cabaret: puppets gone wild

adelaide cabaret festival - cabaret décadanse... enock turcotte, lorraine la diva and serge deslauriersPretty much from beginning to end Cabaret Décadanse was awesome...

Even the setting was fantastic... I knew that we were in the main Festival Theatre theatre, but it wasn't until we got in there that I realised that we were actually ON the stage...

The main curtains had been drawn with a little marquee poking out of the gap, and we went through a slightly Freudian red curtain lined passageway and were essentially sitting on the main stage looking back towards the auditorium. And while it was the middle of the afternoon (even if it was a very grey and wet afternoon), we were suddenly in the middle of this red and purple lit world with big velvet curtains and a slightly smoky atmosphere.

Sadly the crowd was a very "matinee" crowd, much older than I suspect an evening crowd would have been... and to be honest, given the tone of the performance (and the fact that laughter seemed to be somewhat sparse on occasion) I'm not sure why some of them were even there.

But it didn't stop Ma and I having a good time, even if out seats weren't quite so "front row centre" this time (more second row, left of centre... although I was annoyed to see that a whole table in the front row was completely empty... did somebody buy out the entire table and then forget to show up... rudeness!).

It did take a few moments for me to adjust once the show started though... puppeteers Serge Deslauriers (he's the sexy bald one) and Enock Turcotte (he's the one with the amazing legs) are visible on stage the entire time, they're not hiding anything they do with the puppets (including the very industrial looking pieces of equipment they use to work the heads/mouths), it's all out there for you to see. And when they first came out with Conrad the French transvestite, both controlling one arm, and where Conrad's body is essentially Serge from the waist down... I was slightly distracted by the whole set up...

And, just a brief aside... hello French Candadian HOTNESS! Serge is all shaven headed hotness and Enock has an ass you could bounce quarters off... very nice...

Okay, where was I... oh yeah. After some trilingual spiel (which I will admit was often quite hard to follow, partly because of the three languages and partly because of the sound system) by Amfitriona the puppet-headed emcee (played by Raynald Michaud) and once we got to the second act, Lorraine La Diva (that's her in the photo at the top), I was completely hooked...

It's amazing how lifelike and human these puppets become after a very short space of time, and even when they're not even remotely human looking (like Sibo the horny little sock puppet), you totally buy it.

They also use the fact that the two puppeteers are visible on stage to great effect... more than once the puppets "molested" Serge (who seems to do a lot of the head movement, while Enock seems to do a lot of the hand stuff... especially when the puppets are molesting Serge), or they just played with the fact that there were these two extra bodies on the stage... so Maude, the sexy bee diva perches on hands and lays along legs... stuff like that.

Actually I think that Maude was possibly my favourite character... and it's very weird to say, but even though she's a two foot tall, super deformed puppet... and a female puppet at that... Maude had it going on... she was two parts sex kitten, one part Tinkerbell.

The two that would have to tie for a close second were Sibo, the aforementined sock... and Kiko, the only "masculine" puppet in the show, who was actually kinda sexy with his white hair and sunglasses (you know... sexy for a puppet)

I was also really impressed with the range of music in the show... while I can't remember all of it, there were a number of old classic Cabaret songs (the names of all of which escape me)... I know that a female vocal version of "Hard Day's Night" was in there for Maude... the Propellerheads song "History Repeating" with Shirley Bassey let Ms La Diva shake her very naked puppet groove thing (puppet boobies... OMG!) all over an unsuspecting audience member (poor guy didn't know what the hell was going on)... then they got very "modern" with Big Gay Al's "I'm Super" song from South Park for Conrad... and the show stopper was the Catherine Zeta-Jones version of "I Can't Do It Alone" from Chicago...

Actually, I was kinda tempted to buy the CD they had in the giftshop... and I still might when we go to our final show next week...

So, while it only ran for slightly more than an hour, it was definitely over too soon... and it's something that I would definitely go and see again.

Lordy, lordy, lordy... what a weekend it has been...

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