Reflections on the Spiegeltent

17 March 2017 Blogger in Chief

A piece of advice if you’re planning a trip to the Spiegeltent – go early.

Buy a drink, meet your friends and join the queue. It will be long and you will want to have your choice of seats.

I saw Songs of the Latin Skies, featuring renowned Aussie vocalist Katie Noonan (ex George) and celebrated classical guitarist Karin Schaupp, and space was at a premium.

Luckily, I scored a seat close enough to see Schaupp’s extraordinary hands weave their magic and the look on Noonan’s face when a nearby cruise ship let all and sundry know it was leaving port.

The horn blast provided some comic relief during the enjoyable production, which would’ve benefitted from more variety in its pacing.

A universe away from the Latin Skies, Velvet fell to Earth in an explosion of sequins and dazzling lights.

The circus-cum-cabaret reworks a K-Tel Select-o-Matic of well loved disco hits around a slightly obtuse storyline of a young man in search of his true identity.

The Spiegeltent was chockers and undoubtedly Marcia Hines was the drawcard – at 63, she’s still got a helluva set of pipes.

The music was terrific and the choreography up to the task, driven along by DJ/percussionist/musical director Joe Accaria, and the performers wowed high above the stage (though you’ll never look at a hula hoop the same way again).

Velvet is high energy fun but the highlight was the show’s least disco moment; the young man, nicely played by Tom Oliver, sings a slow and heart-rending take on the Bee Gees’ Stayin’ Alive. It’s remarkable for its beauty and simplicity – a clever counterpoint to the razzle dazzle rollercoaster – and you’ll see the song’s lyrics in a totally different light.

Catch Velvet (afternoon or evening) until April 1, which happens to be the same day as Lior and Paul Grabowsky play… so keep an eye out for me – somewhere near the front of the queue.

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