Sugar Blue Burlesque is one of Perth’s premier performing troupes – they are undoubtedly our busiest. Together with Tease Industries, this FRINGE WORLD season they bring us Carousel, going back to the Ziegfeld Follies, the opulent and glamorous chorus lines of Broadway, from the ’20s and ’30s.
We are transported to a world of subdued lighting, smoke machines, beautiful showgirls, and classic cabaret and blues standards. There are glittery headpieces galore, dapper swing dancing, and enough sequins to drown an army.
The routines themselves put in mind Chaplinesque silent movies, or the all singing, all dancing, all tap of vaudeville – from ’80s fluorescent music videos, to Hollywood powder rooms. Towards the second half, the music choices update to more contemporary, more modern, more funk. As if the Follies never went away.
Veronica Jean Jones –(VJJ for short) is our quick witted, filthy mouthed, Mistress of Ceremonies, who has an unscripted comedic patter that is both uproarious and acerbic. There are no sacred cows she will not slaughter. In each 90 second slot between acts, there were often four or five laugh out loud jokes.
Mia Matthiessen hits all the right notes as our primary vocalist. There are duets with VJJ, both in singing and competitive costume choices, attempting to one-up each other. There is an obvious, easy, and very likeable rapport between the two, visible whenever they are on stage together.
And then into all this, Brisbane powerhouse and headliner Lila Luxx descends, like an alien spacecraft onto the fair fields of Western Australia, with the most amazing routine. It is a light and sound spectacular, that will absolutely drop jaws.
Carousel is a fun show. The performers appear to be having a ball, and in one spot are doing so, literally. This is a burlesque show you can take your wider circle to, or even your adult family members, at least those not averse to swearing or smut.