrum here; “Do yourself a favour” and go and see this, if you can get a ticket.
Perth Theatre Trust
You’re Welcome for the Music
Chiquitita & Fernando
Venue: Downstairs @ the Maj | 825 Hay Street, Perth
Dates: 5, 6 & 7 October 2017