Going in to A Burlesque Show Named Desire, I was expecting some link to Tennessee Williams’ famous play A Streetcar Named Desire. There was no reference to the play or film, but there were marvellous nods (or backbends) to the golden age of Hollywood.
The audience was treated to a song inspired by Ava Gardner and featuring captivating soundbites of the American actress, while a well-known Doris Day track provided the foundation for a sweet and sultry tap number performed by “Camilla Cream”.
Our host for the evening, Lady Cara, was born to have a microphone in her hand. She managed the crowd perfectly in the jam-packed venue –the character-rich British Hotel in Port Adelaide.
It was also a Friday night, so knock-off drinks were in full swing. There was also, however, a gracious intermission, allowing for top-ups and for enthused chatter about what had transpired so far.
The performers included local Adelaide ladies, as well performers from interstate, including the striking “Ginger Pop”, who had travelled from Cairns. Another of the troupe, “Leopard Lass”, has trained in the art of sideshow on Coney Island in the US and aptly showcased this with her use of a bed-of-nails.
Producer and performer Lyla Dash brought a dark element to the show with an enthralling “white witch” inspired number. She later returned for another transfixing performance to the soundtrack of The White Stripes cover of “Jolene”.
“Diana Divine” presented a classic feather boa number and, as the show progressed, the audience seemed to visibly and audibly relax.
Burlesque isn’t to everyone’s taste, but in this case the stripteases were creative, the get-ups vibrant and the show thoroughly well planned.
With no explicit nudity but plenty of cheeky moments, it was a glorious spectacle. All in all, a fabulous introduction to the art of burlesque.
The final performance of A Burlesque Show Named Desire on February 26 has sold out.