Despite the rather fearsome photo accompanying the media release, Ratzke presented an elegant figure onstage. Tall, in a tailored suit with flares and a sequinned undershirt, he was greeted with a warm reception by a crowded room. Previously he had worked Perth with the David Bowie tribute Starman and it was obvious that this audience were largely repeat offenders eager for more of his showmanship.
Opening with a stunning version of Boulevarde of Broken Dreams Ratzke proceeded to flirt outrageously with the audience. After declaring his fondness for Perth and it’s audiences he lead us into an almost unrecognizable version of the Michael Jackson number Billie Jean. Because of his amazing vocal range Ratzke is able to play with lyrics and timing to virtually re-create a song.
His talent is underpinned superbly by skilful and stylish piano accompanist Christian Pabst.
Ratzke’s self-deprecating humour and playful style set the tone for an evening of fun as well as lovely song. His long-legged groovy dance moves and frolicsome skipping around the grand piano will stay with me forever.
Tempered with these lighter moments were some superb Brecht and Kurt Weill offerings. These dark Berlin cabaret numbers allowed for some wonderful contrasts to his vivacious persona. The Bowie song Heroes was accompanied by a beautifully orchestrated piano accompaniment from Pabst.
Soon we were whisked back into a lighter vein and keenly clapping along to a lively number. I never clap along with songs but Ratzke engenders such whole-hearted enthusiasm and goodwill it’s impossible to resist his charm.
Treating us to not one but three encores he delighted us with a largely unknown, to me, Harry Nilson number Seasons Song.
A delightful entertainment with a talented, witty performer, richly deserving of his standing ovation.
Downstairs at the Maj
From Amsterdam to Mars
Venue: His Majesty's Theatre | 825 Hay Street Perth WA
Dates: 28 – 30 June 2018
Bookings: (8) 62129292