Lush, seductive, subversive, electrifying, jaw-dropping and freakishly fun. Yes, you’re in for a treat when Moira Finucane brings the Glory Box Edition of her cabaret hit to Sydney’s Seymour Centre on November 15.
Against a backdrop of tassled lanterns, satin brocades and velvet covered tables, the genre-defying global smash hit Finucane & Smith’s Burlesque Hour returns to Sydney with its line-up of divine divas – Moira Finucane, Meow Meow, Toni Lamond and Pamela Rabe.
Since it first opened in 2004 its heady mix of insolent and exotic live art, circus and sideshow, showgirl and showstopper, Bollywood and disco, grand guignol, gothic queens, sultry sirens and backroom ballerinas has won the show enormous success, both nationally and around the world, selling out everywhere from Paris to the Pilbara, Budapest to Byron Bay, Tokyo to Tennant Creek.
Winner of eight cabaret awards, the Burlesque Hour has won critical acclaim for being “sublime and subversive”, “outrageous and unforgettable”, “exceptionally sumptuously demented” and “fantastically indecent”.
Led by “national treasure” Moira Finucane – winner of the 2012 once-in-a-lifetime Outstanding Contribution to Cabaret Green Room Award – Burlesque Hour Glory Box Edition also features dancers Paul Cordeiro and Holly Durant, circus star Anna Lumb and showgirl Maude Davey.
The show was nominated for two Helpmann Awards and has won eight national and international awards.
“We opened on a rainy night and since then the show has been in a constant state of evolution, acclaimed in 10 languages,” Finucane said. “This is the latest incarnation. It’s the best of our last three years. People say it’s fantastic – better and wilder.
“We wanted to wrap it all up in a glory box and unleash it. Expect the unexpected – a circus sideshow with a touch of the freak show. It’s completely different from anything you’ve ever seen. It’s like the Venus flytrap – once you get in you don’t want to get out.”
And it evidently commands extraordinary loyalty from its acclaimed artists. This show will be Toni Lamond’s only appearance this year.
“She is the monarch of Variety in Australia, an extraordinary entertainer who was a smash hit in our Opera House season. She is now getting to a ‘glamorous age’ and told me ‘you’ll be my only performance this year’.
“Pamela Rabe is breaking a tight schedule to perform and Meow Meow is flying in to give three of her hottest numbers.
“People love working with us and the chemistry we create together and with our audiences. Audiences sitting at their velvet tables [need to book early], with that Parisian feel as they go off on the roller coaster ride of their life.”
The show this year was commissioned to tour regionally for the first time, including to the Pilbura and Alice Springs.
“It contains nudity, strobe lighting and smoke effects. It’s explosive, funny and irreverent but there’s never been an aggressive response anywhere. It’s that bit of grit that makes the pearl,” Finucane said.
“If you take care of people, you can take them anywhere. They are curious. The show is a heady cocktail, silly but powerful, charming but alarming. It’s a celebration of humanity, both subversive and seductive.
“People go nuts. We’ve had dancing ovations all over the country. One of the greatest privileges of my life has been to be standing in a country town like Tennant Creek and see the audience stand up as one and start dancing – this has happened everywhere from Ballaret to the Pilbura.
“A man told me he didn’t want to come but his wife made him and he was glad: ‘you made me laugh, you made me cry’ he said to me. ‘Good on you girl, you keep going’.
“People all over the world have different reactions but they all love it. The Queen of Hearts with her 150 balloons goes off with a bang – in Hong Kong they felt that it was like a New Year celebration, in Sweden they felt she was like a Snow Queen. People take it as their own.”
The show is also filmic with dreamlike moments that open up in dreamscape.
“Holly’s dance is one of these moments – really electrifying. Paul’s love of fusion, samba, salsa, and Bollywood go-go also goes down well – when he’s on stage people start screaming immediately. And pocket rocket Anna is an absolute dynamo; she walks on bottles and does an amazing trapeze act to Bowie’s ‘Rock’n’Roll Suicide’.
Burlesque Hour Glory Box Edition will be at York Theatre, Seymour Centre from November 15 to 24 for 12 performances only. More information at www.seymourcentre.com