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Fringefeed | 12 Feb 2020

CAROUSEL

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.

About the Author

Paul Meek

Voted Best Audience Member, Lady Velvet Cabaret 2019, Paul is a fixture of the Perth burlesque, cabaret, and circus scenes. He has attended more FRINGE WORLD shows than he's cooked hot dinners. From suburban newcomers to global headliners in Vegas, Paul has literally seen it all. Surprisingly, his first year reviewing.

Ticket Price

End Date 16 Feb 2020

  • Ticket Price
  • End Date 16 Feb 2020
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Each individual performer in this show is phenomenal (with very special mentions to Mia Matheson and Bobbie Sox who are exceptional show stoppers, and Veronica Jean Jones who is a fabulous host). The show itself, however, did not do their talents justice. From the average customer point of view, I went in with the expectation of something a little more classic showgirl and extravagant. Unfortunately, the “modern twist” seemed to be that the production itself seemed a little basic, particularly when compared to the Zigfield Follies. I say this with exception to a few acts. Mia and Bobbie performing Anything Goes was delightful, followed by a fabulous tap number with Lula Liqueur and Penelope Pop. The powder puff act was adorable, however the use of excessive baby powder in audience participation made me wonder if they had issued an asthma warning for their ticket holders. Unfortunately the other acts fell short for me, which is no fault of the performers but just the material that they were performing. A particular low light was ending the show on “Shut up and Dance” which might be a personal bias, but I hate that god damn song. The show started strong, then ended like an average entry level variety show. I applaud each individual performer for bringing their extraordinary talents to such mundane material. Everyone had a smile, gave great face, danced phenomenally, and the singers were immaculate. But the production itself was not special.

Reviewed by Luzern 2020
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Great show. Awesome energy me amazing acts all round

Reviewed by Lm 2020