The very talented, the incredibly beautiful, the glowingly blue-eyed Nick Christo serenaded me tonight... he was maybe a foot away from me, staring right into my eyes and singing to me.
But I'm getting ahead of myself...
Ma and I decided that since this way our last Cabaret Festival show we would go and have dinner at the Festival Centre... we weren't quite sure what or where, but we just decided to play it by ear. So we trundled on down, found a car park and wandered down to the Bistro.
Now, normally the prices would have made us run screaming in the other direction... but as Ma pointed out later, spending all this money on a bed seems to have unhinged the spending part of my brain somewhat... so we stuck around and had dinner.
Granted we didn't have a main, but neither of us were screamingly hungry. Instead we both had the sweet onion and red lentil tarts with labne, and we had a side dish of potatoes (I think they were hassleback style, but I wouldn't swear to it or anything).
Then, because we were already in that deep, we decided to have dessert (which we don't usually do when we eat out)... I had the chocolate mousse with gingerbread and raspberry compote... Ma had a poached pear with Belgian chocolate sauce. The original idea was to share... but that chocolate and raspberry combo, oh my god... yum! All up it was around $80, so kinda pricey, but worth it.
We timed it perfectly too, by the time we were finished, had paid the bill and wandered up to the Banquet Room we only had to wait a couple of minutes before the doors opened.
And this time we were totally front row, centre... okay, a tiny bit off centre, but not by much. Having seen what happens to people who sit at the front of the tables in that spot at the other two shows, I kinda wanted to sit on the stage side of the table... which is exactly what ended up happening. The audience was very mixed, although there was a higher than usual quotient of queens in the audience, one or two I recognised from "around" (like ya do).
Then the show started...
Let me preface everything else I'm going to say by saying that Nick Christo is GORGEOUS. Bright blue eyes, white teeth like a dentist's wet dream, a twinkle in his eye and the ability to totally switch between himself and the essence of Frances Faye. It was fascinating to watch actually... when he came out on stage he WAS Frances (I'm guessing anyway... he was certainly a character... how true to life it was I don't know), but then he slid easily back into himself and told us a little about Frances, then he would slide right back into her skin (or alternatively take on the character of whatever interviewer or commentator he needed to be to tell his story). And he was so good that when he first came out on stage and was singing and speaking with an American accent, I thought he was American... then he dropped that completely and became his normal Australian self.
I'm not familiar with Frances Faye... in fact I pretty much picked out tonight's show on the basis of how pretty Mr Christo is... but I tell you what, I think it could be worthwhile to do a little digging around to see if I can find any of her recordings... she sounds like somebody I would enjoy.
I kept being struck that Nick was reminding me of a cleaned up and prettier version of Marc... very, very odd... I have no idea what the hell that was about...
Sitting in my particular seat, I was right in Nick's eyeline, so I think he referenced me in one way or another three or four times... including when, as I've already mentioned, he walked down the stairs at the front of the stage, stood right in front of me, bent down and sang to me.
I blushed! I seldom blush... but I blushed like a virgin on her wedding night, and I also looked away, then realised what I'd done and looked him straight in the eye *le sigh*... I may actually be blushing now thinking about it...
Christo is a dynamo on stage though... he had the audience pretty much eating out of his hand for the hour long performance (even though I think a few of them were more than a little drunk), and he was so full of energy and bounce (and camp as a row of tents... a lot of that was the Frances character, but the boy really does know how to move)... he was also alternately hilarious and touching. And towards the end as he was performing a particularly soulful song (I don't remember what it was), and then as he slipped back into his own skin and continued to tell us about her last visit to Australia, you could see that he was welling up with emotion... not in a cheap or stagy way, it was just obvious that she moves him.
But Nick Christo is a fantastic performer, and definitely one that I would go and see again.
So thus endeth our Cabaret Festival Adventure... not with a whimper, but with a hell of a bang!